“My angel. Rest in peace,” Mark, 49, wrote via Instagram on Sunday, April 18, alongside a photo of the family’s matriarch, who was 78 when she passed away.
Alma was the mother of nine children, including Mark and Donnie — and brothers Paul, Robert, Jim and Arthur and sisters Tracey, Michelle and Debbie — whom she shared with her late ex-husband Donald Wahlberg.
“I’m so blessed to have been brought into this world by, raised by, taught by and set on my life’s path by, such an amazing woman,” he wrote. “My mom Alma’s joy for life, love and people — combined with a pride in her humble beginnings and refusal to forget where she came from — undoubtedly shaped me into the man that I am.”
The New Kids on the Block musician called Alma the “most loving human being I’ve ever known,” praising her for overcoming the odds, saying, she made “something from nothing and pulled off the impossible for their children, she never complained. She did what needed to be done, most often, with a smile. She made the best of times in the worst of times.”
Donnie added that she was the “epitome of the word grace” before revealing how she inspired him to shoot for the stars as a child.
“As a young boy, she’d invite me to sing her favorite song with her (‘Native New Yorker’ by Odyssey) as she cleaned our home. There’s no doubt that the two of us singing into a mop stick, while disco dancing on our ‘sparkling’ linoleum floor, helped inspire the dreamer in me — just like the dreamer in her,” he recalled.
He concluded: “It’s time to rest peacefully, mom. I love you, miss you, thank you and will celebrate you, today and always. Forever — your Baby Donnie #RIPAlma 🙏🏼🕊❤️😢.”
Fans were given a better feel for Alma’s true spirit when she starred on the family’s A&E reality show, Wahlburgers, which ran from 2014 to 2019. The actors’ brother Paul, 57, named his restaurant Alma Nove after their mom in 2010, before opening the burger joint, Wahlburgers, the following year.
The Boston native previously battled health issues, with Donnie addressing her ups and downs last summer. “I know that so many of you have asked how my mom Alma is doing. During my visit, she didn’t remember much, and was often confused, but somehow she was still Alma,” he wrote via Instagram in July 2020. “She still lights up a room. She still made me smile. She’s still stubborn. And she still loves her baby Donnie. I thank you all, for your well wishes.”