By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg has paid tribute to his “angel” mother Alma after her death at 78.
His brother, New Kids On The Block singer Donnie Wahlberg, previously revealed that their mother, who appeared in their reality show Wahlburgers, was suffering from dementia.
Transformers actor Mark wrote on Instagram, “My angel. Rest in peace”, while singer Donnie shared a video montage of his mother, including footage of them dancing together at his wedding to actress Jenny McCarthy.
He wrote: “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.
“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.
“I’ve often said, ‘if you like anything about me, I got it from Alma’. I say that, because it’s true.”
He added: “She was, without a doubt, the most loving human being I’ve ever known.
“I never heard her say, or do, anything disrespectful to anyone. She was, as anybody who ever came across her knows, true blue.
“Like so many moms who struggled, overcame odds, 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.
“That was Alma — mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, friend, ally, warrior, angel. She made no apologies for who she was, but never put herself above anyone else. She kicked our butts if we messed up, kicked anyone else’s butts if they messed with us. Taught us right, made us pay the price when we were wrong.
“She was the epitome of the word grace.”
Referring to the video of them dancing together, he said the song If I Could by Regina Belle was one of her favourites and she danced to it with each of her children at their weddings.
He added: “I surprised her at mine by having Ms Belle sing it to her.
“I did so because, despite the fact that my mom could do (and actually did) many of the things mentioned in that beautiful song, she still wondered if she’d done the job of being the best mother she could be. Today, I say with tremendous certainty, and gratitude, she absolutely did.
“It’s time to rest peacefully, mom.
“I love you, miss you, thank you and will celebrate you, today and always.”
Last year Donnie revealed his mother’s health was deteriorating, saying: “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.
“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.”
Mark and Donnie are two of the nine children Alma shared with ex-husband Donald Wahlberg. Their sister Debbie died in 2003.