Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Bobby Zarin, husband of The Real Housewives of New York City star Jill Zarin, died on Saturday after battling cancer for years. He was 71.
on Jan. 13, Jill shared an official statement on her website on behalf of the family, "With the heaviest of hearts, we are devastated to share the news that our beloved Bobby Zarin passed away peacefully today surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer. There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are. Thank you, everyone for all your love, and support during this difficult time."
In addition to Jill, 54, Bobby is survived by his children—David Zarin, 41, Jennifer Zarin, 38, Jonathan Zarin, 35, and 25-year-old stepdaughter Ally Shapiro.
"He's in a better place now," said friend and castmate Ramona Singerto E! News.
Sonja Morgan also expressed her sadness over the loss: "Bobby was to cornerstone to that family. I’m so sad and devastated he’s not there anymore."
In an emotional video posted on her
page on December 3, Jill revealed he was in the hospital and "was OK."
"I'm just going to miss Bobby," she said tearfully. "I'm going to miss my life with him."
Bobby, a real estate developer and founder of Zarin Fabrics, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2009, then underwent radioactive iodine treatment and had his thyroid removed. In 2013, doctors discovered that the cancer had spread to his lungs. He underwent more treatment. In November 2016, Jill revealed Bobby had a cancerous brain tumor.
"It's been a difficult year since his brain tumor diagnosis but ironically that's not even the issue," Jill told E! News in July. "His papillary thyroid cancer has morphed into something called anaplastic thyroid cancer. It's very, very rare."
A service for Bobby will be held at a Riverside Memorial at a yet-to-be determined date.
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