The news was announced by her family on Facebook on Monday.
“With inconsolable sorrow, we are sad to share the news with friends and family that on Sunday January 10 at 1:55pm PT, Pat Loud passed away peacefully in her sleep of natural causes,” read the statement. “She was snuggled up safe in her comfy home, attended by loving children Michele, Delilah, Kevin and Grant.”
Loud was born in Eugene, Ore., the statement said. Her parents, Thomas and Myrle, are said to have introduced the parents of her future husband, William (Bill) Loud.
“After graduating from Stanford University in 1948 where she pursued her lifelong interests in World History and English Literature, she returned to her hometown where she met and fell in love with Bill Loud,” continued the note.
The couple married and had five children. They were rocked with divorce during the taping of “An American Family,” known as a pioneering reality program.
That’s what kicked off “Pat’s brilliant second act,” said the post.
She moved to England, and she was remembered for “an invitation to her table,” meaning “an unforgettable evening of great food, generous drinks and convivial company.”
“When eldest son Lance was diagnosed as HIV+, she returned to Los Angeles, where she became an indefatigable advocate for his health through the 1990s,” said the statement.
“An American Family” also famously included Lance’s coming out. According to PBS, Lance, who died from complications due to Hepatitis C in 2001, became the “first openly gay person to appear on television.”
“Pat Loud was a fierce, inflexible, forthright matriarch and loyal champion of outsiders and iconoclasts. Her door was never locked and there was always room at her table,” the post read. “Never one for regrets or reflection, she moved forward in life with enthusiasm and courage. A letter from her often closed simply, ‘Excelsior!'”
The family praised their mother, calling her “unique, vibrant, creative, and independent.”
Pat Loud of ‘An American Family’ has died at the age of 94. (Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
She is survived by her remaining children Kevin Robert, Grant Randolph, Delilah Ann and Michele Summers Loud. Her ex Bill died of natural causes in 2018.
Included in the statement was a photo of Loud wearing a large grin.
“An American Family” aired on PBS in 1973 and is among television’s earliest forays into the reality genre, giving viewers a look into the lives — and drama — of another family. The Loud family lived in Santa Barbara, Calif., at the time.
In 1983, HBO released a follow-up film featuring the members of the Loud family called “An American Family Revisited: The Louds 10 Years Later.”