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    ‘Modern Family’: What Happened To Jay’s First Wife?

    Modern Family‘ is an American family drama series starring Julie Bowan, Sophia Vergara, Ty Burrell, and Ed O’Neil along with Eric Stonestreet, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, and Jesse Tyler Furgeson. The show which began in 2009, aired its final episode on 8th April 2020, leaving fans in tears.

    The story revolves around three families – the Pritchetts, the Dunphys, and Pritchett-Tucker. It is a window into their chaotic, dysfunctional, and disorganized life. The show is divided into three fragments – a migrant woman and her son fitting into the new family, a family of four dealing with their children’s lives, and a gay couple adopting a child from Vietnam. ‘Modern Family‘ is the most relatable family show of the decade. But if you are confused about the family patriarch Jay Pritchett’s first wife, here’s all about what happened to her.

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    Who Is Jay’s First Wife In ‘Modern Family’?

    Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill), the patriarch of the family was married to DeDe Pritchett (Shelley Long) for 35 years before the show began. After investing too much into the marriage, DeDe divorced Jay, leaving the custody of the kids to him. DeDe makes a guest appearance in quite a many episodes. After Jay married Gloria (Sofia Vergara), DeDe was insecure about being replaced by the family and constantly manipulated Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) to invite her to the family gatherings. Her presence in the family always brings chaos and tension.

    Delia Deanna Hellen Pritchett was Jay’s ex-wife, mother of Claire and Mitchell, and grandmother of Luke, Hayley, Alex, Lily, and Rexford. It has been heavily implied that DeDe may be mentally ill due to her somewhat manipulative, inappropriate, and sometimes aggressive ways. For instance, when she always attacks Gloria, whenever she meets her, or unsatisfied behavior towards Claire. Mitchell was always her favorite, moreover, she was more accepting of his homosexuality than Jay. Despite everything, DeDe and Jay were on excellent terms. She also shares a very strong bond with Manny as they even exchange letters.

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    What Happened To Dede?

    The family bid goodbye to DeDe in Season 10 episode ‘Good Grief’. It is revealed that she peacefully passed in her sleep. The family deals with her death in their own ways. Claire complains about her mother’s parenting style, meanwhile, Mitchell defends her like always. Phil and Cameron share their grief together on their way to get ice cream. Jay cribs about the sandwich which happens to be the best sandwich DeDe introduced him to. Lily scares Gloria with Dede’s doll assuming this is what she would have wanted. Hayley stress eats, and Alex makes love to her boyfriend as a coping mechanism.

    DeDe’s death had a huge impact on Claire, as she complained about how her mother criticized her until she heard the very last voicemail left by DeDe. She regretted not picking up her call initially.

    In episode 9 of season 10 ‘Putting Down Roots’, DeDe’s husband Jerry visits them to bequeath her possessions to the family. Her ashes mixed in the soil with planted trees and her car, both of which she wanted her children to keep. This is the most comic episode that can be when death is the primal topic. Though much hated, DeDe will never be forgotten by the family, as they nurture the plant till the very end in her memory. The family still keeps her close by panting and taking care of the tree. ‘Modern Family’ creators Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan certainly know how to get complicated family dynamics right.

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    Khevna Shah
    Khevna Shah
    Khevna Shah is a content know-it-all, working as an Entertainment Writer for First Curiosity. When she's not forensic-analyzing new movies and shows, she's probably out there with her camera. Approach her with your fan theories, and you've got yourself a friend for life. She aspires to be a professional content critic someday.

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