Gloria Loring says the death of her ex-husband Alan Thicke has left a ''profoundly sad wound'' in their family.

The 'Growing Pains' star was 69 years old when he passed away from a heart attack on Tuesday (13.12.16), and the 70-year-old singer, who was married to the star for 13 years from 1970-1983, is struggling to come to terms with his passing.

Gloria said: ''It's deep and it's a profoundly sad wound to our family.

''Anytime you lose one of the major father-mother figures in a family, it's very hard. And Alan was definitely a big presence in our family. If he entered the room, the party started. He just had a great sense of humour and a wonderful energy. We all loved him.''

The pair - who share two children, Brennan, 42, and Robin, 39 - remained close despite their divorce, and even met up at Robin's Thanksgiving party last month.

Recalling the meeting, Gloria said: ''He was entertaining the people.

''He was talking and visiting and quipping and throwing the funny lines around and just being the host. He was always the host. When we were married, I was in the kitchen and he was the host.

''And he had a very funny line. In fact, I told him, I said, 'I swear, I stayed married [to you] a lot longer than I would have because you were so darn funny.' And at one point, he said to somebody, 'No, Gloria and I have a great marriage. It's a 50/50 marriage. She cleans and I dirty.'''

Meanwhile, Gloria says the passing of Alan - who also had 19-year-old son Carter from his relationship with Gina Tolleson - was ''so hard'' because there was no chance to say goodbye.

She told US Weekly magazine: ''I think it's so hard when someone goes all of a sudden.

''No preparation, no time to say anything that needs to be said or smooth something over. It's really hard.

''But I think Alan was very happy with his life. He was having fun.''