Tessie Spooner was Arthur's third wife, who was written into the series storyline as having died of a heart attack in the series' first episode "Pilot". Her death, coupled with Arthur having accidentally burned the house down where he had been living with Tessie, necessitated the need for Arthur and second daugther Sara (also Carrie's half-sister), whom he and Tessie were the parents of, to move in with Doug and Carrie, much to the chagrin of Doug.