What happened to Andy Taylor's first wife (Opie's mother)?

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All we were ever told is that she died and that was told us on the pilot for "The Andy Griffith Show" which appeared on "The Danny Thomas Show". Opie's pet turtle , Wilford, was stepped on and killed by "Mrs. Balford" out in front of the ice cream parlor and he wants Andy to arrest her for 'murder', give her a fair trial and "hang her." Andy tries to help Opie deal with the loss by talking about how it was when Opie's 'ma' died. Opie looks to Andy and says, "Who stepped on Ma?" That was the only time Andy's first wife was mentioned. Besides the pilot, she is also mentioned in "Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee." Opie asks Andy, "Did you and Ma have that kind of love?" Andy replies, "Yes, son, we did." We never do learn her name, or anything else about her, but there are a few hints here and there. In the pilot episode, Andy reminds Opie, "I lost your mom when you was just the least little speck of a baby." Of course, there are lots of things in the pilot episode that changed before the ... more
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