TV star Oprah Winfrey has confirmed her mother Vernita Lee has died at the age of 83.
The 64-year-old shared a photo of her family on Instagram on Monday evening and thanked fans and friends for their messages following the tragic news.
“Thank you all for your kind words and condolences regarding my mother Vernita Lee’s passing,” she said to her 15.2 million followers. “It gives our family great comfort knowing she lived a good life and is now at Peace.”
Lee passed away at her home in Wisconsin last Thursday on Thanksgiving, representatives for Winfrey told Fox News.
“The family of Vernita Lee are saddened to share of her passing on November 22, 2018, at her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was 83 years old,” a statement read. “Born May 2, 1935, she is survived by her daughters Oprah Winfrey and Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, grandchildren Alisha Hayes, Chrishaunda Lee Perez, Aquarius Lofton and Andre Brown and great-grandchildren Jaxon Praise Perez, Chai Theresa Perez, Donovan Hayes and Trinity Hayes. She was predeceased by son Jeffrey Lee (1960-1989) and daughter Patricia Lee Lloyd (1959-2003).
TMZ was the first to break the news and said that Winfrey’s niece Alisha Hayes originally posted about the death on Thursday. It reported that a private funeral service has already been held and that memorial donations in Lee’s name could be made to organisation Feeding America. A cause of death and further details have not yet been released.
Fans have been quick to offer their condolences to Winfrey and her family.
One person on Instagram wrote: “So sorry for your loss Oprah. I pray that God provides you and your family peace in comfort in one of the most uncomfortable times one can experience.”
Another comment read: “My condolences Ms. Oprah. You have been a mother to so many without even meeting them. I’m glad you have peace in knowing she is at peace. Blessings to You!!!”
A third added: “May you find comfort in knowing you now have that extra special angel watching over you!! I’m so sorry for your loss… God Bless you and your family!”