Oprah opened up about her mother Vernita Lee’s death in a touching post that she shared on her Instagram on Monday. Vernita died on Thanksgiving Day at 83 years old and Oprah had not previously issued a statement about her mother’s passing.
“Thank you all for your kind words and condolences regarding my mother Vernita Lee’s passing. It gives our family great comfort knowing she lived a good life and is now at Peace,” Oprah wrote alongside a photo of her mother with their family. Oprah’s longtime partner Stedman Graham can also be seen in the back of the family photo.
Oprah’s family also released a statement to Access on Monday, addressing her passing.
“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. 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). Private funeral services have been held. Memorial donations in Vernita’s name may be made to Feeding America (feedingamerica.org).”
Oprah and her mother had an off-and-on relationship through the years, but reconnected largely when Oprah began her talk show in 1986.