Oprah Winfrey is mourning the loss of her father, Vernon Winfrey, who died Friday. He was 88.
Oprah took to Instagram on Saturday to share the sad news. The cause of death is not known at this time, but it’s been known that Vernon had been ill for some time. The 68-year-old media mogul paid homage to her father by reposting the video of the surprise gathering she threw for him on the Fourth of July.
She captioned the post, “Less than a week ago we honored my father in his own backyard. My friend and gospel singer Wintley Phipps saluted him with song. He FELT the love and reveled in it until he could no longer speak.”
“Yesterday with family surrounding his bedside I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath,” she continued. “We could feel Peace enter the room at his passing. That Peace still abides. All is well. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts 🙏🏾.”
Earlier this week, Oprah shared that she surprised her father with a special gathering of his closest family and friends. In a video posted on her Instagram — and filmed by her best friend Gayle King — Oprah tells her followers that she wanted the chance to celebrate her ailing father, while he was still able to enjoy it.
“So, I’ve been planning a backyard barbecue that’s actually more than a backyard barbecue, it’s for Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day,” the iconic host told the camera as King recorded her as she stood in front of a banner that read, “Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day.”
“Because my father is ill and so we wanted to be able to have all of his friends come and celebrate him while he is able to receive the joy, so that’s what we’re doing receiving the joy.”
Oprah continued, “He doesn’t even know this is for him. He thinks it’s a Fourth of July thing he doesn’t even know it’s for him.”
Vernon was a barber and businessman in Nashville. He owned Winfrey Barber & Beauty Shop for more than 50 years. Oprah’s mom, Vernita Lee, died in 2018. She was 83.
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