Oprah Winfrey pays tribute to her late mother Vernita Lee


Oprah Winfrey is breaking her silence about the death of her mother Vernita Lee.

On Monday, four days after Lee died at his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Thanksgiving, Winfrey, 64, shared a sweet family photo with his mother and thanked fans for their support and sympathy.

"Thank you all for your kind words and condolences regarding the passing of my mother Vernita Lee. It gives our family great comfort, knowing that she lived a good life and is now at peace," Winfrey wrote. Lee was 83 years old.

In the photo, Lee can be seen sitting at a table with family members including Winfrey and his long-time partner Stedman Graham, crowding around her.

A Winfrey spokeswoman told People that Lee was already buried at a private funeral.

O green leaf Star's mother was born on May 2, 1935, and worked as a housekeeper throughout her life. She is survived by Winfrey and daughter Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, whom she placed for adoption at birth and reconnect with later in life.

Lee also had two other children – his son Jeffrey Lee, who died in 1989 and his daughter Patricia Lee Lloyd, who died in 2003.

Before his death, Lee spent his last years in the comfort of his home.

During a 2010 interview with Barbara Walters, Winfrey explained that she retired her mother and father after she successfully Oprah Winfrey Show.

Oprah with her late mother, Vernita Lee, and her sister Patricia Amanda Faye Lee

Oprah with her late mother, Vernita Lee, and her sister Patricia Amanda Faye Lee

OWN Communications

"[I wanted] take care of them and provide for them and make sure they never need anything they tried to do for me, "the tycoon said.

Despite Winfrey's prosperity, Lee's life was full of challenges – specifically the death of his two children.

RELATED: Everything To Know About Oprah Winfrey's Mother Vernita Lee

Of the loss, she told a local Milwaukee station in May 2007 that her Christian faith has helped her overcome the tragic deaths.

"I am a Christian lady, and if you are a Christian person, it helps you deal with situations like that," she said. "I spent a lot of time with Oprah and Jeffrey and Patricia."


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