Oprah Winfrey’s mother Vernita Lee has died at the age of 83. As confirmed by the family’s statement to PEOPLE magazine, she passed away in her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Thanksgiving day.
Lee is survived by her daughters Winfrey and Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, who she reconnected with later after putting her up for adoption at birth. Her other two children, Jeffrey Lee and Patricia Lee Lloyd, both passed away – Lee in 1989 and Lloyd in 2003.
In an interview with local Milwaukee station TMJ4 back in 2007, Lee opened up about her love for Winfrey. She said that she “loved her the way she loves people now,” and said her proudest moment was when Winfrey was in “The Color Purple” in 1985.
A rep for Oprah has confirmed that her mother was laid to rest in a private funeral. Although the star posted to Instagram about Thanksgiving, she hasn’t posted anything else since.