Oprah Winfrey’s mother, Vernita Lee, passed away on Thanksgiving in her Wisconsin home, as Blavity reported. Following her mother's death, the media mogul took to Instagram and shared some poignant words beneath a family photo.
"Thank you all for your kind words and condolences regarding my mother Vernita Lee’s passing," Oprah wrote. "It gives our family great comfort knowing she lived a good life and is now at peace."
As Newsweek reports, the businesswoman spoke candidly in interviews and on her show about her sometimes stormy relationship with her mom, often noting how she felt her mother did little to care for her as a child.
Lee, who worked as a housekeeper for much of her life, had three other children. One, Patricia Lee Lloyd, she gave up for adoption, but with whom she later reconnected. Lee Lloyd and Lee's only son, Jeffery Lee, died in 2003 and 1989, respectively. The mother is survived by two children: Oprah and her half-sister Patricia Amanda Faye Lee.
Oprah reunited with that sister, who she didn't know about growing up, and her mother on an episode of her talk show in 2011, ABC reports. “It was one of the greatest surprises of my life,” Winfrey said of Faye Lee's existence. “It left me speechless.”
A spokesperson for Winfrey confirmed Lee's funeral has already taken place, People reports. Winfrey and Faye Lee have asked that anyone who would like to mark their mother's passing make donations in her memory to Feeding America, a non-profit organization that runs food banks throughout the U.S.
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