Oprah Winfrey’s father Vernon passes away at 88 after battling cancer

Oprah Winfrey's father Vernon passes away at 88 after battling cancer 2
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Oprah Winfrey’s father, Vernon Winfrey, has passed away at the age of 88.

The hard-working businessman was battling with cancer, and his daughter, 68, surprised him with a heartfelt surprise party to honor his life over the Independence Day holiday. 

The TV personality’s father owned a barbershop and was a city councilman in Nashville during the course of his life. 

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Sad news: Oprah Winfrey's father, Vernon Winfrey, has passed away at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer; Oprah pictured with Vernon in 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee

Sad news: Oprah Winfrey’s father, Vernon Winfrey, has passed away at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer; Oprah pictured with Vernon in 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee

The 68-year-old uploaded a tribute post on her Instagram earlier on Saturday with a heartfelt caption following the news of his passing. 

Oprah wrote out, ‘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 added, expressing that her father knew how much people loved and cherished him. 

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In his honor: The TV personality, 68, recently surprised her father with a heartfelt surprise party to honor his life over the Independence Day holiday

In his honor: The TV personality, 68, recently surprised her father with a heartfelt surprise party to honor his life over the Independence Day holiday

‘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,’ the star stated at the end. 

Commentators expressed their condolences on the post, with Oprah Daily stating, ‘Rest In Peace Mr. Winfrey. What a beautiful tribute in person and through the written word.’ 

Although the type of cancer Vernon was fighting hasn’t been released to the public, the business owner had a chance to be surrounded by friends and family over the holiday weekend. 

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Memorable moment: During the celebration, gospel singer, Wintley Phipps, sang a song to her father

Memorable moment: During the celebration, gospel singer, Wintley Phipps, sang a song to her father 

Honored guest: Vernon was seated in a barber chair in the heart of the party to honor his work as owner of a successful barbershop in Nashville

Honored guest: Vernon was seated in a barber chair in the heart of the party to honor his work as owner of a successful barbershop in Nashville 

Oprah, 68, planned a backyard barbeque to honor him and labeled the celebration as Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day. 

In a video uploaded onto her Instagram page, the talk show host explained what the event entailed. 

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She stated that she was throwing the party, ‘because my father is ill. So we wanted to be able to have all of his friends come and celebrate him while he’s able to receive the joy.’ 

Special day: She shared photos from the special Fourth of July celebration on her Instagram

Special day: She shared photos from the special Fourth of July celebration on her Instagram 

Heartfelt surprise: The talk show host explained that her father, Vernon, thought the party was a simple Fourth of July celebration and had no idea the event was to honor him

Heartfelt surprise: The talk show host explained that her father, Vernon, thought the party was a simple Fourth of July celebration and had no idea the event was to honor him 

‘Giving my father his ‘flowers’ while he’s still well enough to smell them. Happy 4th of July as you gather with your family and friends. Remember to celebrate each other,’ Oprah typed out to caption the video. 

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According to TMZ, Vernon owned the Winfrey Barber & Beauty Shop for over 50 years. 

An employee of the business expressed to the publication how caring and loyal Oprah’s father was. ‘Vernon would give you the shirt off his back.’ 

Father daughter due: The star had a strong love for her father, and was pictured holding a microphone so he could say a few words during the Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day party

Father daughter due: The star had a strong love for her father, and was pictured holding a microphone so he could say a few words during the Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day party

Vernon was a beloved member in his community, and gave back to the town by having a role as councilman in Nashville. 

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According to The Sun, he was also a highly-appreciated member of the National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame. 

During the Fourth of July event, Oprah expressed how her father was one of her biggest inspirations and how he was a figure that she looked up to. 

She stated that he, ‘brought honor to your life and honor to my life,’ according to the publication. 

Amazing memories: Vernon is pictured sitting in a barber chair while surrounded by friends and family who came to honor him

Amazing memories: Vernon is pictured sitting in a barber chair while surrounded by friends and family who came to honor him 

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Big day: Oprah and a her friend Gayle King, 67, are pictured together posing in front of the Vernon Winfrey Appreciation poster

Big day: Oprah and a her friend Gayle King, 67, are pictured together posing in front of the Vernon Winfrey Appreciation poster 


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