Vernon Winfrey, the father of Oprah Winfrey, passed away Friday night after battling cancer, the host announced in a statement.
“Vernon Winfrey 1933-2022,” Oprah wrote in the caption. “Less than a week ago we honored my father in his own backyard. My friend and gospel singer, Wintley Phipps, greeted him with a song. He felt the love and reveled in it until he could no longer speak,” wrote the TV presenter with a video of the moment.
He continued: “Yesterday, with the family surrounding his bed, I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life take his last breath. We could feel peace enter the room as he passed away. That peace still remains. Everything is well. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts,” the star wrote.
Last Monday, Oprah celebrated the 4th of July by throwing a surprise party for her father. In a video shared on her Instagram account, she said that although she was hosting a barbecue in her backyard, the real reason for the occasion was to celebrate a Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day.
“My father is sick and that’s why we wanted all his friends to come celebrate so he could get some joy,” he said as he held up the banner behind him in honor of his dad.
Asked by her best friend Gayle King if her dad was “excited” about the celebration, Oprah said, “He doesn’t even know this is for him. He thinks it’s a 4th of July thing. He doesn’t know… It’s going to come out.” and you will see everything.
He then concluded the video by showing his father enjoying the moment in a place he knew better. “My dad is a barber so we put him in his barber chair,” he shared as Vernon could be seen sitting across the patio.
In the post’s caption, Oprah wrote, “Giving my dad his ‘flowers’ while he’s still well enough to smell them. Happy 4th of July as you get together with your family and friends. Remember to celebrate each other.” .
In June 2021, Oprah spoke to People magazine about Vernon ahead of the OWN special titled “Honoring Our Kings, Celebrating Black Fatherhood,” in which she co-hosted with former “This Is Us Sterling” star K. Brown.
“I had a father who took responsibility for me, even though he knew it could have been someone else’s daughter,” de Vernon said.
“My mother and father never married. They had sex once. He got a letter after I was born saying, ‘Send money. You have a daughter.’ And the reason he did it, he said, is because he could And the responsibility that he took for me, not just a responsibility, but the care and love and direction and support when I was a young teenager, is what made the difference in whether I am who I am now or someone else. who you would never, ever have heard of.”
He added, “I saw it over and over again in the barbershop. Hard-working men would come in and do everything they could in their lives to support their families, sometimes working two and three jobs to do it. So that’s the story.” that I know of black fathers, that I grew up with and that I know. The absent father narrative, it’s not accurate that that’s the only image. That’s what I mean.”
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