"The family of Vernita Lee are saddened to share of her passing on November 22, 2018 at her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin," her obituary, provided to Refinery29, reads. "She is survived by her daughters Oprah Winfrey and Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, grandchildren Alisha Hayes, Chrishaunda Lee Perez, Aquarius Lofton and Andre Brown and great grandchildren Jaxon Praise Perez, Chai Theresa Perez, Donovan Hayes and Trinity Hayes. She was predeceased by son Jeffrey Lee (1960-1989) and daughter Patricia Lee Lloyd (1959-2003). Private funeral services have been held. Memorial donations in Vernita’s name may be made to Feeding America (feedingamerica.org)."
Oprah will not be giving a separate statement at this time, and has remained quiet on social media since the holiday, when she shared two videos of her Thanksgiving celebrations on Instagram.
Fans have been commenting well-wishes on the posts and giving their condolences.
Oprah has spoken about growing up with her mother before, including a bittersweet Christmas memory when her mother told her they didn't have the money to celebrate that year.
“I was 12. That’s when I realized there was no Santa Claus,” she told the Oprah Show audience after a 2003 taping, according to The Huffington Post. "I remember feeling like it [was] going to be really hard on Christmas morning to go outside... You know, you go outside with your toys. What am I going to do when everybody else is outside? And what am I going to do when I have to go back to class and say I got nothing?"
However, the holiday was saved by three nuns.
“They gave me a doll, they bought us food and we had our Christmas,” she continued. "That was the best Christmas of my life."