However, Oprah says her relationship with her mom was rocky because of a long separation.
Winfrey previously released a statement about her mother on Twitter, along with a picture of the two. The longtime housekeeper died in her home in Wisconsin on Thursday, November 22. A representative for Winfrey told People magazine that a private funeral was held for Lee over the weekend.
No other details were given. She described having to sleep on her mother's porch when she first arrived in Milwaukee because her mother's roommate took issue with Winfrey's skin complexion.
Eventually, however, their relationship was mended in 1990 when Oprah welcomed Vernita onto her popular show for a personal style makeover. She was predeceased by son Jeffrey Lee (1960-1989) and daughter Patricia Lee Lloyd (1959-2003).
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She is survived by another daughter, Patricia Amanda, and four grandchildren.
Memorial donations can be made in Vernita's name to Feeding America.
"I'm sorry for your loss", and "Praying for you and your family!" are just a couple of the digital notes that were addressed to Winfrey.
Winfrey recalled a favorite story about her mother during a 2003 visit to the city of Pewaukee.
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She said: "Thank you all for your kind words and condolences regarding my mother Vernita Lee's passing".
After living with her grandmother in MS for the first six years of her life, Oprah traveled to Milwaukee to live with her mother.
During the sit-down, Vernita also opened up about losing two children, commenting, "I'm a Christian lady, and if you're a Christian person, it helps you to deal with situations like that". I don't know anybody.
'I suddenly land in a place that's completely foreign to me. Vernita passed away on Thanksgiving Day.
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