Oprah Winfrey's mother Vernita Lee dies at 83

Vernita Lee passed away on Thanksgiving at her Milwaukee home, People reported. Oprah has not publicly commented on her mother's passing.

On the same day that her mother passed away, Winfrey shared an Instagram video of her preparing for her Thanksgiving festivities. Vernita Lee, 83, died at her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

No other details were given.

Lee has two daughters, Winfrey, and Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, who she gave up for adoption but later connected with as an adult.

Oprah said her relationship with her mother was always rough. She had Oprah with Vernon Winfrey, but soon left her daughter with her grandmother while she moved to Milwaukee, where she worked as a maid. Private funeral services have been held. Meanwhile, she was abused by a cousin and an uncle while she lived with her mother, the TMZ article noted.

Memorial donations can be made in Vernita's name to Feeding America. Winfrey also felt abandoned due to her mother's absence early in her childhood. "This is your opportunity to seize this moment and make something of your life.' And I took that chance and understood for myself-even though I didn't have the words to articulate it-'Now I know better, so I can do better'".

"You've got to meet people where they are and love them at the level that they can receive it", Oprah said in 2013, "You have in your own mind what a mother should be and what you wanted your mother to be - and in many cases, your mothers and your fathers can't be what your ideal is".

"When you walk into a room, you never walk alone", Winfrey said during a recent speech. She was predeceased by a son, Jeffrey, and by a daughter, Patricia.

  • Kyle Peterson