So sad. Kathie Lee Gifford took to Twitter on Tuesday, Sept. 12, to reveal that her mom, Joan Epstein, passed away at age 87. “My precious mother, JOANNIE went home to JESUS & my DADDY this morning,” the Today show anchor, 64, wrote. “We praise God for His promise of eternal life & we thank God for her.”
My precious mother, JOANNIE went home to JESUS & my DADDY this morning. We praise God for His promise of eternal life & we thank God for her— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) September 12, 2017
Kathie Lee opened up about her mother’s death during a particularly emotional segment on the Wednesday, Sept. 13, episode of the Today show. “My mom, if you didn’t know — beautiful Joannie, there she is – she passed away in her sleep in her beautiful bed yesterday morning. And just like [my late husband] Frank, I believe she saw Jesus and Jesus took her breath away, and it gives me great comfort,” she tearfully said. “And I know a lot of people are hurting in the world today, a lot of people are going through so much and there’s a lot of fear in the world today.”
Kathie Lee — whose husband, former New York Giants football player Frank Gifford, died at age 84 in August 2015 — added, “I just suggest that you take hold of God’s hand because he’s real good at carrying things for you. And perfect love casts out all fear and he loves us perfectly. And nobody knew that more than my mom.”
Kathie Lee’s friend and longtime co-host, Hoda Kotb, retweeted the TV personality’s original message and wrote, “Holding your hand xoxox.” On Wednesday morning, Hoda, 53, paid tribute to Joan’s memory with a follow-up tweet: "Being both soft and strong is a combination very few have mastered. Happy wed. Love you Joannie.”
Kathie Lee’s 24-year-old daughter, Cassidy, also penned a sweet message in honor of her grandmother on Instagram. "Jesus & Pop Pop are much cooler, anyhow and I know they're both smiling now that they have you back,” she wrote alongside a cute throwback pic of herself and Joan. “So until we meet again, love you to heaven, Cuddles.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Closer Weekly.