Oprah Winfrey is known the world over for her many successful projects and multimedia empire. Sadly, her father, Vernon Winfrey, who was a barber and businessman in Nashville, passed away after losing a long battle with cancer.
According to TMZ, one of Vernon’s long-term employees, Vernon passed away on Friday, July 8 in East Nashville, Tennessee. Oprah recently decided to visit her hometown to honor her father before he passed away.
Oprah confirmed the death of her father on her Instagram. She wrote, “Less than a week ago, we honored my father in his own backyard. My friend and gospel singer Wintley Phipps saluted him with song.”
“He FELT the love and reveled in it until he could no longer speak. Yesterday, with family surrounding his bedside I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath. We could feel Peace enter the room at his passing. That Peace still abides. All is well. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts,” Oprah continued.
On July 4, she organized a Vernon Winfrey appreciation day as a surprise for him, giving the neighborhood the chance to appreciate Vernon for his contributions as a former city councilor and lifelong community business leader.
“My father is ill, so we wanted to be able to have all of his friends come and celebrate him while he’s able to receive the joy. So that’s what we’re doing,” Oprah said in the video that she put up on Instagram. She also wrote that she wanted to be sure that her father receives flowers while he was still alive, and she couldn’t have timed it any better.
Vernon was well-liked by the locals and has owned and run Winfrey Barber & Beauty Shop for more than 50 years. One of his staff members also told TMZ that Vernon “would give you the shirt off his back.” Oprah has consistently praised his accomplishments and hasn’t been reluctant in expressing her pride in him.
May his soul rest in peace.