Kathie Lee Gifford‘s mother, Joan Epstein, has died. She was 87.
The Today show anchor, 64, took to Twitter Tuesday to share that her mother had passed away. “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,” Gifford tweeted.
Her mother’s death comes two years after the death of her husband, Frank Gifford, in August 2015. Gifford’s father, Aaron Epstein, died in 2002.
Gifford’s daughter, Cassidy Gifford, also took to social media to remember her late grandmother. “Jesus & Pop Pop are much cooler, anyhow and I know they’re both smiling now that they have you back… so until we meet again, love you to heaven, Cuddles,” Cassidy, 24, captioned a throwback photo of her and Epstein, who was also known as “Cuddles” — a nickname she received from the boys at her high school based on her maiden name, Cuttell.
Today show’s Jenna Bush Hager expressed her condolences to the Gifford family, tweeting: “Sending you love.”
Throughout the years, Epstein appeared on TV numerous times with her famous daughter, including during her 15-year run from 1985–2000 on Live with Regis & Kathie Lee.
“[She’s] the sunniest person I know, except for maybe Hoda [Kotb]. Because who’s happier than Hoda?” Gifford said of her mother in May 2016. “It can be 10 days of rain, and she’ll say, ‘You know, I like a rainy day. It slows you down.’ “
In the same Today interview, Gifford shared how her mother supported her and encouraged her to follow her dreams.
“I left home when I was 17 years old to pursue my career, and [my mom and dad] were all for it,” Gifford said. “They figured that they had raised me, and they wanted me to follow my passion. I’ve tried to do that with my own children. She gave me wings.”