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Fame and celebrity

Kate Spade’s ‘heartbroken’ father, 89, dies on the eve of his daughter’s funeral

The death of Earl F. Brosnahan Jnr, who had been in failing health, was announced two minutes before the funeral mass for his daughter began

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 June, 2018, 8:34am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 June, 2018, 9:25am

Kate Spade’s father died Wednesday night, a family spokesman said Thursday just as his daughter’s funeral in Kansas City was about to start.

A statement was sent tat 2.58pm, two minutes before the funeral mass for Spade, who took her own life in her New York City Park Avenue apartment on June 5.

The statement reads: “We are deeply saddened to announce that Katy’s father, Earl F. Brosnahan, Jnr, (Frank), passed away last night at age 89. He had been in failing health of late and was heartbroken over the recent death of his beloved daughter. He was at home and surrounded by family at the time of his passing.”

Brosnahan served in the US Navy before taking over the family construction business, the statement said. He had six children.

Hundred of mourners attended his daughter Kate’s funeral in her hometown of Kansas City, many of them carrying her iconic purses.

Fashion designer Kate Spade, 55, commits suicide in her New York home

A high school classmate attending the service said Spade was “incredibly kind” and had a memorable laugh. Spade admirers, including Olivia Lott, also were part of the crowds of people hovering under large, black umbrellas outside the church, many of them wearing Spade-designed accessories.

“I just feel like her vocation was to fill the world with beautiful things,” Lott said, echoing sentiments expressed earlier this month by friends and fans who described her as vibrant and colourful, like the designs that made her famous.

The 55-year-old’s husband and business partner, Andy Spade, said she’d had depression and anxiety for years but had been regularly seeing a doctor and taking medication.

‘Buying a Kate Spade bag was a rite of passage’

He attended the service, along with his brother, actor-comedian David Spade, who helped other relatives enter the church under umbrellas. A funeral official followed the family carrying a large white urn as the congregation sang The First Noel, a nod to Kate Spade’s birthday, on Christmas Eve, and her middle name, Noel.

Additional reporting by Associated Press