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Kate Spade's 'heartbroken' father dies at 89 the night before her funeral

Designer Kate Spade was found dead in her home from suicide on June 5. Her father passed away the night before her funeral. (Photo: Getty Images)

On June 21, 2018, Kate Spade’s friends, family, and fans gathered to say goodbye to the designer in her hometown of Kansas City, Mo. Just two minutes before her funeral was scheduled to begin, it was announced that Spade’s father, Earl F. Brosnahan Jr., had passed away the night before.

A statement released to the Kansas Star reports that Brosnahan, who went by Frank, had been “in failing health of late and was heartbroken over the recent death of his beloved daughter.”

It goes on to say that Brosnahan, 89, was at home and surrounded by family when he passed.

Frank was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo. He served in the U.S. Navy and went on to graduate from the University of Miami. Afterward, he took over his family business, the Midwest Heavy Construction Association.

The statement concludes, “He was especially proud of his wife, children, and grandchildren. Frank is survived by his wife Sandy, three brothers and a sister, five children, eight grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, sisters Katherine and Helen De Salme and his daughter Katherine Noel.”

Frank wanted to make sure that Spade’s body was brought home so she could be buried next to her mother, June Therese Mullen, who died in 2010.

Kate Spade, who built an empire worth $2.4 billion from a business that begin in a one-bedroom apartment, was found dead in her home from suicide on June 5. She had left a note addressed to her 13-year-old daughter.

According to her family, Spade, 55 at the time of her death, had been fighting depression and anxiety for five years. 

The Kate Spade New York Foundation has donated $1 million to support suicide prevention and mental health awareness in her honor.

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