Kate Spade’s Grieving Father Dies Just One Day Before Her Funeral

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Kate Spade, kate spade's
Credit: Flickr, Ralph Daily

Kate Spade, known for her iconic handbags, shocked the fashion world this month when she took her own life.

Tragically, another death compounded her family's grief this week when her father died the day before her funeral. Earl F. Brosnahan Jr. reportedly died on Wednesday night. Kate Spade's funeral reportedly went on as planned. Mourners gathered at a Kansas City, Missouri, church on Thursday.

Kate Spade was found dead on June 5 inside of her New York City apartment. Her cause of death reported to be an apparent suicide. 

Kate Spade, Kate Spade's

Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Paul Keleher

Kate Spade's family issues a statement:

Earl F. Brosnahan Jr. died at the age of 80 after a lengthy illness, according to his family. In a statement, his relatives wrote that they were "saddened to announce" his death. 

"He had been in failing health of late and was heartbroken over the recent death of his beloved daughter."

Kate Spade's father was "at home and surrounded by family at the time of his passing."

Mourners show up to pay their respects

As relatives absorbed the second shocking loss in a week, they attended a funeral service for Kate Spade. Local reports described the scene at Thursday's gathering in Kansas City, Missouri. Mourners gathered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Redemptorist Church to pay their respects.

Some individuals who had never met Kate Spade joined friends and family this week. Despite not knowing her, they felt a kinship through her life story or her unique line of bags. Christy Dover and Brittany Porter traveled from Brookfield, Missouri, to attend the service. 

"We like Kate Spade's products," Dover said. "We always have." 

She went on to say that her town has been "ravaged by suicides" in recent years.

"We just feel for her," Dover added.

The death of Kate Spade shed light on a much deeper societal issue.

Depression, mental health issues and suicide impacts all families to some extent. But when a fashion icon like Kate Spade succumbs to the crisis, it brings added attention. Just days after her death, television host and chef Anthony Bourdain also committed suicide in France. 

Kate Spade New York pledged more than $1 million in donations to a variety of causes. The gifts in her memory include contributions to mental health and suicide prevention organizations. The first donation will be a $250,000 donation to the Crisis Text Line.

Actor David Spade, whose brother was married to Kate Spade, made a donation of his own in her memory. He pledged $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Friends and family members of Kate Spade also asked individuals to make donations on her behalf. Among the organizations preferred by the her survivors are the ASPCA and Wayside Waifs. The latter is Kansas City's largest animal shelter facility that does not euthanize animals up for adoption. So far, individuals have been more than willing to ensure that Kate Spade's memory lives on through these donations.

If you or someone you know is dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts, please get help immediately. Click here for more information about the warning signs.

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