Oprah Winfrey clutches her dog after landing in California as she returns from her father’s funeral 


Oprah Winfrey was seen being helped off of her private jet in California Friday, arriving back from the funeral of her father, Vernon, in Nashville. 

Winfrey, 68, was seen alone save for her beloved dog, despite having been accompanied to the funeral by her best friend, Gayle King, and partner, Stedman Graham. 

The media icon, wearing a matching white sweatsuit and a black mask, appeared to wave to the cameras as she got off the plane.  

Vernon Winfrey, 89, had been battling with cancer, and his daughter surprised him with a heartfelt party to honor his life over the Independence Day holiday days, which she dubbed ‘Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day,’ just before he died on July 8. 

Winfrey was seen being helped off of her private jet Friday in California, returning from the Nashville funeral of her father, Vernon

Winfrey, 68, was seen alone save for her beloved dog, despite having been accompanied to the funeral by her best friend, Gayle King, and partner, Stedman Graham

Winfrey, 68, was seen alone save for her beloved dog, despite having been accompanied to the funeral by her best friend, Gayle King, and partner, Stedman Graham

Plane staff assisted in as Oprah disembarked from her private jet after returning from Nashville

Plane staff assisted in as Oprah disembarked from her private jet after returning from Nashville 

The media legend appeared to be alone, save for her pooch

The media legend appeared to be alone, save for her pooch

Winfrey wore a mask until she got back into her car

Winfrey wore a mask until she got back into her car

Oprah brought several bags off the jet with her as her staff helped her out

Oprah brought several bags off the jet with her as her staff helped her out

Winfrey had surprised her father with a party celebrating him days before he passed

Winfrey had surprised her father with a party celebrating him days before he passed

The media icon did appear to wave to the cameras at least once as she got off the plane

The media icon did appear to wave to the cameras at least once as she got off the plane

An assistant is seen carrying her beloved dog off the plane

An assistant is seen carrying her beloved dog off the plane

One of the pilots helps Winfrey back to her car

One of the pilots helps Winfrey back to her car

Oprah is led into the car by some of the private jet's staff

Oprah is led into the car by some of the private jet’s staff

Oprah and her dog staring out the window as they left in her car

Oprah and her dog staring out the window as they left in her car

The TV personality’s father owned a barbershop and was a city councilman in Nashville during the course of his life. 

The 68-year-old uploaded a tribute post on her Instagram on Saturday with a heartfelt caption following the news of his passing. 

‘Yesterday with family surrounding his bedside I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath,’ the media mogul wrote. ‘We could feel peace enter the room at his passing. 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,’ she added, expressing that her father knew how much people loved and cherished him. 

Sad news: Oprah Winfrey's father, Vernon Winfrey, passed away at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer; Oprah pictured with Vernon in 2003 in Nashville, Tenn.

Sad news: Oprah Winfrey’s father, Vernon Winfrey, passed away at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer; Oprah pictured with Vernon in 2003 in Nashville, Tenn.

Vernon Winfrey, father of Oprah Winfrey, sits in one of the chairs in his barber shop in Nashville, Tenn., in 1987

Vernon Winfrey, father of Oprah Winfrey, sits in one of the chairs in his barber shop in Nashville, Tenn., in 1987

In his honor: The TV personality, 68, recently surprised her father with a heartfelt surprise party to honor his life over the Independence Day holiday

In his honor: The TV personality, 68, recently surprised her father with a heartfelt surprise party to honor his life over the Independence Day holiday

‘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,’ the star stated at the end. 

Commentators expressed their condolences on the post, with Oprah Daily stating, ‘Rest In Peace Mr. Winfrey. What a beautiful tribute in person and through the written word.’ 

Although the type of Vernon’s cancer hasn’t been released publicly, the business owner had a chance to be surrounded by friends and family over the holiday weekend. 

Memorable moment: During the celebration, gospel singer, Wintley Phipps, sang a song to her father

Memorable moment: During the celebration, gospel singer, Wintley Phipps, sang a song to her father 

Honored guest: Vernon was seated in a barber chair in the heart of the party to honor his work as owner of a successful barbershop in Nashville

Honored guest: Vernon was seated in a barber chair in the heart of the party to honor his work as owner of a successful barbershop in Nashville 

Oprah planned a backyard barbeque to honor him. In a video uploaded onto her Instagram page, the talk show host explained what the event entailed.

She said she was throwing the party, ‘because 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.’ 

Special day: She shared photos from the special Fourth of July celebration on her Instagram

Special day: She shared photos from the special Fourth of July celebration on her Instagram 

Heartfelt surprise: The talk show host explained that her father, Vernon, thought the party was a simple Fourth of July celebration and had no idea the event was to honor him

Heartfelt surprise: The talk show host explained that her father, Vernon, thought the party was a simple Fourth of July celebration and had no idea the event was to honor him 

‘Giving my father his ‘flowers’ while he’s still well enough to smell them. Happy 4th of July as you gather with your family and friends. Remember to celebrate each other,’ Oprah typed out to caption the video. 

According to TMZ, Vernon owned the Winfrey Barber & Beauty Shop for over 50 years. 

An employee of the business expressed to the publication how caring and loyal Oprah’s father was. ‘Vernon would give you the shirt off his back.’ 

Father daughter duo: The star had a strong love for her father, and was pictured holding a microphone so he could say a few words during the Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day party

Father daughter duo: The star had a strong love for her father, and was pictured holding a microphone so he could say a few words during the Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day party

Big day: Oprah and a her friend Gayle King, 67, are pictured together posing in front of the Vernon Winfrey Appreciation poster

Big day: Oprah and a her friend Gayle King, 67, are pictured together posing in front of the Vernon Winfrey Appreciation poster 

During the Fourth of July event, Oprah expressed how her father was one of her biggest inspirations and how he was a figure she looked up to. 

He ‘brought honor to your life and honor to my life.’ 

Oprah spent her early childhood at her father’s hometown of Kosciusko, Miss., and in Milwaukee, Wisc., with her mother, Vernita Lee, who died in 2018. She also lived with her father in Nashville between the ages of 7 and 9 and during her teens.

‘If I hadn´t been sent to my father (when I was 14), I would have gone in another direction,’ Oprah told the Washington Post in 1986. ‘I could have made a good criminal. I would have used these same instincts differently.’



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