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Kate Spade's Father Dies Night Before Her Funeral

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (CBSDFW.COM) - Kate Spade's father died Wednesday night, a family spokesman said right before his daughter's funeral in Kansas City was about to start on Thursday.

The Kansas City Star said a statement was sent to them at 2:58 p.m., 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, Jr. (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.

Frank Brosnahan was a lifelong resident of Kansas City, the statement went on to say.

"He served in the U.S. Navy before graduating from the University of Miami in 1949, after which he returned to Kansas City to work in in the family construction business. He was president of the Midwest Heavy Construction Association in the mid 1960s, after taking over the family business from his father Earl F. Brosnahan, Sr. and his mother Helen Rose Brosnahan (née Mottin).

"Frank married June Therese Mullen in 1953 and had six children, Missy, Earl III, Ann, Reta, Katy (deceased), and Eve. He was an avid tennis player and a charter member of the Carriage Club in Kansas City for more than 50 years. Frank married Sandy Palmer in 1992 and she was bedside when he passed."

"Later in life Frank took up golf and was a great lover of his two Yorkshire Terriers. 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."

New York City's chief medical examiner ruled fashion designer Kate Spade's death a suicide by hanging two days after the 55-year-old Spade was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment.

Kate Spade
Designer Kate Spade attends the ''7th On Sale'' gala at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. (credit: Brad Barket/Getty Images)

A housekeeper discovered her body in her bedroom. Police say she left a note that pointed to "a tragic suicide."

Earlier this month, Brosnahan said he talked to Spade the night before she died.

"I don't know what happened," Brosnahan told the Kansas City Star at the time. "The last I talked with her, the night before last, she was happy planning a trip to California to look at colleges. She doted on her daughter."

Brosnahan said he knew Spade was having troubles and that she had been taking pills that he advised her not to take. He also said his daughter would be glad if ongoing, global talk about her death were to have a positive impact.

"One thing we feel is that any talk that they do that helps somebody else, Katy would have liked that," he said. "She was always giving and charitable. If that helped anybody avoid anything -- fine, she'd be delighted."


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