Kathie Lee Gifford pays tribute to late mother, Joan Epstein, on "Today"

TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford 

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Kathie Lee Gifford paid tribute to her late mother on the "Today" show Wednesday. Gifford tweeted on Tuesday that her mother, Joan Epstein, died at 87. 

Gifford said on "Today," "My mom, if you didn't know, she passed away in her sleep, in her beautiful bed, yesterday morning." 

The anchor mentioned her late husband Frank Gifford, who died in August 2015, and said, "Just like Frank, I believe she saw Jesus and Jesus took her breath away. It gives me great comfort and I know a lot of people are hurting in the world today. A lot of people are going through so much, there's a lot of fear in the world today. I just suggest that you take hold of God's hand because he's real good at carrying things for you and perfect love casts out all fear and he loves us perfectly. Nobody knew that more than my mom."

We're remembering Kathie Lee's mom, Joan, with some of our favorite moments from her visits to our show. ❤️

A post shared by Kathie Lee and Hoda (@klgandhoda) on

Epstein had made several appearances with her daughter on "Today" and Gifford shared clips of her mother on the show. Gifford also said that she would call her mom every day at 9 a.m. before she went on air. 

"I'm just so happy for her," said Gifford. "I remember Frank saying the last year of his life, 'I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid at all. In fact, I'm starting to really get curious.' And my mom had no fear. She had the strongest faith of anybody I've ever known and I'm grateful for her every day of my life, even when she was driving me crazy, because she was such a lady."

On Tuesday, Gifford tweeted, "My precious mother, JOANNIE went home to JESUS & my DADDY this morning. We praise God for His promise of eternal life & we thank God for her."

Last year, Gifford said on Instagram that her faith helped her cope with the loss of her husband. 

"I've gotten through this past year the way I've gotten through every day of my life: faithfully trusting God to do what God does, which is to show up, redeem and restore," she wrote. 

Frank Gifford died on Aug. 9, 2015. The former NFL Hall of Famer and sports commentator suffered from a concussion-related brain disease, his family revealed in November.

  • Andrea Park On Twitter»

    Andrea is an entertainment producer at CBSNews.com