Kate Spade's 'Heartbroken' Father, Earl Brosnahan Jr., Dies Day Before Her Funeral

Earl F. Brosnahan Jr. passed away on Wednesday night, one day before the funeral of his daughter, fashion icon Kate Spade, took place. He was 89 years-old.

His family released a statement on Thursday.

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Katy's father, Earl F. Brosnahan Jr (Frank), passed away last night at the age of 89. He had been in failing health as 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."

Spade's funeral took place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Redemptorist Church in Kansas City, Missouri on Thursday.

"Frank was born in Kansas City, MO and was a lifelong resident, " the statement continued. "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 the family construction business."

Brosnahan Jr. and his first wife, June Therese Mullen, got married and had six kids, of which Spade was the second youngest. He married his second wife, Sandy Palmer, in 1992. According to the statement, she was by his side at the time of his death.

Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on June 5 in what would later be determined as a death by suicide. Her family released a statement on her passing later that day.

"We are all devastated by today's tragedy," the statement, via the Associated Press, read. "We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time."

Brosnahan Jr. gave an interview with The Wall Street Journal on June 7 and revealed he had spoken to her just a few hours before she died, and that he planned to meet her and her 13-year-old daughter (Frances Beatrix Spade) on a family trip to California.

"She was happy and we made plans to meet in California," Brosnahan said, adding that his daughter had struggled with anxiety and depression for years and had quietly been seeking treatment via counseling and medication.

Spade's company announced on Wednesday it would be donating more than $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health groups, including a $250,000 donation to the Crisis Text Line nonprofit.


"Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy," Anna Bakst, CEO of Kate Spade New York, said in a statement. "The outpouring of love on social media and in our shops from customers of all ages has been overwhelming and moving. It is such a beautiful reflection of how much Kate was loved."

Photo: Getty/David Howells