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Kate Spade's 'heartbroken' father, 89, dies night before his daughter's funeral

Fashion designer Kate Spade, who loved her Kansas City roots, was found dead Tuesday

On Tuesday, Kate Spade was found dead at age 55 in her New York Park Avenue apartment from an apparent hanging suicide, police said. She leaves behind a 13-year-old daughter, Frances, as well as her husband, Andy Spade.
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On Tuesday, Kate Spade was found dead at age 55 in her New York Park Avenue apartment from an apparent hanging suicide, police said. She leaves behind a 13-year-old daughter, Frances, as well as her husband, Andy Spade.

Kate Spade's father died Wednesday night, a family spokesman said Thursday just as his daughter's funeral in Kansas City was about to start.

A statement was sent to The Star 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 was born in Kansas City, MO and was a lifelong resident. 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.”

Family arrives at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Redemptorist Church in Kansas City, Mo. to say goodbye to fashion icon Kate Spade.

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