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Kate Spade's 'Heartbroken' Dad Dies Hours Before Her Funeral

Earl F. Brosnahan Jr. died Wednesday night at the age of 89.

By Jill Sederstrom

Compounding the family's tragedy, fallen fashion icon Kate Spade's "heartbroken" dad passed away just hours before her funeral was slated to begin in Kansas City.

Earl F. Brosnahan Jr. died Wednesday night at the age of 89.

"He had been in failing health of late and was heartbroken over the recent death of his beloved daughter," said a family statement sent to The Kansas City Star. "He was at home surrounded by family at the time of his passing."

The news of his passing came just minutes before the funeral for the designer was set to begin Thursday afternoon at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Redemptorist Church in Kansas City. Spade, who grew up in Kansas City, took her own life June 5 at her New York City apartment after a long battle with depression.

The news of her father's passing was announced to stunned funeral attendees Thursday afternoon.

"The entire church gasped in astonishment," attendee Thelma Woods told The Star.

Brosnahan, who was known as Frank, lived in Kansas City his entire life and worked in his family's construction business. He is survived by his wife Sandy, five of his children and eight grandchildren.

"Later in life Frank took up golf and was a great lover of his two Yorkshire Terriers," the statement said. "He was especially proud of his wife, children and grandchildren."

The funeral for Spade, who grew up as Katy Noel Brosnahan,  was well attended by family, friends and fans of the fashion designer. Her husband, Andy Spade, reportedly delivered a eulogy.

"It was a beautiful and light ceremony, just like Kate was," Woods, who attended the ceremony because she felt a connection to the designer, told The Star.

Spade leaves behind a 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix.

[Photo:Kate Spade by Andrew Toth / Getty Images]

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