WATCH: Kathie Lee Gifford Pays Tribute to Late Husband Frank on the ‘Today’ Show
The NFL Hall of Famer passed away last Sunday (August 9, 2015), less than a week away from his 85th birthday on August 16, the date of Kathie Lee’s birthday as well.
At the beginning of the fourth hour alongside cohost Hoda Kotb, she commented, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away,” after congratulating Jenna Bush Hager, who welcomed her second daughter Poppy on August 13, 2015.
She thanked everyone for their support, commenting, “I wanna thank everybody for your love and your texts and your tweets and just the outpouring has been extraordinary. It’s a heck of a way to find out how loved you are. Believe me, my family and I got strength and comfort for it,” adding that Frank “would’ve loved” the tributes.
Gifford said bittersweetly that they “laughed up until the very end.”
I just want everyone to know this was a man at complete peace in his life. He might’ve been the happiest, most content man at this point in his life.
Honestly, he’s the most grateful human being I’ve ever, ever known. And that colored everything he did.
She added lovingly, through tears,
He was so grateful. He knew what hard work was. He never had an entitled moment in his life. We will miss him so much. We all keep expecting him to come around the corner. I keep expecting him to, you know, go, ‘What time is church?’ He passed away instantly that morning, all dressed in what he knew was my favorite outfit. White shirt, very tight black jeans—he knew he looked good. Having his coffee, watching his TV, getting ready to go ready for church, excited about what we were going to have for lunch.
I’m grateful that the Lord took him that way because the only thing that Frank has ever been afraid of his entire life was being a burden to those he loved. He never wanted to be hooked up to machines he never wanted to lose his dignity. He’d seen so much of that through the years and that’s what I prayed, that the Lord would take him the way he wanted to go. And so I thank the Lord for that, for his grace to us as a family, and I pray his grace on all of you as well. Thank you.
Watch Kathie Lee Gifford’s tribute in the video above.
Later in the show, five-year-old singer Heavenly Joy Jerkins surprised Kathie Lee Gifford with the song “This Little Light of Mine.”
— Kathie Lee and Hoda (@klgandhoda) August 17, 2015