Kate Spade's heartbroken father dies night before designer's funeral

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Earl F. Brosnahan Jr. died at the age of 89 at his home, "surrounded by family at the time of his passing," the Brosnahan family said at Spade's funeral.

Spade and her husband, Andy, launched the New York-based design company "Kate Spade Handbags" in January 1993 with the help of outside investors. She was best known for her cheerful use of bright colors and prints which proved a hit with career women.

She was assumed to have committed suicide, with a note left in her apartment.

The designer, born in Kansas City in the U.S. midwest state of Missouri, first worked as a journalist after graduating with a journalism degree in 1985.

NEW YORK, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The father of U.S. fashion designer Kate Spade died a night before her funeral in Kansas City, Missouri, the family said in a statement Thursday.

Kate Spade, one of the most renowned handbag designer in America, was found dead on June 5 in her apartment at the age of 55.

The father had been in bad health and was "heartbroken over the recent death of his beloved daughter," the family said.