Kathie Lee Gifford Explains Why She Didn't Have a Funeral for Frank Gifford: "We Had a Party"

Kathie Lee Gifford explains how they honored her late husband Frank without a funeral Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for New York Giants

Frank Gifford hated funerals, so there was no way wife Kathie Lee Gifford was going to hold one for him, she revealed on Tuesday, Aug. 18, during the Today show.

“We had a party,” the morning show co-host explained of how she and Frank’s family and friends honored her late husband instead. “Frank hated funerals. He hated boxes. He hated to be put in boxes. He hated to get in an elevator, so we played Frank Sinatra all day long and we partied. The only criteria was, if you were there you had to be somebody that he adored, so it kept it nice and small."

The famed football player and sportscaster will also be honored by his former team, she shared. "The [New York Giants] just announced they're going to honor Frank and Ann Mara, the matriarch of the wonderful Mara family...on their uniforms this season," Kathie Lee added. "We'll have number 16 on their helmets to honor Frank."

Kathie Lee further acknowledged Frank’s fans and all the support her family has received since his sudden Aug. 9 death, and said she plans on coordinating an event to celebrate his life and for the public to pay their respects. It won’t be a “service” though, she clarified, because “he’ll boomerang [that].” 

Upon returning to work on Monday, Aug. 17, the 62-year-old assured all that her husband “was at complete peace in his life.”

"He might've been the happiest, most content man at this point in his life," she shared. "He passed away instantly that morning, all dressed in what he knew was my favorite outfit — white shirt, very tight black jeans — having his coffee, watching his TV, getting ready to go, ready for church, and excited about what we were gonna have for lunch. I’m grateful the Lord took him that way. Because the only thing Frank was ever afraid of in his entire life was being a burden to those he loved."

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