Regis Philbin's Wife Joy and Their Daughters Speak Out After His Death
By Desiree Murphy
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Joy Philbin is remembering her late husband, Regis Philbin, who died last Friday at the age of 88.
The legendary TV host's wife of 50 years paid tribute on Wednesday, releasing a joint statement with their daughters, Jennifer, 45, and Joanna, 47.
"He let everyone into his life. He turned every little daily annoyance and happiness into a story, and he shared all those little stories with people in a joyful and conversational way," the ladies shared in a statement to People. "It made his audience feel like they were right alongside him — because they were."
Regis' family confirmed the tragic news of his death in a separate statement released to ET over the weekend.
"We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday," the statement read. "His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss."
In a second statement, released to ET on Monday, the family said they are "overwhelmed by the outpouring of love we've received."
"If you'd like to honor Regis's memory, we kindly ask that you make a donation to http://foodbanknyc.org/, to help people in need in his beloved New York, especially his home borough of The Bronx. Thank you," the statement continued.
During Live With Kelly and Ryan this week, Kelly Ripa confirmed that her former co-host will be laid to rest at the Notre Dame campus, a place that holds very special meaning to him.
"As people get older, you always know that certain things are inevitable, but Regis was one of the people who we all believed would figure out a way around the inevitable. It was not in the cards, I suppose," she said. "He will be buried at his beloved Notre Dame which I just know means the world to him."
In light of Regis' death, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. also released a statement on the university's Office of Public Affairs and Communications website.
"Regis regaled millions on air through the years, oftentimes sharing a passionate love for his alma mater with viewers," the statement read. "He will be remembered at Notre Dame for his unfailing support for the University and its mission, including the Philbin Studio Theater in our performing arts center."
"He likewise was generous with his time and talent in support of South Bend’s Center for the Homeless and other worthy causes," the statement continued. "Our prayers are with his wife, Joy, and their daughters and Notre Dame alumnae Joanna and J.J."