On Friday (April 21), Caitlyn Jenner took to her Instagram account to honor and pay tribute to her mother, Esther Jenner – who sadly passed away on Thursday (April 20). According to her caption, Esther passed away peacefully and was just a few weeks away from celebrating her 97th birthday.
“I am heartbroken to announce my mom passed away yesterday morning, peacefully. Losing a mother is unique in the sense that she is the only person that loved me my entire life. I will miss her tremendously. She was a few weeks shy of 97 and lived a full life. Love you mom,” Caitlyn wrote in the caption.
Caitlyn shared several photos of her late mother, including one of her holding balloons that read ‘95’ for her 95th birthday. Esther almost always had a smile on her face and always spoke highly of her daughter – she was one of Caitlyn’s biggest supporters throughout the process of changing her gender and identity.
Fans of the Jenner-Kardashian family first met Esther Jenner as a guest on the hit reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians – which documented the family’s day-to-day lifestyle. Esther appeared at numerous family functions through the years and was a beloved figure among fans of the reality show.
More recently, Esther Jenner was featured in the shows I Am Cait, which ran for two seasons between 2015 and 2016, and Untold: Caitlyn Jenner, a five-part docu-series that was released in August 2021. She has been open in her support for her son-turned-daughter and has always loved Caitlyn unconditionally.
“It seems as though when people start to have more understanding, the stigma of being different goes away. To me, that’s the beauty of [Caitlyn] giving herself permission to do this because—like for any of us—once you’ve seen something over and over again, you get more used to it, right?” Esther once said.
In an interview with New York Daily News in 2015, Esther talked about the challenges that come with remembering her daughter’s new name and pronouns. “I love him dearly. It doesn’t matter whether he dresses like a male or a female. Whatever he needs to make him happy that’s all I care about,” she said.
Caitlyn Jenner Honored Mother During 2015 ESPY’s Speech
Fans also got to see Esther Jenner in 2015 when she accompanied Caitlyn Jenner at the 2015 ESPY’s. Caityn – who won a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics – was accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for her courage in embracing a truth that had been hidden for years.
She spoke about her mother in her acceptance speech, crediting Esther with giving her the courage and determination to be herself – even when others struggled to accept her new identity. Caitlyn revealed her new identity in April 2015 and detailed her lifelong journey with gender dysphoria, which began as a child.
“I always thought that I got my courage and my determination from my dad who landed on Omaha beach and fought all the way through World War II. I’m realizing now, mom: I think I got all of those qualities from you,” Caitlyn said during her acceptance speech at the 2015 ESPYs – an emotional moment for her.
In another quote from Esther Jenner, she detailed her admiration, respect, and pride for her child – doubling down on her support. “Caitlyn has handled this in a very respectable and respectful way. She’s made comments true to her heart. I have nothing but admiration for my child,” Esther said of Caitlyn.
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