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Jennifer Garner opens up about heartbreak in family during bittersweet TV appearance

The 13 Going on 30 actress was joined by her mom Patricia Ann Garner on the Today Show

Jennifer Garner on the red carpet © Emma McIntyre
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
June 24, 2024
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Jennifer Garner is opening up about how her family is adjusting following the passing of her beloved father William John Garner.

The 13 Going on 30 actress' father passed away on March 30 aged 85; he is survived by his three daughters, Jennifer, Susannah and Melissa, as well as his wife Patricia Ann.

William and Patricia were just shy of celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary before his passing, and during a joint television appearance with her famous daughter, she shared some wisdom about recently becoming a widow.

Speaking with Hoda Kotb on the Today Show Monday, June 24, Mrs. Garner shared: "I pretty much decided before [his death] that I would be alright," adding: "I was so worried about being a widow, and then one day I had an epiphany, 'You will be alright.' And I really have been alright."

Still, she did add: "I miss him and I so wanted to tell him I was going to be on the Today Show," as Jennifer noted: "He would be thrilled. He loved how much people love you."

Jennifer and her mom, both avid bakers, were on the Today Show for a cooking segment. The Garner family matriarch is a favorite among her daughter's fans, and frequently makes heartwarming appearances on her social media.

Jennifer Garner and Patricia Ann Garner are seen on June 24, 2024 in New York City© Getty
Jennifer and her mom headed to the Today Show

Further gushing about her mom and dad, Jennifer said: "How lucky to grow up with parents like mine. I'm always aware of it. My sisters and I are."

MORE: Jennifer Garner reveals 'safe space' for her and Ben Affleck's three children

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Jennifer — herself a mom to three kids, Violet, 18, Fin, 15 and Samuel, 12, who she shares with ex-husband Ben Affleck — announced her father's death with an emotional tribute on Instagram on April 1.

Jennifer Garner with her father William John Garner© Instagram
The actress' dad worked as a chemical engineer

"My dad passed peacefully Saturday afternoon," she said, before joking: "We were with him, singing Amazing Grace as he left us (did we carry him across or scare him away — valid question.)"

MORE: Jennifer Garner showcases sweet bond with ex mother-in-law in latest heartfelt reunion with Ben Affleck

Jennifer Garner's parents Patricia and William were celebrating their anniversary© Instagram
Patricia and William were married for 59 years

She continued: "While there is no tragedy in the death of an 85 year old man who lived a healthy, wonderful life, I know grief is unavoidable, waiting around unexpected corners," adding: "Today is for gratitude."

MORE: Jennifer Garner's adorable dog Birdie completes viral challenge: watch the sweet moment

Jennifer Garner poses with members of her family at her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, August 20, 2018 in Hollywood, California.  From left are parents Patricia Ann Garner and William John Garner, her children Violet Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth© Getty
The Garner family in 2018

"We are grateful for Dad's gentle demeanor and quiet strength. For how he teased with a mischievous smile, and for the way he invented the role of all in, ever patient girl dad. We are grateful for his work ethic, leadership and faith."

She concluded: "There is so much to say about my dad — my sisters and I will never be done talking about how wonderful he was, so bear with us — but for today I share these memories with my appreciation for the kind and brilliant man, father, and grandfather he was, as well as the loving legacy he left behind."

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