"I will miss her tremendously. Love you mom," Jenner wrote.
Caitlyn Jenner's mother, Esther Jenner, died on April 20 at the age of 96. The 73-year-old Olympic gold medalist shared the tragic news of her passing on Instagram with a moving tribute to the late matriarch. "I am heartbroken to announce my mom passed away yesterday morning, peacefully," the reality star wrote alongside several photos of her mother over the years. "Losing a mother is unique in the sense that she is the only person that loved me my entire life." Esther's death came "a few weeks shy" of her 97th birthday but she lived a "full life." She concluded, "I will miss her tremendously. Love you mom."
Esther (née McGuire) has been married several times and had four children: Caitlyn, Pam, Lisa, and Burt, who died in a car accident in 1976. After the marriage with Caitlyn's father, William Jenner, ended she later went on to marry her third husband, Frank Avery.
As a mother, Esther has always been there for Caitlyn and has been a pillar of strength throughout her life. She also publically supported Caitlyn after she transitioned in 2015. "It takes so much courage to do what she's doing," Esther told PEOPLE in June 2016. "When I first saw [Caitlyn], all I wanted to do was give her a big hug," she added. For Esther what was most important was that her daughter be joyful and free to be who she is. "I love her," she added at the time. "And she's happy. That's all that matters."
Esther has appeared in several episodes of reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians as well as I Am Cait. The latter E! docu-series focussed on Caitlyn's journey as a transgender woman. "It seems as though when people start to have more understanding, the stigma of being different goes away," Esther said on one episode of the show per E! Online. "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?"
Back when Caitlyn was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPYs she paid tribute to her mother for being her biggest source of strength and inspiration. "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," she said at the time. "I'm realizing now, mom: I think I got all of those qualities from you."
Esther Jenner, the mother of 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' star Caitlyn Jenner, has passed away at 96.https://t.co/39Iz5Gvqcx— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) April 21, 2023
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez