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Kathie Lee Gifford returns to ‘Today,’ shares memories of Frank

While some may think Kathie Lee Gifford returned to her job on “Today” too soon after the death of her husband Frank Gifford last week, the TV personality used the opportunity to thank fans for the outpouring of sympathy she and her family have received.

The sports legend died last Sunday, just shy of his 85th birthday. Kathie Lee Gifford herself turned 62 this past Sunday (Aug. 16) — a birthday she shared with her late husband.

As Gifford kicked off the fourth hour of “Today” Monday, she co-host thanked Hoda Kotb for carrying on without her last week. Then, after noting how colleague Jenna Bush Hager just welcomed a daughter, Gifford said, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. … I want to thank everybody for your love and your texts and your tweets, and just the outpouring has been extraordinary. It’s a heck of a way to find out how loved you are. Believe me, my family and I got strength and comfort for it.”

Gifford went on to say her husband “would’ve loved” the tributes and added, “I just want everyone to know this was a man at complete peace in his life. He might’ve been the happiest, most content man at this point in his life. Honestly, he’s the most grateful human being I’ve ever, ever known. And that colored everything he did.”

In perhaps an offhand reference to Frank Gifford’s well-publicized marital infidelities, Kathie Lee said, “He died in complete peace. He knew every sin he ever committed had been forgiven. He had hope that he’d be with the Lord and we would be with him as well.”