Robin Roberts (left), with her mother, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts
John Fitzhugh/Sun Herald/AP
08/31/2012 at 11:05 AM EDT
A chief reason for Robin Roberts's early departure from Good Morning America
on Thursday was the serious condition of her mother, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts.
Sad to report, the 88-year-old died Thursday, GMA
co-anchor George Stephanopoulos announced on Friday's program.
"Robin did make it [home to Mississippi], to say goodbye," he said.
In a note about "Robin's beautiful and inspiring mother" that was distributed to ABC staff members Thursday night, Tom Cibrowski, senior executive producer of Good Morning America
, wrote, "Robin arrived home with her sister Sally Ann forging through flooded and blocked roads to be with her beloved Mother in time to see her."
The message also stated: "It has always been clear where Robin got her strength, faith and spirit. You didn't need to look far."
Lucimarian, according to the note, "was the first African American to head Mississippi's Board of Education. She loved the written word and the poetry and joy of song. She even recorded a CD of hymns for her family as a gift last year."
Cibrowski also asked that Robin, her mother and the entire family be kept "in our prayers and thoughts."
Reporting by SHARON COTLIAR