Martha Earnhardt, matriarch of one of the most famous families in stock car racing, has passed away. Her grandchildren, Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Dale Earnhardt Jr., confirmed in a statement that she died on the evening of December 25. She was 91 years old.
As we mourn her loss and begin to imagine life without our beloved ‘Mamaw’, we find solace in knowing that she is at peace in eternal glory and in a happy reunion with her husband Ralph and her sons. Dale, Randy and Danny, âthe statement read. .
Martha Earnhardt was married to famous track racer Ralph Earnhardt from 1947 until his death in 1973. She was the mother of Dale Sr., Danny Sr., Randy, Cathy and Kaye. His son, the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., was a seven-time NASCAR champion and the father of team co-owners Xfinity Earnhardt Miller and Earnhardt Jr.
âDad could be intimidating in a fatherly way and it’s very difficult as a kid,â Earnhardt Jr. said in an episode of his podcast, The Dale Jr. Download, which starred Martha Earnhardt as ‘guest. âHe would beat and hit the guys on the track, but then they would go their way and he would go his way, and they didn’t see each other for a week. “
âI had that everyday,â Earnhardt Jr. continued. âBut when Mamaw (Martha) was around, or when we were at her house or if she was at our house, she softened it. You knew ‘The Intimidator’ wasn’t going to come out. She was kind of a leader.
Martha Earnhardt raised her family in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Her youngest son, Danny Earnhardt Sr., passed away two weeks ago on December 10.
âPlease keep our family in your thoughts and prayers,â the statement from the Earnhardt family reads. âAnd thank you so much for loving our Mamaw as if she was your own. She was not only the matriarch of our family, but she was the matriarch of generations of racing fans.
Martha Earnhardt worked alongside her husband to help him build his career in short track and NASCAR, and passed on her love of racing to her children and grandchildren. She was originally from Kannapolis and was so involved in her community that she was named Grand Marshal of the city’s annual Christmas Parade in 2017, in which “thousands of people showed up to honor her,” according to the Mayor of Kannapolis, Darrell Hinnant.
“If you passed by her house you were always greeted as if you were one of her family members she loved so much,” Hinnant said in a statement. “She would give you updates on all of her children and their families and would like to make sure everything was going well with you.”
Arrangements for funeral services have not been released.
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