Brenda Jackson, mother of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller, died at age 65 after a battle with cancer, JR Motorsports announced Monday afternoon.
Jackson was a longtime employee of JR Motorsports, joining her son’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race team as an accounting specialist in 2004. Her sarcastic sense of humor injected a brand of humor at JR Motorsports that became part of the company’s fabric as it grew into a full-time NASCAR racing operation in 2006 and a championship-winning organization in 2014, according to the team.
Along with a 15-year career with JRM, Jackson also was one of four children to legendary NASCAR fabricator Robert Gee, who built cars for a number of high-tier drivers, including Dale Earnhardt.
Miss Brenda, we thank you for the all memories and the laughter. The office won’t be the same without you. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/CtPxq6VNWH
– JR Motorsports (@JRMotorsports) April 22, 2019
Brenda Gee and Dale Earnhardt married in 1972, having two children over the span of their marriage. After the couple separated, their two children stayed with their mother while Earnhardt continued to get his racing career off the ground.
After a house fire that left Brenda, Kelley and Dale Jr. homeless, Brenda moved back to Virginia. She re-married in 1985 to Willie Jackson, a firefighter in Norfolk. After Willie’s retirement, the couple moved back to North Carolina with stepdaughter Meredith to work with Kelley and Dale at JRM.
“I’m a very, very lucky woman, as I get to interact with my kids almost every day,” Jackson said last year according to JRM’s official announcement of her passing. “I’ve got two bright, beautiful kids that I am very proud of. Kelley’s standards are very high. She conducts herself that way and she expects that of everyone else. Dale Jr. just gets bigger and bigger. I am very proud of his accomplishments, but as a mother I am proudest of the way he handles himself with honesty and the way he cares about his family and his friends.”
Jackson was preceded in death by her parents, Hazel May Overton Clark and Robert Edward Gee, and her sister Sandra Gee.
She is survived by her husband of 33 years, William M. Jackson Jr.; children Dale Earnhardt Jr. (wife Amy), Kelley Earnhardt Miller (husband L.W.), stepdaughter Meredith Davis (husband Jonathan); grandchildren Karsyn Elledge (18), Kennedy Elledge (13), Wyatt Miller (7), Callahan Davis (16), Claudia Davis (13) and Isla Rose Earnhardt (11 months); her brothers Robert Gee (wife Beverly) and Jimmy Gee; and her Pekingese dog, Scully.
I?m glad her suffering has ended and she can be at peace. She would be in tears of happiness over the words of support and remembrance she?s been shown today. Our family appreciates it as well. She will live in our hearts forever. https://t.co/ioFclazYhI
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) April 23, 2019
My mom, my biggest advocate and my friend…at peace that she?s at peace. No more suffering & no more pain…made new in the arms of Jesus, reunited w/ones she loves & as a believer I?ll be reunited w/ her one day. Thank you to all that are offering your prayers, hugs & support. https://t.co/DTUiC4my8R
— Kelley Earnhardt (@EarnhardtKelley) April 22, 2019
My heart is so broken. But at the same time I am so glad you aren?t suffering anymore Mimi. Always your boo?? https://t.co/eunk6sPjMB
— Karsyn Elledge (@KarsynElledge3) April 22, 2019