KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (AP) – Brenda Jackson, dam of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and longtime associate of JR Motorsports alongside her daughter Kelley Earnhardt Miller, died following a fight against cancer. She was 65 years old.
The team announced their death on Monday.
Jackson was the daughter of NASCAR's Robert Gee, who built cars for various racers, including the late Dale Earnhardt. She married Earnhardt in 1972, had two children, and Dale Jr. and Kelley stayed with her mother when the couple split up, and Earnhardt hunted a career in NASCAR.
Following a fire, the trio leaves the homeless, moving Jackson to Virginia and Dale Jr., and Kelley moves to live with her father. She married Norfolk fireman Willie Jackson in 1985 and returned to North Carolina to work with Kelley. Dale Jr. Jackson joined the racing team of her two children in 2004 as an accounting specialist. Dale Earnhardt was killed on the final lap of an accident in Daytona 500 in 2001.
Jackson was a staunch supporter of her son's decision to retire from full-time portraits over mergers, and she was a tireless supporter of the Dale Jr. Foundation and others charitable efforts.
She is survived by her husband, two children, a stepdaughter, six grandchildren and two brothers.