The matriarch of the famed Andretti family, Dee Ann Andretti, wife of Mario Andretti and mother of Michael, Jeff and Barbie and grandmother of seven, including third-generation IndyCar driver Marco Andretti, died on Tuesday at the age of 76.
According to NBCSN’s Robin Miller, Dee Ann suffered a massive heart attack a few weeks ago, had been in intensive care ever since and never regained consciousness.
UPDATE: Mario Andretti tweeted out a touching message about his sweet Dee Ann on Saturday morning.
Miller said the former Dee Ann Hoch first met Mario, an Italian immigrant, while tutoring him in English in 1961 and they were married just a few months later. There’s was a love affair that would have marked 57 years of marriage this November.
Marco Andretti confirmed his grandmother’s passing on Twitter and Instagram:
Andretti Autosport, majority owned by son Michael Andretti, also took to Twitter to issue the following statement:
Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, parent company of INDYCAR, issued the following statement on Dee Ann Andretti’s passing:
“Everyone at Hulman & Company sends our condolences to the Andretti family on the passing of Dee Ann Andretti. She was the matriarch of one of the most prominent families in motorsports history.
“It was with Dee Ann’s love and support that her husband, children and grandchildren have thrived in racing for more than five decades, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and around the globe.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mario, their children Michael, Jeff and Barbie, and the rest of the Andretti family.”
Funeral arrangements for Mrs. Andretti are pending.
Here are some additional tributes to Mrs. Andretti via social media: