Life in the Fast Lane—Jeanne Yeazell Fulfills Her NASCAR Dream

For as long as she can remember, Widows Home resident Jeanne Yeazell has loved NASCAR racing. She never misses a race on TV, and she cheers for Tony Stewart like she’s part of his pit crew. Despite her fervent devotion to the sport, there was something missing: Jeanne never attended a race in person. At least, that was the case before a Widows Home employee named Dan took it upon himself to arrange a special day that Jeanne will never forget.

Knowing that Jeanne was a big-time race fan thanks to numerous conversations (they were buddies who bonded via a common love of NASCAR), Dan contacted officials at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and asked if there was anything they could do to help turn Jeanne’s dream of attending a NASCAR race into a reality. According to Jeanne’s son, Donnie, Dan told the folks in Indianapolis the situation and requested a “special reservation” for an 87-year-old lady (Jeanne has since celebrated her 88th birthday). His special request paid off....and then some.

Dan took Jeanne to a Saturday afternoon race this past summer (just the two of them), and it was a true VIP experience all the way. The pair had front-row seats and was allowed to visit the pits to meet the drivers and members of their teams. An interview with Jeanne conducted before the race was even shown on the raceway Jumbotron! Jeanne says that the race was the “highlight of her life” and that her favorite part of the day was the race itself. “I loved the noise!” she said. Jeanne has lived at the Widows Home for about a year-and-a-half, but was a rehab patient here a few times before she moved in. Her room is home to our community cat, Willow, and Jeanne loves it when other animals pay us visits, too. Jeanne says that living with us is “the next best thing to being at home” and that she believes her room is the “best in the house.” Her contagious sense of humor and love of junk food (in moderation, of course) are both common knowledge around the Widows Home campus, and she is a regular fixture at community activities. Jeanne is very popular among her fellow residents and our staff.

Jeanne has lived in Dayton all her life, and was married for over 50 years “to the same guy”—a firefighter named Bill who passed away some years ago. “We loved to dance and play euchre together, and we had a great time raising three wonderful kids.” She worked as a secretary at Modern Engine Systems and says that to this day, they still look her up to ask questions. Aside from watching NASCAR races and participating in our community events, Jeanne enjoys visits from her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They drop by frequently to talk and spend time with her and regularly take her out to dinner and on other special trips.

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