Video: A Solemn Don Garlits Remembers His Amazing Wife Pat

Video: A Solemn Don Garlits Remembers His Amazing Wife Pat

One of the moments that will be forever locked into my mind from the 2014 NHRA Gatornationals was when the blow video, which was also part of the ESPN telecast of the race was played during pre-race activities with Don Garlits on stage to see it. It was a moment that drew genuine emotion from everyone who was there to witness it because it was honest and real and it was honoring one of the greatest women who ever had anything to do with the sport of drag racing. I have long maintained the non-controversial view that Garlits is the best drag racer in history and won’t ever be moved from that perch but his wife Pat had as much to do with that as he did wheeling the car.

The video was made by the ESPN crew and Gary Gerould serves as the voice on the footage. All of that is pretty much not relevant because the true beauty in this piece comes in the form of the words Garlits uses to describe his wife of many decades along with her love and support. There is a reason that Don has kept a lower profile over the last couple of years than we have been used to seeing him have and that was because he was the chief caretaker for Pat who was progressively getting more ill and was unable to care for herself as Don knew she deserved. He put everything aside for her and he explains very clearly why he did that in this video. He is truly a good and honorable man. If Don Garlits were a landscaper, he’d have been the best landscaper that there was, same as for any occupation, it is just his nature. He turned all of that intensity and drive to Pat’s cause and we’re sure he feels as we do that it was the the most important thing he accomplished in his life. He gave her comfort and a familiar face until her last breath. The measure of a man is not how quickly he traverses a quarter mile but rather how he’s able to set aside his own ambitions and wants to serve a loved one in their time of need. The man is more a legend in our eyes now than he’s ever been.


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11 thoughts on “Video: A Solemn Don Garlits Remembers His Amazing Wife Pat

  1. Turbo Regal

    When I visited Big’s museum in Ocala last month, on a video screen in the corner, they were playing a memorial tribute video from Pat’s funeral and still had some of the flowers from the funeral a week prior. She was given credit for all of Big’s successes in life.

  2. 440 6Pac

    I had the privilege to met Don and Pat back when I just started going to the drag races. Both were very nice people.
    RIP Pat, your missed by more than just your family.

  3. Joe Pakiela

    I visited Don’s museum on a Sunday one week after Pat passed away. Don’t took us on a at our of his shop area in honor of Pat. He said that Pat was really suffering and it was “time for her to go”. The tour was amazing. May great stories and a few laughs. I will never forget that day. Thanks to Don and our prayers for Pat

  4. Nitromike

    I met Don and Pat years ago at the AHRA world finals in Spokane, great people. Such a long marriage is a rarity these days, especially in the racing world.

  5. Regal Spokane Valley 12

    Omfg, thanks very much for posting this! It’s going to be so helpful when I am thinking about going to Regal Spokane Valley 12 in Spokane! I am from Vancouver so I am not familiar with Spokane. Next time I see my family will be so much better! Very Marvelous!

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