Lynda Petty's hometown influence remembered by her friends - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Lynda Petty's hometown influence remembered by her friends

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Courtesy: Richard Petty Museum Courtesy: Richard Petty Museum
SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) -

A day after she passed away at the age of 72, friends are remembering Lynda Petty.  While the world knew her as the wife of Richard Petty, her own influence in the couple's hometown is significant. 

Level Cross sits under a Petty blue sky, and influence of the royal family racing is widely felt here. The chief of the Level Cross Volunteer Fire Department at fire station 43, put a rose and tee shirt saying "We Will Miss You Lynda" on the fence at the place where the Petty race cars used to be built.

"It's going to be a big impact, because she was really known in the community." Chief Steven Russell told WBTV.  
"It's just a big impact to the community, I mean they've been here for years, they've growed up here and everything is just around the 43 and she was a big impact on the race team and the Hall of Fame."

She was best known for being the wife of Richard Petty, but also for much more. 

In the Petty Museum we were shown some rare pictures, including one that recreated the couple's look from 1959, when they eloped, and they kept their marriage a secret.

There's also a life size model of Lynda's alter ego from the move Cars.  It was based on the station wagon she used to drive to the races, with four kids and a lot of food.

"Lynda was a person that if you ever met her, she would leave the impression that she was always a positive person, always doing something for somebody," Jerry Kivett told WBTV.

And in this small community there are stories about Lynda Petty.  Her involvement in education made the front page of the local paper, but away from the headlines, there were acts of kindness. 

Just visit Kivett's grocery store, gas station, and mechanic shop.  Longtime friend Jerry Kivett says despite being the wife of the most famous race car driver in the country, Lynda Petty was always humble, and always helping.

"Christmastime she would come down to our store here and say here's the names of people that I know that have needs in the community, and here's the amount of money that they can come and buy groceries in the store, then she would notify them," Kivett added, saying that Lynda Petty would later come in and pay all of the bills.

The Petty's are not planning a public funeral service, but rather a private service for family and friends. Lynda Petty was 72.

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