When Loretta Lynn was still a teenager, she was married, and soon after, she found out she was expecting her first child. She gave birth to a daughter even though she was aware that her husband preferred a boy and they had previously decided on a name.
The couple welcomed their son, Jack Benny, a few years later. She felt alarmed when her kid developed a liking for horseback riding as he grew up because she perceived it as a warning.
Loretta Lynn lost her son on the same day; she experienced a seizure about the time he passed away. Here is a look at Loretta Lynn’s life, her relationships with her other children and her son, and how she overcame his death.
When Loretta married Oliver Vanetta Lynn, a 21-year-old man with the nicknames “Mooney” and “Doolittle,” she was still a teenager. Despite being married young, their union ended up being the most important one in her life.
After four months of marriage, Loretta, then 14 years old, became pregnant. She was aware that her husband preferred a boy for this child, and they had previously decided on the name Jack.
But things turned out differently. Even though Loretta went into labor at 11:30 p.m., it took her an hour to get to the hospital. She spent 27 hours in labor because the baby was not ready to be delivered when she arrived.
She eventually experienced feeling like she was going down a well as they put her under anesthesia placing a mask over her head. When she first heard the baby sobbing, she was unaware of what had transpired.
Loretta believed she would pass away when she started delivering. She needed time to stretch because she was too frail to give birth to a kid who was nine months along. She was also informed by the hospital that she was fortunate because her baby stayed for up to nine months.
Loretta was dubious of the gender of her child even when she heard him or her crying. Under the influence of the anaesthetic, Loretta informed the nurse that she was expecting a boy, but the nurse corrected her and told her she was actually expecting a girl.
She broke down in tears when she realized the nurse knew better. Although her husband seemed to be happy that it was a daughter, Loretta knew he wasn’t. Daughter Betty Sue, who was their first child and weighed five pounds and 16 inches, was born in this way.
They kept their daughter in the hospital for a week despite the fact that she was the shortest infant the hospital had ever seen. Loretta gave birth to her second child a year later.
Loretta gave birth to her son Jack Benny on December 7, 1949. In spite of the fact that the same-named comedian was Loretta’s favorite, the couple chose that name for their son because they both loved it.
Only five hours after giving birth to Jack, Loretta returned home because her family’s financial situation prevented them from paying for her to spend the night at the hospital.
In addition to not wanting others to know his middle name, Jack disliked being referred to by it. However, Loretta called him both names to make him angry.
The Green brothers, with whom Loretta shared a home, volunteered to adopt Jack when he was just five years old. Since her family wasn’t financially secure at the time, she was aware that they could give her son a better life. But, she added:
“However, they were unable to love Jack as much as they did, and nothing then or today could force me to give up one of my kids for good. God alone could.”
Jack was not gifted in composition or singing. He had a strong affinity for horseback riding, though. He spent most of his life competing in rodeos because he loved it.
He initially tried to become a jockey, competed in races in Tennessee, and after growing too large, switched to rodeo riding. Jack rode bulls, broncos, and other animals, but Loretta was never content since she was afraid of them. She stated:
Perhaps I had been warned about Jack and horses because, in the end, my concerns were justified.
Loretta was on a concert tour in 1984, and after her final performance, she was worn out. After Loretta went to sleep, her roommate and office manager Lorene Allen realized something was different with her breathing.
She was taken to the hospital in a hurry after Allen phoned the driver. Loretta had three breathing stops while at the hospital, which was fortunate because a seizure specialist was around at the time.
Allen contacted Loretta’s husband, Doolittle, and informed him that he was afraid to accompany them to the hospital right away because Jack had not returned from his horseback excursion.
Jack was lost for three days before Doolittle, workers, searchers, and their other kids managed to locate him—and by that time, he had drowned.
Doolittle gave Allen a call back with the breaking news and let her know when Jack passed away. When Allen found out the time, he was astounded, and Loretta said:
“The moment Jack passed away was also the moment I had my seizure. I’m positive they were connected. I had a feeling he had left.”
Doolittle requested that Allen not tell Loretta since he would do it personally and in person. Having no idea that her tour was done and she was ill, Loretta was perplexed when Allen told her that her husband was on the way.
Loretta did not really get what had happened when she saw her husband in the hospital until he said:
“We have lost our boy.”
She became upset because she couldn’t believe it. She demanded that her husband tell her all the specifics of their son’s passing when she had calmed down.
Loretta found it hard to understand that her talented rider son, who regularly won races, could lose control of a horse. The hospital had scheduled a flight for them, despite her request for the driver to take them home so she could see her kid.
“Every day, I still miss Jack.”
They took a flight to Nashville with the doctor, but they forbade her from going home or seeing Jack’s body. She was permitted to attend the funeral, nevertheless, as long as she would go back to the hospital after the service.
Loretta made the decision to attend the burial, but because she was in mourning, she was unable to recall anything about it, not even the location of the event. She uttered:
I was “out of it” merely because I was mourning so intensely that I was oblivious to everything going on around me.
She later just recalled the clothing she was wearing. According to Loretta, she was suited up in a light blue outfit that she mistakenly believed was white.
She wondered why someone would dress her up in white for a funeral as she considered the hue of the clothing. Even though Jack was 33 years old, Loretta was aware that burying a child was against nature. She stated:
“Jack is still in God’s care, so even though I mourn him every day, I don’t worry about him.”
There were six kids altogether for Loretta. Betty Sue, her firstborn, grew up to be Loretta’s right-hand lady and collaborated with her on a number of successful compositions. Betty has two children and became a grandmother to five.
Sadly, Betty, who was credited for “Wine, Women and Song,” “The Home You’re Tearin’ Down,” and “Before I’m Over You,” passed away at the age of 64 in July 2013 due to emphysema problems.
Clara “Cissie” Marie, Loretta’s third child, was born on April 7, 1952. Additionally, she frequently collaborates with her mother, and in 2011, Loretta worked with Cissie and her husband John Beams to produce two CDs.
Ernest Ray was conceived on May 27, 1954. The performer, who has spent most of his life away from the public eye, frequently opened for his mother. Additionally, the two have shared the stage numerous times.
On August 6, 1964, Loretta gave birth to her twins, Peggy and Patsy. The twins, who were also actresses, shared the stage with one another in the late 1990s.
They were nominated for the Vocal Duo of the Year at the 1998 and 1999 CMA Awards following the release of their biggest song, “Woman to Woman,” in 1997.