Racing matters very deeply to a lot of race fans and racing families. We got another very poignant reminder of that over the weekend when a woman named Mary Pabst died Monday night.

Mary served as a lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps and spent her professional life in the nursing profession in the Chicago area. She was also a huge Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan and attended NASCAR races as far away as Darlington, Charlotte and Martinsville.

I only met her in person a couple of times, but she was smart, kind, had a great sense of humor and knew a lot about NASCAR.

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On Twitter, Mary went by the handle @Oldjrfan, and she loved going to Tweetups at racetracks and meeting up with fellow race fans.

Sunday night, when Mary was dying, her sister Jo Koster was with her. Jo is also a big NASCAR fan and knew how much her sister loved watching Earnhardt race.

So on her deathbed, Jo leaned over and told her sister a white lie, one told with love.

"I told her Junior came from 2 laps down to win the race and she smiled," Jo said.

As final gifts go, that's not a bad one.