Don Garlits confirmed today in a mass email his wife of 61 years has passed away.

Pat Garlits passed away on Sunday at 5:54 PM, EST, after an extended illness.

"She has been suffering a lot these last few… days and it was a Blessing to see God take her into His care. I will miss her very badly, but will be with her sooner than I realize, as time is very different here that over there," Garlits wrote.

"She passed at home with her two Daughters at her side and me holding her hand and a little Yorkie dog on each side of her. She went without making a sound and this house is going to be very quiet for a while. I had “Glenn Miller” playing in the background, as that was her favorite “Big Band." extends our prayers and deepest condolences to the Garlits family during this tough time.