HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicLoretta Lynn’s Estate Shares Heartbreaking Birthday Message for Her Late First Son, Jack Benny

Loretta Lynn’s Estate Shares Heartbreaking Birthday Message for Her Late First Son, Jack Benny

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

Loretta Lynn always remembered Dec. 7 as a special day in her life. That’s the date in 1949 that she gave birth to her oldest boy, Jack Benny.

But on Wednesday, it was the Loretta Lynn estate who posted the Jack Benny memory, acknowledging what would have been his 73rd birthday. The estate shared a photo of Jack. He’s handsome and wearing his military uniform. You know the photo made his mother so proud.

The estate wrote: “On this day in 1949, Loretta welcomed her first son, Jack Benny. This is the first birthday she’s spent with him since 1984. We miss them both.”

Loretta Lynn Was Mother of Six — Four Still Are Living

As Loretta Lynn fans are well aware, she died on Oct. 4 at age 90. Lynn was the mother of six, but two of her children suffered early deaths. Jack’s tragic passing devastated his mother.

Loretta was a young mother when she started her country music career. After marrying her husband, Doolittle, when she was 15, Lynn gave birth to four children by age 20. Her firstborn was Betty Sue. Lynn was only 16 when she became a first-time mom. Then Jack came along a year later. And yes, Doolittle and Loretta named their firstborn son after the comedian.

Jack looked exactly like his dad. And he also chose not to go into the music business like his older sister, who was a prolific songwriter. He worked as a blacksmith on the family ranch as he tended to the horses. Jack married Barbara and the couple had one child. He also had two kids from a previous relationship.

But in July 1984, Jack drowned. He was riding a horse as he tried to cross the Duck River. Rescuers eventually found his body. Loretta Lynn was out on tour and away from the family. She’d been hospitalized with exhaustion. And Doolittle traveled to the hospital in Illinois to tell her the heart-breaking news in person about their son.

Loretta Lynn, with her husband’s help, leaves the funeral of her son, Jack, back in July, 1984. (Getty Images)

Lynn Called Jack ‘Spitting Image of His Daddy’

On the anniversary of his death earlier this year, Loretta Lynn posted a gallery of photos to honor his memory. Back in 2021, she told his story with a longer comment, writing to “my Jack”:

“Today in 1984 my life changed forever. You are never the same after you bury one of your children-never. I’ve thought of him and missed him every day for 37 years. He was a spitting image of his daddy. He was my blond headed, blue-eyed baby. Just what I asked for.

“He was quiet and tender. I adored him with all my heart. He and Betty Sue got into everything when they were little and I was a new momma. They kept me on my toes and I’d do it all again if I could. They’re together now. Jack, I love you, honey. You still bring a smile to me every time I think of you.”

Sadly, Loretta Lynn buried another child. Betty Sue passed away in 2013 of complications from emphysema. She was only 64. Loretta often would say she and Betty Sue raised each other. And now, they’re all together again.

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