A big wheel in the community passed away this month.
With the passing of Ida Doss “Pete” Compton of Hurt on September 13, the Altavista area lost a dedicated artist, businessperson and mother. Her son, former NASCAR driver Stacy Compton, said it was only discovered that his mother had tumors in multiple parts of her body less than a week before she died.
“I think everybody’s still in shock right now,” he said.
Less than two weeks ago on September 10, Ida Compton was on the phone with a friend planning what food she would bring to the upcoming summer festival at Avoca Museum, and had brought donuts to her physical therapist’s office that morning. Far from aberrations, Stacy Compton said that these types of kind deeds made up much of his mother’s life.
“That’s just kind of the person she was, she always, always put other people before her, and she was pretty amazing,” he said.
Ida Compton was born in 1941, the daughter of a Southern Baptist Minister. She attended school in Altavista. Stacy Compton said his mother always loved to paint.
“That was one of her passions when she was younger, even up until she got older,” he said. “She really taught Olivia, my oldest daughter, to do a lot of painting as well.”
Compton said it was common for friends to ask his mother to paint family members, or other works of art for them, which she would do for free.
“I don’t know if she ever charged for anything, for any of the paintings she did,” he said.
Compton said his parents met each other at a young age, and were married for over 60 years. During that time, Ida Compton spent a short time working for General Electric before she and her husband, Robert, ran multiple businesses. These included Compton’s Trailer Park, Compton’s Garage and Hurt Motor Sales. Stacy Compton’s father, who turned 88 this month, still runs Hurt Motor Sales.
“They were basically into a little bit of everything,” Compton said.
Compton said he knows it mustn’t have been easy for his parents to juggle multiple businesses and raise him and his brother.
“They did whatever they needed to do to provide for their family,” he said.
Compton said he and his mother were always close, and that she hardly missed any of his races from the time he was six years old up until his time in NASCAR. He said she became like the mom of NASCAR, bringing chicken salad and oatmeal cookies to NASCAR events for officials and other teams.
“She fed the entire NASCAR community,” Compton said. “All the officials, and other teams would come over. ‘Is Mama Pete here today, and did she make any oatmeal cookies?’ It was kind of a revolving door in our hauler.”
Compton said his mother was close with her granddaughters, often spending time with them when he had to travel for work, teaching them how to cook, giving them candy and many other things. She liked to take road trips with her sister, Marie. She also served on Avoca Museum’s Board of Directors, and was involved in the Ruritan Club.
Ida Compton’s cooking, painting and work ethic will surely stick in the minds of many who knew her, but perhaps Stacy Compton hit on the core of it all when he described his mother as “the most giving person I’ve ever met in my life.”