Nazareth, PA — Dee Ann Andretti, who first met Mario Andretti as his English tutor, died Monday in Philadelphia at the age of 75.
Grandson Marco Andretti confirmed the news via Twitter on Tuesday.
A native of Allentown, PA, Dee Ann Hoch and Mario Andretti married in November 1961, not long after they met in a Nazareth school classroom, but before Mario’s racing career began its meteoric rise.
According to a 1994 interview with Allentown-based The Morning Call newspaper, she recalled that she liked Mario’s “impish quality,” and noted that he “definitely wasn’t shy.”
As her husband became one of the world’s most famous and successful race drivers and their family grew to include sons Michael and Jeff and daughter Barbie, it was Dee Ann who kept things running smoothly at home.
“I’ve tried to keep my family normal, to keep them from feeling different,” she said in the 1994 interview.
Also at that time, Barbie Andretti said, “Mom is totally untouched by notoriety and fame. Through the years, her only concern was wanting to be there for all of us. It takes a special woman to dedicate her life to helping others chase their dreams.”
Dee Ann Andretti’s obituary says that funeral services will take place Friday in Nazareth.
From Vintage Motorsport our sincere condolences go out to our friend Mario and the entire Andretti family.