Vintage News

1/18/2017 - Jean Argetsinger, IMRRC Founder, Pillar of U.S. Road Racing, Dies Monday

Watkins Glen, NY -- Jean Argetsinger, the matriarch of early American road racing and a leader in the creation of the International Motor Racing Research Center, died Monday, Jan. 16.

Argetsinger was a true partner to her late husband, Cameron R. Argetsinger, who is credited with the re-birth of road racing in the United States after World War II. In establishing Watkins Glen as one of the most important racing venues in the world, Jean Argetsinger was at the forefront in hospitality, publicity and community involvement.

Jean was predeceased by Cameron in 2008. She died at her home in Burdett, N.Y. She was 97.

Calling hours will be Friday, Jan. 20, from 3-6 p.m. at Vedder & Scott Funeral Home, Montour Falls, N.Y. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary's of the Lake Catholic Church in Watkins Glen at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Argetsinger was a founder of the IMRRC, an archival and research library, dedicated to the preservation and sharing of the history of motorsports, all venues and all series worldwide. She served on the IMRRC Governing Council from its inception.

"Jean Argetsinger and I collaborated on so many motorsports and other community projects through the years," John Saunders, president of the International Speedway Corp., said Wednesday.

"Perhaps our most rewarding was the creation and development of a lasting legacy to recognize the 50th anniversary of racing at the Glen in 1998, the International Motor Racing Research Center. Nearly 20 years later, IMRRC excels as a global repository of motorsports history for generations to experience," Saunders said.

"It was Jean's vision, quiet determination and relentless pursuit that made it all a reality. While her spirit lives on, I truly will miss the First Lady of American road racing," he said.

The New York State Legislature named Argetsinger a Woman of Distinction in 1999, the first class of honorees. She was inducted into the Schuyler County Hall of Fame in 2007.

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