"GRAND LADY OF THE GLEN AND MOTORSPORTS RACING HERITAGE PASSES"
On Monday, January 16th, 2017 the automotive racing heritage industry lost a fine and irreplaceable founding member, benefactor and tireless supporter in Jean S. Argetsinger.
Jean and her husband Cameron were the leading advocates for the building of a dedicated motor racing facility in Watkins Glen, New York. Cameron a frequent sports car racer of Watkins Glen open road course run on the local streets recognized the need for a professional facility. In 1953, he became the executive director of the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Corporation. The corporation was conceived to put Cameron's vision into action, make it concrete and a monument to sports car racing in America.
Watkins Glen, NY is an ultra picturesque little village with its glen falls carved by Ice Age glaciers thousands of years ago, it is nestled in the Fingers Lake region of upper State New York.
By the late 1940s into the early 1960s "The Glen" as it it is still affectionately known became home to Formula Libre and U. S. Formula One series races readily attracting the greats of the period.
Despite Formula One speed and safety issues the facility had been able updated to satisfy IndyCar, NASCAR and SCCA racing requirements and is able to hold sanctioned events each year.
Jean was a founder of the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) in Watkins Glen The IMRRC is a terrific facility that houses volumes upon volumes of historic racing documents and archives. In June of 1999 the IMRRC opened its doors and has been a platform for the very best and biggest names in the history of motorsports racing. Names like Richard Petty, Mario Andretti, Sir Sterling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Scott Pruett, Rusty Wallace, Bobby Rahal, Lynn St. James and Roger Penske to name a few have graced its hallowed halls and/or received awards from the organization.
Ever so sadly on Monday, January 16, 2017 we learned that Jean had passed away at her home. Havingspoken at the second annual Jean S. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History in November at the IMRRC named for her, MotometerCentral founder Francis G. Clax was deeply honored to have spoken at her Symposium and truly saddened to hear of her all too soon passing.
Mrs. Argetsinger was 97 years old at the time of her passing. She was and will remain an icon among women and racing, even though she was more of a supporter than a stereotypical driver or mechanic. Mrs. Argetsinger was a distinguished racing and social benefactor, founding the League of Women Voters of Schuyler County and the Burdett Players theatrical Group, a long-term member of the Watkins Glen Central School District Board, she also served as president of the Watkins Glen Public Library and spent 24 years on its board.
Jean was an initial inductee to the New York State Legislative Woman of Distinction (1999) honoree class and a (2007) inductee of the Schuyler County Hall of Fame.
Jean and Cameron are survived by Jean's sister, six children, fifteen grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren.
A wonderful link to the IMRRC story on Jean can be accessed via the following link (shown here with Sir Jackie Stewart):
Click on the below video still image to see a marvelous video on early racing at The
Glen prepared by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRRC):
Jean and Cameron Argetsinger
We miss you both and thank you for your many contributions!