LONG POND, Pa. — The co-founder of Pocono Raceway and a community leader for many years has passed away.
Dr. Rose Mattioli died Monday at her home at the age of 92.
Dr. Rose and her late husband, Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Mattioli, co-founded Pocono Raceway in 1968, after moving to the Poconos from the Philadelphia area.
The Poconos-Mattioli love story began when two doctors from the Philadelphia area decided they wanted a new challenge. In 1968 Dr. Rose Mattioli and her husband Joseph, better known as "Doc", set out to fulfill their dream of opening a racetrack.
When Pocono Raceway finally opened in 1971, racing wasn't what it's like today.
"It was pretty meager, but we didn't know it was meager. We went right on and enjoyed it, and we were determined to make it be our pride and joy. You know, when you have determination and desire, anything can happen," said Dr. Rose Mattioli in 2011.
Rose Mattioli blazed a trail for women to be accepted in the garage and in the sport. She was quoted saying that she loved racing, maybe more than Doc did. The podiatrist, wife, and mother of three children made everyone who came to the track feel like family.
Doc and Rose gave back to the community, funding scholarships and donating to charitable organizations, sometimes anonymously.
In 2011, Doc retired as CEO of Pocono Raceway and passed the torch to his grandchildren to operate the family business.
Doc died the following year, but Rose continued to be the face of Pocono Raceway and stayed involved behind the scenes.
"I depended on him for a lot of things. He was an exceptionally wonderful man," Rose said of Doc in 2012.
In her home near the track, rose experienced Pocono Raceway make history this past Sunday as the first track to host three major race series in one day. She passed away the next day, surrounded by her family, her crew.
The Mattioli and Igdalsky families said in a statement:
"Her passing has motivated us to remain steadfast, now more than ever, to never waiver from Rose and Doc's commitment of always doing right by our Pocono Raceway family, our fans, our local community, and the auto racing industry."
Funeral services will be held privately.
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