Legendary local philanthropist and Pocono Raceway co-founder Dr. Rose Mattioli peacefully passed away at her home, surrounded by her family, at the age of 92 on Monday, June 29, the raceway announced Tuesday.


Dr. Rose and her late husband Dr. Joseph "Doc" Mattioli co-founded the Pocono Raceway in 1968, maintaining The Tricky Triangle as a family-owned-and-operated business to this day. The pair were renowned as pillars of charity throughout Monroe County and beyond, having supported countless initiatives and organizations throughout the years.


Dr. Rose is survived by her daughters Looie and Michele, her son Joseph III, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. The Mattioli and Igdalsky families also wish to thank Jessica Rene, Dr. Rose’s loving caregiver, for all of the support and companionship she provided.


"Dr. Rose was the heart and soul of Pocono Raceway for over 50 years. She would often tell us, ‘I love Pocono and auto racing more than Doc,’ and we believed her," the Mattioli and Igdalsky families said in a statement. "While Doc moved the mountains, Rose moved your spirit. Dr. Rose’s contributions to motorsports and her philanthropic efforts will always live in a class of their own. She played a vital role in allowing women into auto racing garage areas during an era where they were otherwise unwelcome.


"Additionally, Dr. Rose and Doc gave back to the community, often anonymously and without hesitation. 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. While we will miss her, we take comfort in knowing Rose and Doc are reunited and that their legacy will live on forever."


NASCAR chairman and CEO Jim France, son of the sport’s founder Bill France Sr., and Lesa Kennedy, vice chair and France Sr.’s granddaughter, acknowledged the significance of Mattioli’s passing Tuesday afternoon.


"Our family and all of NASCAR is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Rose Mattioli," the family said in a statement. "For three generations, the relationship between our families has been more personal than professional. Rose and Doc created a unique racing experience at Pocono Raceway, bringing a passion for race fans and love of racing to everything they touched. On behalf of the France family and the entire motorsports industry, NASCAR extends our deepest condolences to the Mattioli family during this difficult time."


Rose Mattioli was born and raised in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. While attending Temple University in 1947, she met Doc, and the couple secretly eloped one year later. On Aug. 5, 1950, the Mattiolis "officially married" in a ceremony with family and friends.


In 1952, just a year after the birth of their first child, Looie, and while pregnant with their second child, Joseph III, Rose graduated first in her class from Temple’s School of Podiatric Medicine. In 1955, the Mattiolis welcomed their third child, Michele, and opened their first dental and podiatric practices in northeast Philadelphia.


In the mid-1960s, the Mattiolis took on a new business venture in Long Pond, where they developed a large acreage of land and helped to build Pocono Raceway. In 1971, the Mattiolis saw their vision come to fruition with the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle hosting its first major motorsports event.


Eventually, Dr. Rose and Doc made the Pocono Mountains their home. Though they knew nothing of auto racing and were facing multiple financial burdens, the Mattiolis’ perseverance and drive helped the raceway succeed and become one of the most picturesque and beloved venues in the sport, and beyond.


On top of helping to establish the Poconos as a hub for the world of auto racing, the Mattiolis also spared no expense when it came to giving back to their community. The Mattioli Foundation funds a variety of scholarships and charitable organizations, and the family name graces many buildings across the region. Often, these heartfelt contributions were made anonymously.


Contributions from the Mattiolis helped the Poconos to grow and flourish throughout the years, offering indispensable assistance to numerous much-needed initiatives.


In East Stroudsburg, the family helped create the Mattioli Emergency Wing at the Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Pocono campus, along with the Mattioli Trauma Center at the Cedar Crest campus. At East Stroudsburg University, they established the Mattioli Recreation Center and the Mattioli Recreation Center Scholarship. The family provided integral funding to the Downtown Stroudsburg renovation project, helping to preserve and rejuvenate the area they loved.


Rose and Doc supported a wealth of charities and organizations, including the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, United Way of Monroe County, Lehigh Valley Healthy Network, the Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, Jimmie Johnson Legacy Scholarship at Monroe Career & Technical Institute and The NASCAR Foundation.


In 2017, Pocono Raceway launched the Rose Pedals, a group that honored Dr. Rose’s dedication to community, philanthropy and service through volunteering efforts. The Rose Pedals have carried on the spirit of their namesake, providing assistance to Meals on Wheels, Women’s Resource Center, Family Promise of Monroe County and Operation Touch of Home among other agencies and organizations.


The Rose Pedals plan to keep that energy going with a mentoring program that aims to expand opportunities for girls and women in the community by offering tools to recognize their power, potential and accomplishments.


In 2009, the Mattiolis were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, highlighting their decades of giving in the Poconos. In 2012, the United Way of Monroe County presented the very first Dr. Joseph and Dr. Rose Mattioli Philanthropic Award to the Mattioli Foundation, with Dr. Rose accepting the tribute on behalf of the organization.


Services for Dr. Rose will be held privately, and the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any charity of the donors’ choosing.