Obituary

Dr. Joseph Mattioli

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January 26, 2012

Dr. Joseph Mattioli, Pocono Raceway Founder and Chairman of the Board, passed away Thursday, January 26, at the Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, surrounded by his loving family, following a lengthy illness. He was 86. Dr. Mattioli was the loving and devoted husband of Dr. Rose C. (Nocito) Mattioli. They celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on August 5. He was born in Old Forge, on April 14, 1925 and the son of the late Joseph R. and Mary E. (Marzzacco) Mattioli-Nolf. He was a member of St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church in Lake Harmony, Pa. "Doc," as he was known to friends and associates, was one of the most respected and admired men in automobile racing. He founded Pocono Raceway in the early 1960s and has been at the helm of Pocono ever since. Under his leadership, the track grew in stature and has hosted 68 very successful NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Events. His passion and drive helped Pocono Raceway succeed when other tracks fell by the wayside. Pocono Raceway is the one of the last remaining family owned and run tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. He was always concerned that race fans and race car drivers and their families were treated with the upmost respect and constantly upgraded procedures and Raceway facilities to meet that goal. He kept his fingers on the pulse of stock car racing and read everything printed concerning the sport. He was in the office daily, until last fall, and oversaw all aspects of the Pocono Raceway operations. Doc always had an eye towards the future. In August 2011, he turned over the reins of the Raceway to his grandchildren to carry on his legacy. At age 83, Dr. Mattioli spearheaded an ambitious solar energy project. He built a three megawatt photovoltaic solar energy system on 25 acres at Pocono Raceway. It is the world's largest solar-powered sports facility, making Pocono Raceway a leader in the renewable energy and environmental fields. Dr. Mattioli was also well-respected in the community. In 2009, he received the Philanthropic Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for his generous and continuous contributions to local civic organizations, hospitals, schools and charities. He served on the board of directors of numerous organizations and was dedicated to improving the quality of life in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He served our country with dedication and courage in the Pacific during World War II as a Navy medic. Using the G.I. bill, he enrolled in the dentistry program at Temple University (where he met his soon to be wife, Rose.) Upon graduation, he developed his dental practice into a very lucrative business by working 12 to 14 hour days, six and sometimes seven days a week. He then began investing in and developing properties in Philadelphia and Northeastern Pennsylvania, where he became involved in the startup of Pocono Raceway. His passing leaves a void in the NASCAR community and especially to his family and extended "Pocono Raceway" family. We have been blessed with the presence of "Doc" in our lives, and he will be deeply missed by his loving and devoted wife, Dr. Rose. He was the loving father of Looie McNally of Long Pond, Pa.; Joseph Mattioli III and his wife, Lovena, of Long Pond, Pa. and Michele Mattioli-Kulick of Bear Creek Township. He was a loving and gentle grandfather to his seven grandchildren, Brandon Igdalsky and his wife, Suzanne, of Long Pond, Pa.; Nicholas Igdalsky and his wife, Brandy, of Stroudsburg, Pa.; Ashley Igdalsky; Joseph Mattioli IV; Chase Mattioli, all of Long Pond, Pa.; Michael Kulick and Elizabeth Kulick, both of Bear Creek Township; his great-grandchildren, Madison, Mackenzie and Payton Igdalsky. He is also survived by a half-brother, John Mattioli of Old Forge. Viewings will be held at the Pocono Community Church, 2770 Memorial Blvd.,Tobyhanna, Pa. 18644 on Sunday, January 29, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Additional viewing will be held on Monday, January 30, 2012, from 10 a.m. to noon. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin 1:30 p.m. on Monday, January 30, at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church in Lake Harmony, Pa. A private entombment will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The NASCAR Foundation, Attention: Dr. Joseph Mattioli Memorial Fund, 550 South Caldwell Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. www.nascar.com/foundation The Donald N. Gower Funeral Home Inc., Route 209, Gilbert, Pa., is in charge of arrangements. www.gowerfuneralhome.com
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Published in Times Leader on Jan. 28, 2012
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