Cameron Reynolds Argetsinger, 87, Watkins Glen race founder and lawyer died peacefully, April 22, 2008, at home. He leaves his beloved wife of 67 years, Jean, their nine children, fifteen grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. He lived in the farmhouse near Burdett where his father was born in 1883, overlooking the family vineyard and Seneca Lake. The only child of Attorney J. Cameron and Louise Williams Argetsinger, he was born March 1, 1921 in Youngstown, Ohio, and spent his childhood summers with his grandparents in Schuyler County. During World War II, he served as a lieutenant in the Army.
Inspired by his love of fast automobiles and the area’s natural beauty, in 1948 he conceived, organized, and drove in the races through the streets in what would become the world-famous Watkins Glen Grand Prix. He brought full international races here in 1958 and inaugurated the U.S. Grand Prix for Formula 1, which had a successful 20-year run on the Watkins Glen Circuit. He was subsequently the executive director of the Sports Car Club of America in the 1970s. A graduate of Cornell Law School, he practiced law in Schuyler County for 48 years, serving for a time as president of the bar association. Retiring from the law in 2002, he became president of the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen until retiring for health reasons last year. He was a visionary who made things happen. Despite his many professional successes, honors and recognitions, he always considered his family his greatest accomplishment. He remained close to his children, was proud of the achievements of his grandchildren, and took great delight in his great-grandchildren.
In addition to the grand- and great-grandchildren, he is survived by his wife Jean, his children J.C. and Joan of Montour Falls, Louise and Tom Kanaley of Rochester, Michael and Lee of Chicago, Marya Smith of Elizabeth, Ill., Margretta (Getchie) of New York City, Peter and Sjoukje of Sebring, FL and Watkins Glen, Rob and Elizabeth of Sunset Beach, CA, Sam and Joan of Burdett, Philip (Duke) of Phoenix, AZ, and Susann Gary Argetsinger of Burdett, and also by his brother-in-law Robert and Kay Sause of Poland, OH and sister-in-law Louise M. Sause of East Lansing, MI, and cousins Phil and Judy Smith of Montour Falls, Mary Jane Williams of Horseheads, L. William Argetsinger III of Brackney, PA, and Conrad Argetsinger of Bay Harbor Islands, FL.
A funeral mass will be held on Sunday, April 27, 2:00 PM at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, Decatur Street, Watkins Glen; the family will meet with friends thereafter at the Racing Research Center, 610 S. Decatur Street. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Racing Center. Arrangements by Vedder and Scott Funeral Home, Montour Falls, NY.