Longtime Racing Photographer Mary Hodge Passes

Mary and Howie Hodge (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

Longtime short track racing photographer Mary Hodge passed away Wednesday after a brief illness. 

She was 79-years old. 

Hodge was the widow of legendary short track racing photographer Howie Hodge, who passed away in January 2017. 

Mary and Howie Hodge were fixtures in the short track racing community up and down the east coast – but mostly in New England – for decades. 

They began as racing fans before they were married in the early 1960’s, with Howie Hodge taking photographs from the grandstands at local venues. By 1969 Howie Hodge was the track photographer at Stafford Motor Speedway and shooting for local racing media. Mary Hodge was at his side taking notes on all he did. 

By the early 1980’s, Mary was shooting photographs occasionally at tracks, but as she explained in 2005, it was a trip to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International that solidified her decision to shoot full time with Howie.

“We got there and went to get our credentials and they said, ‘You’ll have to buy a ticket, you’re just a wife,’” Mary told the Hartford Courant in 2005. “I ended up reading a book in the infield. At that point I realized the best way for me to keep doing it with him was to start shooting all the time too.” 

Mary may have been small in stature, but in the racing community she was huge and she had an immeasurable heart for all around. Our prayers go out to the Hodge family on their loss.  

“Everybody knows us by name but we don’t know all of them,” Mary Hodge said in 2005. “I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been around as long as we have. And at our age, it’s getting tougher to remember names.”

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  1. Steve Georgiades says

    Mary was a Great and Caring women. So glad I met both her and Howie at a young age. Both will be missed forever. RIP

  2. Susan Gothing says

    To the person at Watkins Glen who told Mary that she was “just a wife” we thank you. Although she will be missed, she will remain in my smiles.

  3. Richard Oloff says

    Mary was a great woman who along with Howie always took the time to say hello and chat about racing. We crossed paths at the races and also in Manchester often. They were both a fixture of local racing photography for many years. May she now be with Howie and RIP.

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