Margie Gehlhausen, 85, Jasper

Margie GehlhausenMargie Gehlhausen, 85, of Jasper, died Friday (August 25) at Meadowood Apartments in Jasper, Indiana. Margie was born in Tell City December 18, 1931, to William and Josephine (Gratzer) Briggeman. She married Carl Gehlhausen Sr.  May 5, 1948, at St. Paul’s Church in Tell City. He died October 24, 1994.

Margie was a pioneer for women’s rights in Indy Car Racing. Starting in early 1970s she was one of the very first women to be allowed in Indy Car pits throughout the country for practice, qualifying, and for the race itself. In 1976, she became the first woman car owner in the modern day era in Indy Car racing, the first to own, score the race, and have her car compete in the Indianapolis 500. Her son, Spike, drove her car in his rookie year at Indianapolis. She was an intrical part of her husband, Carl Gehlhausen Sr.’s, race car ownership career that spanned over a quarter of a century. Starting in1954, they owned and raced midgets, sprint cars, dirt, and Indy cars. In all, 50 drivers drove for the Gehlhausen team, among them were AJ Foyt, Tom Sneva, Lloyd Ruby, Tom Begelow, and her son Spike, who drove in over 80 Indy Car races throughout his career. Margie and Carl had over 21 feature wins in all forms of racing and more than 150 Indy Car starts. In her later years, she enjoyed playing bingo and was an avid reader.

She is survived by two sons, Carl “Junie” Gehlhausen and wife Carrie, Cicero, and Daniel “Spike” Gehlhausen and wife Carolyn, Speedway; one daughter, Jeannie Knies and husband Joe, Jasper; six grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by two sisters, Margie Hagen and Betty Ransome, and three brothers, Eddie, Bill, and Jim Briggeman.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Mass will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be made at www.becherkluesner.com.

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