Mary Elizabeth Seegers Grothe, 75, of Warrenton, passed away peacefully in her home on January 25, 2021.
Mary was born on September 2, 1945, in New York City, and her family moved to McLean shortly thereafter. She attended the Gunston School, a nearby boarding school, and later went on to graduate from George Washington University with a degree in nursing, a fitting degree for someone of her compassionate nature. She subsequently enrolled in the Corcoran School of Art, where she took photography classes and met her future husband, Rolland Grothe.
Mary’s interest in photography began to focus on motorsports when she attended motorcycle races in which her husband Rolland and her brother, F. Scott “Scotty” Seegers, took part. When Mary set about photographing the remarkable talent of the racers, she found that they and their fans adored her photos, and many purchased her work despite being of modest financial means. By the 1970s, she was being lauded by some publishers as the nation’s greatest motorsports photographer. Ultimately, Mary’s endeavors in life contributed to the Women's Movement as a spectacular role-model in a [dangerous] male-dominated industry; she contributed valuable historical documentation to the early world of motorsports; and finally, but perhaps most importantly, she has kept the memories of those pioneering motorcycle racers alive. A large collection of Mary’s work has been donated to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama.
Mary was also very active as a conservationist for the rural lands spanning Prince William, Loudoun, Fauquier and Clarke counties. She was a member of the Prince William Conservation Alliance and volunteered for the Clarke County Historical Association in its efforts to preserve historical sites and natural habitats, including those that are home to endangered species. Her philanthropic efforts also expanded into donating to the ASPCA and promoting local regional artists.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Nancy Church Holmes and Scott Seegers; her brother, F. Scott “Scotty” Seegers Jr., and her husband, Rolland Grothe Jr
She leaves behind two daughters, Rachel Grothe and Cynthia Church; three grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to:
• Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 6 Herndon Ave., Annapolis, Md. 21403.
• Road Racing World Action Fund, P.O. Box 1428, Lake Elsinore, Calif. 92531.
• Fauquier SPCA, 9350 Rogues Road, Midland, Va. 22728.
Condolences may be offered at www.moserfuneralhome.com