(1928 - 2014)
Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Dewey Rethman now resides in Manistique, MI with his
wife of 60 years, the former Donna Garrison. They had three children:
Eddie (deceased), Cathy Fagan & Husband Al, and Randy Rethman. Dewey’s
crew, was Engine man: Jerry Dodge, Chassis: Ron Ross and Chuck Dodge.
Dewey run with his team all 31 years. On occasion, he also drove for Van
Haute Chevy, Tommy Olson, Jimmy Roberts & Dale Woolworth’s 2nd car.
Dewey started racing in 1950 at Auburn Speedway and his last race was at
Dixie speedway. Dewey had over 500 Feature wins and 30 track
Championships. He raced up to six days a week, many times running cars
in two classes. In the 1960’s, Dewey was track Champion at Auto city in
a six and the V-8’s threatened to quit, so he was banned against running
with the 8’s.
He raced at Auburn, Dixie, Berlin, Jackson, Owendale, Zilwaukee, West
Branch, Spartan, Auto City, Standish, Merritt, Whittimore, Owosso,
Oscoda, Saginaw Fairgrounds, Clare, Reese, Mt. Pleasant, and Crystal
Speedways. He raced against Hall Of Fame Drivers, such as: Cy Fairchild,
Johnny Roberts, Jimmy and Donnie Roberts, Jay Woolworth, Larry
McCloskey, Jack Goodwin, Tommy Lane, Tommy Maier, Dick Carter, Wayne
Landon, Johnny Benson Sr., Mickey Katlin, Joy Fair, Mike Eddy, Butch and
Gary Fedewa, Benny Parsons, Tiny Lund, Jimmy Nelson and many others.
Dewey raced and won in Six Cylinders, Super, Late Models and Super
Modifieds. Dewey’s biggest racing thrills were in the fifties, was
winning the last Feature ever run at Zilwaukee and many times, Sportsman
of the year at many tracks. Dewey also won the last race at Dixie
Speedway on dirt, May of 1959, on Mother’s Day and first race on
pavement when they reopened and has the Purple Coat to prove it.
In the 60’s, Dewey raced against Benny Parsons and beat NASCAR’s Tiny
Lund at Auto City. In 1969, he won Mid-Season Championships on Thursdays
at Auburn, Saturday at Auto City and Sunday at Dixie. Track Champion at
Auto City with a six against V-8’s. The next year they wouldn’t let him
run against the eight’s with his six. In the 70’s, Dewey won a Marc
Times Invitational, August 11, 1970 against the top drivers from:
Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Canada and thru out the midwest. He also won
many M.S.P.A. Carling Circuit of Championship races in the 70’s, but,
his biggest thrill in racing was his first race against his son, Eddie
at Auto City. Eddie went on to be a great driver in his own right,
before cancer took him at the young age of 38. Dewey likes his wins and
Championships, but his Sportsmanship and Fan Favorites Awards meant more
than anything, because the fan’s voted for him. Dewey is still involved
with racing with his Grand-Daughter, Holly Rethman racing Go-Karts for
Dewey Rethman died at the age of 85 on February 24, 2014.
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Copyright - 2009 Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame