1926 – 2003

PORTLAND – Robert Edward Mattson, 76, of New Gloucester, died April 7, after a courageous battle with Cancer.

Born Aug. 10, 1926, in Boston the son of Elsie Sutinen and Albert Mattson, he graduated from Dorchester High School for Boys in 1944. Mr. Mattson joined the Navy in 1944 serving as an Aviation Radioman during World War II and was discharged June 22, 1946. He obtained his private pilot license to fly single engine planes in 1947.

Mr. Mattson worked for 32 years for GTE Sylvania as a Maintenance Foreman retiring in 1986. He was an active member in several organizations; New Gloucester Historical Society, Finnish American Society, life member of the Disabled American Veterans, King Hiram Council in Royal and Select Masters, King Solomon’s Temple in the Royal Arch Masons, a dual membership with Cumberland Lodge 12 in New Gloucester and St. George Masonic Lodge 16 where he was Past Master and 50 year member.

Mr. Mattson was an avid hunter and fisherman. He went on an annual hunting trip as recent as 2002. In 1997 he shot a moose on the same day as his oldest daughter, Barbara. Mr. Mattson was known as “Mr. Fix It” in New Gloucester despite being legally blind due to macular degeneration. He built many things such as five garages around Gray and New Gloucester, picnic tables scattered throughout New Gloucester, knick knacks and furniture from sight improvising as his sight deteriorated.

He built his own house where he and his wife retired in New Gloucester. He loved the woods and cut and split nine cord of wood for his family every season. Mr. Mattson was always a happy go lucky person who left an impression on everyone he met being an avid conversationalist and story teller.

He was a devoted husband to his wife Bernys Overlock who he married on Feb. 28, 1948 and a devoted father to his children. His weekly family routine included coffee with his son-in-law, David during the week and with his daughter and son-in-law, Kurt on weekends.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Bernys; a daughter, Roberta E. Tielinen of New Gloucester and son-in-law, Kurt E. Tielinen Sr., son-in-law, David L. Wing of New Gloucester; one grandson, Adam E. Tielinen of New Gloucester; one sister, Marjorie Ahola of Petaluma, Ca.; seven stepgrandchildren, David Lawler of West Palm Beach, Anthony Wing of Greenville, Robert Wing of Raymond, Todd Wing of New Gloucester, Kurt Tielinen Jr of Saco, Kimberly Piche of Biddeford, Karlene Mooers of Biddeford.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Barbara J. Wing Jan. 21, 1999; a sister, Dorothy Hagerman; and a brother, Albert Mattson.

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