Harold Sonny Matteson

December 7, 1925 ~ July 16, 2020 (age 94)

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Harold Emmons Matteson, “Sonny” of Elmira, NY, died July 16th, 2020 in Albany, NY after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Sonny was born in 1925 in Dunkirk, NY; where he graduated high school in 1943 and enlisted in the US Army Air Corp to train as a mechanic and pilot. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana. During the Korean War, he was recalled to service as a lieutenant, stationed at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD, to design weapon systems. He began his engineering career at Allegheny Power, where he worked until retiring in 1984. Sonny, an amiable and avid adventurer, had a lifelong passion for the wind in his hair and no ground beneath his feet. He fulfilled this part of him with leisurely motorcycle rides and flights as an aviator. He constructed and flew two home-built planes, one being a two-seater which was put on display at an air museum in Columbus, OH. Many years he flew to “Fly-In” meetings of the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) in Osh Kosh, WI. Lastly, he went on to build a third plane from a Zenair Kit in Elmira. In his later years, he transitioned to building and flying remote control model airplanes. 

Sonny, a humble and charastimic gentleman of few words, constantly demonstrated his calming demeanor and displayed his extraordinary sense of humor in every statement. He will be remembered for his kindness, warm laughter, quick-wit, caring smile, and mostly for his generous love of his family. Sonny was predeceased by his parents Lyonel Matteson and Vera Mortson Matteson, former wife Mary Jane Matteson, and son Bruce Matteson. Sonny is survived by his loving wife of 22 years Gertrude Krochmal Miller, brother Willard Matteson of Encinitas, CA, daughter Laura Lang (Jim) of Myrtle Beach, SC, grandchildren Corey Peters (Haleigh) and Ryan Peters, step-children Stuart J. Miller Jr. (Bonnie) and Terry Miller Bossert (Robert), and step-grandchildren James Bossert, Randall Miller, Lindsey Miller, and Marney Miller.

Arrangements were private by the Levine Memorial Chapel in Albany

Those wishing to remember Harold Matteson in a special way may make a memorial contribution to West Elmira Public Library or The Park Church.

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West Elmira Public Library
1231 West Water Street, Elmira NY 14905

The Park Church
208 West Grey Street, Elmira NY 14901

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