September 26, 1932 - October 31, 2020
Fitchburg, WI - OBITUARY FOR DAVID J MATTOON
David James Mattoon lost his battle with cancer on October 31 2020 at Agrace hospice in Fitchburg. He was born to Archer David and Dorothy (Merchant) Mattoon on September 26,1932 in Springfield MA. His childhood was spent with his siblings camping, swimming and enjoying the outdoors. It also began a lifelong love of fishing.
In 1944 while a student at P.E. Bowe school in Chicopee MA, the army air force set up a radio directional finder station near the school. Being a curious young man, he went over to see what was going on and was asked if he was interested in being a radio operator. David was told it was an easy job. "When the planes call down, you just look on this list and find the number. When you find the number, you pick up the phone and say 'Roger' and then repeat the number. Then set the phone down. That's all you have to do. This verified that you heard their number."
One day he was left in charge at the station while the GIs went shopping in town. Soon after a limo pulled up with flags and a big star on the door. Several officers got out, and after learning that a teenage boy was running the station. He was relieved of his duties.
Many B-17 pilots from the west coast flew over Chicopee to Iceland and on to England to join the 8th air force. David continued his interest in all things WWII throughout his life.
During and after high school he worked at the Sheraton hotel in Springfield MA setting up for banquets. He met a number of European refugees who had lost their families in the Holocaust. This led to an interest in helping Holocaust survivors. David worked with the Jerusalem prayer team putting up buildings to convert into condos for elderly Jewish emigrants to live in.
From 1952 to 1956 he served in the air force spending his time at. Perrin AFB in Truman Texas. Drawing on his previous experience, David worked in radio communications and was in charge of 27 F 86 D's on the flight line.
In his spare time in the AF he was in a boxing club. It was through one if his fellow boxers Jim Betzold that he met his wife Alice. One Christmas he went home with his friend Jim to Lake Mills, WI. During this visit he was sent up on a blind date with Alice whom he described as "quiet, gentle, beautiful and smart."
He and Alice (Engsberg) married on June 15, 1957 in Watertown. They celebrated 63 years of marriage in 2020.
Once out of the air force, he worked in manufacturing mixing resins for compression molding. Working at Lewis systems in Watertown, he started on the press, but was promoted to sales. This led to a long career in sales.
David was a man of many interests such as woodworking and oil painting, but fishing was his greatest passion. His love of fishing has passed on to his grandsons and great grandchildren. Many people have been recipients of his handmade fishing lures. He was also an active volunteer at both St Vinnies in Jefferson and the Ready kids for school program until health issues forced him to retire.
He is survived by his wife Alice in memory care in Fort Atkinson, 2 daughters Laurel Mattoon (Dana Dudley) and Leanne (Jack) Huber. He is further survived by 3 grandsons David (Jenny Bullock) Huber, Nathan Lemke and Jacob (Dawn) Huber. In addition, great grandchildren Cayden, Quinn and Camille Huber as well as baby boy Huber due in January 2021. He is also survived by brothers Harold and Danny and sisters Edna, Anne, Marie, Debbie and Audrey.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Stepmother Theresa, infant son Daniel James, brothers- Raymond, Kenneth, and George and sisters, Shirley and Beverly.
A memorial service will be planned for a later date in 2021. The Cress funeral home in Sun Prairie is assisting the family. Memorials may be made to Agrace hospice, Badger honor flight or Ready kids for school in Jefferson County.
Until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.