Arne Mattsson Sr., 89 of Tottenville, a retired New York City Police Officer and family Patriarch passed away yesterday of lung disease at Staten Island North Hospital. Mr. Mattsson had been a Tottenville resident for almost 60 years. Neighbors and passerby would wave to the man who would be sitting on his porch reading the paper and he would reply with a wave and a greeting and a reassuring smile that all was well on Lee Avenue.
Born in 1931 on Staten Island to Arne and Cecelia Mattsson, Mr. Mattsson attended PS 29 and Curtis High School. While at Curtis he was a member of the swimming team , specializing in diving. Married to the former Marguerite (Daisy) Orleman in 1951, they lived in St. George as Mr. Mattsson worked on Tugboats as a deckhand. In 1956 he joined the New York City Police Department. It was there that he put his Maritime skills to work and was assigned to Harbor Patrol as a pilot . He would go on to a 25 year career in the Police Department retiring in 1981.
In 1962 he moved his family to Tottenville . As his children grew he and his wife Daisy became involved with their children's school Our Lady Help Of Christians. Mr. Mattsson was a member of the Men's Club, volunteered for all work parties, and ran the projector for the Sunday movies in the school auditorium.
When his sons started to play baseball, for the next 11 years the father of 8 started as a coach, then became a manager, then Field Director, and then President of South Shore Little League. While he was President, Mr. Mattsson secured the property from the city, and with volunteers built the Larry DeYoung field. This field has now become the Stadium at Bedell and Hylan Blvd.
During these years , Mr. Mattsson also worked driving an 18 wheeler for Victory Van Lines and later for Yaccarino's Auto Parts. Mr. Mattsson worked on his own cars and taught his sons how to give their cars a tune-up. His sons would sometimes accompany him on his trips.
After retiring from the Police Department , he soon started a job as a gauge reader at Royal Petroleum in New Jersey. He worked his way up to office manager.
All that said, Mr. Mattsson's greatest achievement and the one he was most proud of was as husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. His ever growing family was his pride and joy. He would say when his four daughters married , he gained four sons. When his four sons married , he gained four more daughters. When his wife Daisy passed away in 1991, they had been married for 40 years. Two years later he found love again , and has been married to his wife Marie for the last 28 years. Mr. Mattsson was a great Yankee Fan and would often quote Lou Gehrig saying that he too considered himself "the Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth". His life has been an example to his 8 children, 26 grandchildren, and 41 great grandchildren.
Mr. Mattsson was pre deceased by his wife Daisy, his son Mark (Chari) , Son-In-Law James Vokral (Deborah), his sister Gertrude, brothers Carl and Melvin, and his parents Arne and Cecelia.
Mr. Mattsson is survived by his wife Marie, daughters Deborah Vokral, Pamela Wallen (Ted), Patricia Gamariekian (Charles), Marguerite Clay (James),sons Arne Jr. (Liisa), Paul (Judy), Michael (Kristine), sister Maureen, and brothers Robert and Bruce, his 26 grandchildren and 41 great grandchildren.
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