Lawrence, formerly of Westminster - John Richard Mattila, 95, died Sunday, April 24, 2022, at the Mary Immaculate Nursing Center in Lawrence after a long and full life.
He was the husband of the late Irene (Wironen) Mattila.
He leaves his three children, Nancy Keane and her husband Chris Buckbee of Port Charlotte, FL, Peter Mattila and his wife Joan of Westford, MA, and Susan Vitale and her husband John of New Durham, NH; six grandchildren, Kirsten Mattila, Erin Doherty, Erica Mattila, Anne Marie Mattila, Simone Vitale, and Samuel Vitale.
He is predeceased by a brother, Douglas Pentilla, and a sister, Janice Knight.
John Richard was born in Gardner, on May 7, 1926, the son of the late John and Alice (Makela) Mattila. He graduated from Athol High School in 1944 and, soon after, joined the US Army Air Corps where he served during WWII in Germany as a Corporal. He was an Aerial Engineer on a B-29 bomber crew and an Airplane and Engine Mechanic at the Tempelhof Airfield in occupied Berlin, Germany, where his greatest honor was servicing General Eisenhower's plane.
John, often called “Dick” by friends and family, worked for the former S. Bent and Brothers in Gardner as a machinist and foreman. He was formerly a member of the Grace Lutheran Church in Gardner and of the Athol-Orange Aero Club. John was a pilot who loved flying many varieties of small aircraft including Aeronca, Piper, Beechcraft, and Cessna planes. A true handyman who could repair anything, he may have been known as Dick to most people, but his grandkids called him the “fix it grampa.” He enjoyed gardening, building, and woodworking, but his greatest pleasure was traveling the world with Irene.
His funeral will be private and his burial at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Mary Immaculate Health Services, Memory Care Unit Activity Fund, 172 Lawrence Street, Lawrence, MA 01841.
To leave an online condolence please visit https://www.stone-ladeau.com
The Stone Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street, Winchendon, MA 01475.
Kevin J. Mack, Douglas M. Stone and Walter C. Taylor, funeral directors.