July 2023 Issue

MATTSON — Philip J. Mattson, 78. His life was about service to the community.

PJ graduated from Augusta Military Academy in Fort Defiance, VA and then earned a Junior Business Degree from Goldey-Beacom College. He worked for a short time at DuPont before he was called to serve his nation: April 1968 he was drafted into the Army. His basic training was at Fort Dix followed by advanced training in Fort Leonard Wood where he would become a Combat Engineer.

He then had Vietnam jungle training at Fort Sill Oklahoma before shipping off to Vietnam in April 1969. He served 1 year in Vietnam, came home a Sargent E-5 and received an honorable discharge from the Army.

He returned to work at the Chamber Works as an Emergency Response Technician where he worked until he retired in 2003. He had joined the Woolwich Fire Company in 1964 as a reserve and won the Outstanding Reserve award in 1965. In 1966 he became a regular member.

In 1980 after serving as 2nd Assistant Chief and 1st Assistant Chief, he became Chief and served for 14 years in this position. He was also the Fire Marshal, State Certified Fire Inspector, and the State Certified Fire Official for the Borough of Swedesboro.

He was never more comfortable than when he was out in nature, shotgun or rifle in hand. PJ was the Captain of the Swedesboro Antlers. He also was the Treasurer of the Woodbury Antlers.

His other interest was model railroading. He would open his house for visitations to his railroad every November. It took 10 people to run the operation. PJ was always upgrading.

He was awarded the National Model Railroad Association designation of Master Model Railroader. He served as an Officer in the Mid Eastern Region of the NMRA where he rose to be the President.

When VFW Post 10886 was formed, he joined and became the Quartermaster for the post. But of all his endeavors, he most loved being a grandfather. The only time the grandkids had to be quiet was if he was watching sports. PJ suffered with his beloved Phils, Flyers, and Eagles.

He met a pretty girl named Jeanette. The love of his life, they shared a 43-year marriage. PJ is survived by his stepdaughter, Janet Bain; stepson, Martin Graham; 3 granddaughters, 3 grandsons, two great-granddaughters, one great-grandson, and one more on the way.

Donations to Woolwich Fire Company, 1517 Kings Highway, Swedesboro, 08085 will be appreciated.

BAKLEY — Ruth Ann Bakley, age 88, of Mullica Hill, passed away on June 2, 2023. Born in Wenonah, NJ, to the late William Schaaf and Ethel (nee Ferrell), she graduated from Woodbury High School Class of 1952. Ruth Ann lived in Florida for many years and retired from Boca Research in Boca Raton, FL, where she was a customer service representative.

She is survived by her daughter, Cheryl Peterson of Venice, FL; son, Charles Bakley, Jr., of FL; nephew, Arthur H. Milch of Cinnaminson, NJ; niece Donna Goodwin of Pitman, NJ; cousin, Barbara Versland of Ewan, NJ; and niece Susan March of Pitman, NJ. Predeceasing her were brother, Donald Schaaf and sister, Ethel Dorothy Milch.

Memories and condolences can be shared at www.smithfhmantua.com.

SCHNEIDER — Andrew Schneider, 16.

For Andrew, family was most important; there was no place like home. But a close second was Kingsway Regional High School. He had all A’s and a strong math and science talent. He shared his love of learning with those younger than him and taught a class on physics at the library.

Andrew brought the subject to life with experiments, videos and Powerpoints. He’d been prepping for the experience for years by helping his friends with their homework. He encouraged the other students to be their best and somehow knew to offer his teachers words of encouragement during their toughest times.

Outside of academics he loved tennis: serious about the game since his grammar school years. Andrew believed in working hard for your goals. Competitors with integrity had his unwavering respect. Tom Brady, not so much.

Of course, if you wanted to beat him in Wordle, EU4 or the Worldle app he played, you best be prepared to cheat. He never asked for anything and never forgot to say thank you, even if it was something as simple as a night out bowling or a movie.

But material possessions were never his thing; any old sneakers worked just fine with his tall socks. He was never one for change but, if you gave him a couple of weeks he could adjust for just about anything.

He had a joyous heart from the moment he was born. It was reflected in his current playlist; lots of AJR and Imagine Dragons. His big brother doubled as his best friend, though he’d get mad if you called him Brody. Some called him Schneider just to be safe. And he was almost as close with his grandparents; he camped at their house, and they shared many a vacation. He’d bring a smile to your face with his jokes; next level humor.

Never one to follow the crowd, he cheered for the Giants; sometimes not easy to do in a sea of green. He loved food you could eat with your hands, the only known exception being clam chowder. And if he was checking out some T.V., most likely he’d be catching up with the Goldbergs. His favorite movie was Shrek 2 though he’d memorized most Marvel movies and more stupid commercials than anyone could count.

Andrew is survived by his parents, Rob and Kim; his brother, Brody; grandparents Wayne and Georgie; and a myriad of smart, loving and treasured friends.

A scholarship has been established at Kingsway Regional High School in Andrew’s name through The Brennan Family Foundation. Additional contributions gratefully accepted by:

Kingsway Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 257 Swedesboro NJ 08085. Place Andrew Schneider on memo line. For ease GoFundMe coming soon.

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