Terry Reed Mateer passed into glory on March 16, 2022, at age 77 with Sandy, his wife and companion of 34 years at his side. He died due to prostate cancer treated in 2012 with brachytherapy that came back aggressively in 2021 and metastasized into bone cancer.
Terry was born in Pittsburgh, son of Robert Francis Mateer, Jr. and Alice Reed Mateer. He grew up in New Bethlehem at the Mateer Funeral Home with his older brother Robert Francis Mateer III (Mike) and his younger brother John Reed Mateer who died in 1997. Terry graduated from Redbank Valley High School in 1962 and Indiana University of PA in 1966 where he joined the ROTC and studied math for secondary education. After graduation he was assigned to the Curriculum Division of the Quarter Master School through May 1967. He took 30 days of leave and traveled to California with his parents before going to Vietnam. He served in Vietnam 1 July ‘67 through 30 June ‘68 where he served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, including during the Tet Offensive. He suffered the same discrimination as many returning veterans. He taught math in New Castle for 2 years, worked on his masters in math and then moved to Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland to work as a civilian for the Department of the Army and then to Virginia in 1980 to work at the Pentagon in the Cost and Economic Analysis Division of the Department of the Army where he was known by generals as a go-to guy and by his bright ties. While there he worked with a contractor to develop a relational data base system that revolutionized budgeting and cost monitoring in building, maintaining and using major Army weapon systems. He retired and returned to New Bethlehem in 2001 to oversee a year-long renovation of their home.
Terry immediately got involved in the RVMA where he was instrumental in getting a new water plant built before the old leaky one collapsed, and a new water intake, dam and updated sewage plant to serve the region. That took many hours of study of documents, plans and meetings in New Bethlehem and in Meadville with DEP, engineers and attorneys. He served for 10 years on the RVMA board of directors.
Terry encouraged his wife, Sandy, after she retired in 2003, to attend New Bethlehem Borough Council meetings where she later served on council and as President for many years. She encouraged him to run for council. Terry served 2 terms on New Bethlehem Borough Council where he worked diligently on the finances, worked to record cemetery records on computer, and help as needed.
Terry was a charter member in 2007 of the Redbank Renaissance revitalization group board of directors where he continued to serve the community and was an active member of the Historical Society while it was a committee of Redbank Renaissance. Terry often helped with the Chamber’s annual Christmas banner and lighting installation and removal, litter pick ups along Route 66 and with the Peanut Butter Festival Mountain Bike Race.
He was a hockey and Steelers fan, a supporter of the arts and amateur photographer, having learned to appreciate art from his mother, Alice Mateer, a talented painter. He was also a history buff who in December 2021 completed a 5+ year effort to transcribe and supplement his great grandfather’s Civil War diaries written while he served as the Chaplain of the 155th PA Volunteers. The diary and photos are available at The Gallery at New Bethlehem Town Center.
Terry loved to travel, saw most of the state capitals and national parks, several foreign countries and would have liked to travel more. He took many photos and created several videos set to music.
Terry was a charter member in 2010 and devoted supporter of the Redbank Valley Trails Association. He attended nearly every meeting and contributed to the discussion. Terry attended conferences to learn more about trail development and maintenance and while there promoted the trail and Redbank Valley to anyone who would listen. Locally, he was sometimes referred to as the “old man with the kiddie cart”, a title of which he was not particularly fond, especially the “old” part. He was often out riding his bike on the trail pulling the kiddie cart behind filled with weed wacker, shovel, rake, and saws to maintain the Redbank Valley Trail between Climax Tunnel and Fairmount City. He and his wife donated many of the Dale Rogers’ metal sculptures that are found along the trail.
Wherever he went, he promoted New Bethlehem as a great place to live and the trail as the wonderful recreational asset that it is.
He was a member of the New Bethlehem Presbyterian Church where his great grandfather had been the pastor from 1865 to 1883.
He is survived by his wife Sandy, brother Mike (Kye Hwa) in S. Korea, nephews Robert Francis Mateer IV and Sterling John Reed Mateer, nieces Diana and Capri Mateer Turk, cousins Joseph (Norma) of Middletown, Betsy (Mark) Harris of Columbia, MD and Ann (Robert) Burroughs of Ferndale, CA and many friends. There will be a celebration of life and committal in New Bethlehem Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements are by the McKinney d’Argy Funeral Home in Brookville, PA.
Donations in Terry’s memory may be made to the Redbank Valley Trails Association at 419 Arch Street, New Bethlehem, PA or online at www.redbankvalleytrails.org/donations.
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