David Marshall “War Dog/Mad Dog” Matteson, of Harlingen, Texas passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 14, 2020, following a long but valiant battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 83 years old.
David was born on February 10, 1937, in Brooklyn, New York to John G. and Marjorie “Midge” Matteson. He had one younger brother, Peter Quinn Matteson, of Maple Plain, MN. Peter passed away in 2019.
David is survived by his wife of 58 years Corynne, two daughters, Belinda Reininger (Kenneth Reininger) of Harlingen, TX and Jennifer Landau (Keith Landau) of Frisco, TX and 7 grandchildren, Matteson Landau, Kenneth Austin Reininger, Maclean Landau, Korynne Reininger, Ella Landau, Crosby Landau and Kennedy Reininger.
David graduated from Barrington High School in 1955. He attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, earning a certificate in Aircraft Maintenance and learning to fly.
David joined the United States Marine Corps serving 14 years and achieving the rank of Major. While serving in the Marines, David became a naval aviator flying aircraft including the F-9, F-11, F-8, F-4 and A-4 and utilizing the aircraft carriers Shangri-La, Antietam, Saratoga and the Lexington. David served two overseas tours in VietNam during the VietNam War and was also stationed in Cuba for 6 months as part of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Following his career in the USMC, David joined the United States Air Force Reserve as an Air Reserve Technician flying the Hercules C-130 out of Billy Mitchell Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He then transferred to Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas in 1980 to fly the C-130 and ultimately transitioned to the F-4 with the 924th Tactical Fighter Group, “The Outlaws.” He retired as a Lt. Colonel and held the roles of Flying Safety Officer, Maintenance Officer, Flight Test Pilot, and Instructor.
David retired from military service in 1992 but continued to fly for various charitable and corporate entities until he ultimately retired from flying in 2005. During this time he primarily flew the Falcon-20. Ultimately, he enjoyed a flying career that lasted 50 years.
David then went on to attend Everglades University in Florida where he earned his Bachelor’s and then Master’s Degree in Aviation.
Following graduation, David joined his wife in Harlingen, Texas where they volunteered for the Harlingen Food Pantry. Dave loved being helpful by unloading the food trucks and greeting each client and worker with a hug and a smile. Kindness to all was “Big Dave’s” calling card. David and Corynne Matteson have been members of St Paul Lutheran Church of Harlingen, TX. Donations in David’s memory are welcomed by either the Harlingen Food Pantry or St Paul Lutheran Church.
A memorial service with military honors is scheduled for December 29, 2020, 2:00 PM, at St. Paul Lutheran Church.
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