Longtime town fixture dies

A man known for celebrating and honoring the history of Bethlehem has now become a part of its pages.

Parker D. Mathusa, a friend, mentor and community leader to many, died after a courageous battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, Sunday, Nov. 16, at his Delmar home, surrounded by his family.

He was 70.

Born on April 5, 1938, in Cedar Hill, he was the son of the late Frank and Margaret (Tansey) Mathusa.

Mr. Mathusa was a graduate of the Historic Little Red School House in Cedar Hill and Ravena-Coeyman-Selkirk High School Class of 1955. In 1958, he was a community ambassador for the Town of Coeymans in Amsterdam, Holland. Mr. Mathusa received his bachelor's degree in physics from the University at Albany in 1959 and his master's degree in engineering management from Northeastern University in 1970.

He was an Eagle Scout and served in the National Guard.

Mathusa worked in Newport News, Va., under the command of Admiral Rickover in 1959, helping build the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, The USS Enterprise. He also helped build nuclear power plants in several locations including, Alaska, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Boston.

In 1964, he met his wife in Pittsburgh. He was working for Westinghouse, where he built a propulsion system for the first Mars space orbiter.

In 1970, Mr. Mathusa came home to New York to begin his work on energy management related programs. It began a 38-year career starting at the Public Service Commission and then was Program Director for New York State Energy and Research Development Authority.

He was selected and served as emissary to China for Energy Infrastructure Development.

After retirement, he served on the NYSERDA Board of Directors as a Research Scientist for 10 years and was Bethlehem's Planning Board chair, member of the Planning Advisory Committee, the Comprehensive Planning Oversight Committee and the Quadricentennial Committee.

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