A testament to the loss brought on by Parker Mathusa's death was in plain view on Wednesday, Nov. 18, alongside Kenwood Avenue, as dozens of residents waited outside a funeral home in freezing temperatures to pay their last respects to a man they admired.
At the age of 70, Mathusa lost his battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease around noon on Sunday, Nov. 16, at his Delmar home, surrounded by the family he loved.
Born on April 5, 1938, in Cedar Hill, Mathusa has become and indelible part of Bethlehem's history after a lifetime of dedication, service, and honoring the very history he has become a part of.
There is no shortage of talk about the life and legacy that Mathusa leaves behind. After a lifetime of amazing accomplishments, including assisting in the building of the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, The USS Enterprise, Mathusa will not be forgotten.
Bethlehem Supervisor Jack Cunningham called Mathusa a trusted friend and mentor.
"I had the privilege of talking with Parker last weekend at his home," Cunningham said after Mathusa's death. "We had a great talk for about an hour and he was in high spirits."
He said the town also feels the loss of Mathusa.
"He's an institution here at Town Hall," Cunningham said. "He's really going to be truly missed."
Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce President Marty DeLaney said Mathusa was known for helping people help themselves.
"Parker had a subtle but very effective way of motivating people without being a nudge," DeLaney said. "The way he got things done was to plant the seeds of an idea and let people think they came up with it themselves."
Bethlehem Councilman Kyle Kotary said Mathusa was always "at your service."
"He was just a great, great guy and an incredible public servant," Kotary said. "I can't even tell you how many times he reached out to me personally. One of the things he always used to say is 'I'm at you're service' and he really meant it."