Samuel Mattei, 80, official in Delco and a youth coach

Samuel Mattei
Samuel Mattei
Posted: July 20, 2012

Samuel Mattei, 80, chairman of the Springfield Township Zoning Board in Delaware County for 13 years and a coach and executive with the Springfield Youth Club for 14 years, died of Parkinson's disease on Sunday, July 15, at his home in Foxfield, a residential community in Garnet Valley.

Mr. Mattei spent the bulk of his career with the Albert Tire Co. in Pennsauken, which he joined as a salesman in 1959 and from which he retired in 1996 as general manager. "He was their highest-netting salesman for years and years," son Gary said.

After commuting to South Jersey and back, he would hit the sports fields on evenings and weekends.

"He was really community-minded," his son said.

"It started with him on the sidelines watching practices and games" when his children played. "And because he was so available, he kind of got roped in."

Even after his children were no longer players, his son said, "he really enjoyed the camaraderie of it" as well as "seeing progress being made" by other youngsters.

Mr. Mattei's name is inscribed on the Springfield Volunteer Memorial Wall, his son said.

Born in Nanticoke, Pa., Mr. Mattei graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1948 and, his son said, worked under enemy fire as an Army combat engineer in Korea during his 1951-53 service.

Mr. Mattei served with the Philadelphia Fire Department from 1954 to 1959, rising to acting lieutenant with Engine Company 10.

Mr. Mattei's work with the Springfield Youth Club - football for boys, cheerleading for girls - began in the late 1970s and continued into the early 1990s, with youngsters ages 6 to 14, his son said.

At times, he was the club's coach, president, and director, earning its Spartan Award.

From 1984 to '86, he was commissioner of the Bert Bell Football Conference, which his son described as the NFL for Delaware County youngsters.

From the early 1980s to the early 1990s, he was a coach with the Springfield Athletic Association and was at times a member of its leadership.

After his coaching career, Mr. Mattei was a member of the Springfield Township Board of Parks and Recreation for five years in the 1990s.

In addition to being a Republican committeeman and judge of elections from the 1980s into the 2000s, he was chairman of the Springfield Township Zoning Board from the 1990s into the 2000s.

After his retirement and until he moved to Foxfield in 2006, his son said, Mr. Mattei was manager of the Springfield Country Club Pool.

In addition to his son, Mr. Mattei is survived by Ann, his wife of 53 years; son Samuel A.; daughter Dina Cavanaugh; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A viewing was set for 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at the Pagano Funeral Home, 3711 Foulk Rd., Garnet Valley, and for 9 a.m. Friday, July 20, at Calvary Temple of Philadelphia, 3301 S. 20th St., before a 10:30 a.m. memorial service there. Interment will be in Fernwood Cemetery, Lansdowne.


Contact Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.

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