Obituary of Edward Mattil
Edward L. Mattil, noted art educator and supporter of the arts in the State College and Penn State communities, died on December 19, 2017 at age 99.
Ed was born in Williamsport to Jacob Mattil and Louise Feigles. His family
moved to State College in 1931, where his parents ran a boarding house while his older brother attended Penn State. Ed graduated from the State College High School, then earned his B.S. from Penn State in 1940. After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned to Penn State to earn an M.A. in 1948, and an Ed.D. in 1953.
He began teaching art in public schools in Cumberland, MD, and Wallingford, PA. He returned to the State College schools as an art teacher in 1947. He then moved on to Penn State, where he was a member of the Art Education faculty, and later head of the Department of Art Education. During his tenure at Penn State he was the author of numerous publications on art education, served as president of the National Art Education Association, and helped develop one of the first children's art programs for television.
He was awarded the National Gallery of Art's Distinguished Service Medal for Leadership in Art Education, and the Alumni Fellow Award from the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State.
Ed also testified before the Senate and House Committee for the National Arts and Humanities Bill and was present at the White House for the signing of the bill.
After leaving Penn State he served as Dean of Fine Arts at St. Cloud State University, and then as Chairman of the Department of Art at North Texas State University, where he was instrumental in establishing the Texas Fashion Collection. Later he helped establish and was director of the Industrial Training Laboratory at North Texas State University.
Ed established scholarships at Penn State, the University of North Texas, Clarion University, and at each of Centre County's high schools.
After returning to State College in 1989, Ed became deeply involved in what he considered his home community, helping to establish a permanent home for the local office of the American Cancer Society, and volunteering with many local organizations. He was one of the volunteers who organized the State College Centennial celebration.
Although he was recognized throughout his professional career for excellence, leadership, and service, he was most proud of the Legacy Award, awarded to him in 1998 for his contributions to the State College community.
Ed was an avid collector of art objects, with a special interest in ethnic and folk art. He contributed items to the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Amon Carter Museum of Fort Worth, the Museum of American Indian Art in Washington D.C., and the Palmer Museum at Penn State.
Ed consistently believed in the importance of self-esteem in children as essential to educational success. His work in art education was guided by his effort to help every child achieve a feeling of success. His gifts to local children include the sculpted bear and cat in the Children's Room of the Schlow Regional Library, in memory of his late wife and a young friend.
Ed was married in 1942 to Polly Davis, who died in 1980. They were the parents of a son, Michael Davis Mattil, who died in 2006. Ed was later married to Betty Marzan, who died in 1990, and then to Alice Schwartz, who died in 2002. He is survived by a niece and a nephew.
Ed believed in the joy that comes from loving and being loved. He asked that those who wish to honor his memory do so by performing an act of kindness.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and singing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.
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