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Sune Engelbrektson, 90, passed away on the 26th of November, 2013 at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York. He was born on January 27th, 1923 in Stromstad, Sweden to Viking Joel and Valborg Sofia Engelbrektson.
Sune came to this country in 1928, spent his early years in Brooklyn, New York attending Brooklyn Technical High School before the family moved to Bethpage, Long Island, New York. He graduated from Farmingdale High School in 1940. After high school he took his first job with Republic Aviation as a lead drafter and tool and die maker, here he discovered his love for the sky. Very soon into his aviation career he entered the military, was trained as a Tail Gunner and saw service during World War II with the 8th Air Force, 401st Bomb Squadron at Bassingbourn Air Base in England. There he flew 35 missions earning the Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, and was discharged on the 20th of October, 1945 with the rank of Staff Sergeant. When he came home he attended New York University under the GI Bill where he earned a Bachelor of Science (1948), Master of Arts (1949), and Doctor of Education (1961). In 1953 he met the love of his life, Grace Viktoria Palmisani while teaching a night course at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, they married soon after and began their life journey together. In 1954 they settled in Pleasantville New York where Sune worked first as an Industrial Arts Teacher at Pleasantville High School, quickly rising through the ranks to become Principal of Pleasantville Junior High School, and in 1957, Assistant Superintendant for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) for Westchester County. During this time he remained on the staff of the American Museum as Education Director and a Guest Lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He finished his career as the Planetarium Director at the Port Chester New York School District and Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at Pace University. Sune is a Past Master of Pleasantville Hiawatha Lodge #434 and served as President of the Masonic Children's Association for the 2nd Westchester-Putnam District. He was elected Town Councilman in 1980 and diligently served the Town of Mount Pleasant until 1985. From his days at the Museum he maintained a love of history and archeology; he was a voracious reader and fossil collector.
Sune was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Maryann Engelbrektson Dobsovits, and his wife Grace.
Sune is survived by his daughter Grace (Gary) of Schnectady, New York; sons Joel of Pleasantville, New York and Jon (Margo) of Vienna Virginia; and grandchildren Daniel and Allison.A Funeral Service will be held at Beecher Flooks Funeral Home, 418 Bedford Road, Pleasantville New York, Saturday November 30th at 10AM. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Friday November 29th from 2PM to 4PM and 7PM to 9PM. Burial will follow the Funeral Service at Kensico Cemetery.
Published in the The Journal News on Nov. 29, 2013