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Arvid Lennart Antonson

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Arvid Lennart Antonson Obituary
Antonson, Arvid Lennart

Arvid Lennart Antonson, 92, of Binghamton, formerly of Vestal, passed away on September 7, 2013. He was born on August 19, 1921 to the late Elsa Elvira Johansson and Karl Hugo Antonsson in Halmstad, Sweden. He and his family emigrated to Quincy, MA in the summer of 1926, where he later graduated from high school. He served in the U.S. Air Force in the Pacific theatre in World War II as a camera technician, and continued his education at Brown University, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1949. He was employed throughout his career by General Electric, initially in Schenectady, NY. It was there that he met Ruth Weber Phillips. They were married on March 26, 1951. Arvid's career took his wife and family to live in Milwaukee, WI, Waverly, PA, and finally Vestal, NY. They lived in the Binghamton area for 48 years.

Arvid's beloved wife of 62 years, Ruth, passed away on August 10, 2013. Arvid and Ruth are survived by three children and their spouses, Ellen and Dave Dutkowsky of Dallas, TX, Erik and Barbara Antonsson of Pasadena, CA, and Ingrid and Dave Burica of McCall, ID; six grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Arvid was an engineer's engineer. He was curious about how everything works, and was deeply knowledgeable in several fields, particularly optics. He is a named inventor on one U.S. and one Canadian patent. He had a wide range of practical knowledge and skills: he could frame, finish, roof and plumb a house, rebuild an engine or transmission, or re-hair a cello bow. He was a proficient sailor and delighted in sailing their Catalina 22 named Cygnet on Cayuga Lake. In his youth, he was an accomplished artist. There was no word in the English language that he could not spell correctly. With enough glögg at holiday time, he would play the accordion.

Arvid's second career was renovating and maintaining a farmhouse built in 1860 on the top of Grippen Hill in Vestal. His craftsmanship and painstaking attention to detail can be seen today in the several additions to the house, and many custom cabinets and bookcases. Throughout his life, Arvid was devoted to the principles of nonviolence, and was an active member of Veterans for Peace.

Ruth and Arvid were previously members of the Quaker Lake Yacht Club, where they sailed their blue and yellow Sunfish, the S&H Green Stamp. The boat was acquired through many years of saving Green Stamps; enough books to fill the back compartment of their Plymouth station wagon.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, October 5, 2013, at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Binghamton, 183 Riverside Drive, Binghamton. Memorial contributions in Arvid's name may be made to Veterans for Peace, c/o John Patterson, 184 Helen Street, Binghamton, NY 13905; WSKG, 601 Gates Road, Vestal, NY, 13850; or Brown University Engineering Excellence Fund, Gift Cashier, Box 1877, Providence, RI, 02912. To forward condolences, please visit Arrangements for the family are directed by the DeMunn Funeral Home.

Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Sept. 22, 2013
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