William R. Matteson, 72 of Wakefield, slipped away peacefully on July 8, 2021 at his home with his wife by his side. He died from Frontotemporal Degeneration with ALS. He was the beloved husband of Pamela L. (Spaulding) Matteson.
Born in Providence, he was the son of Philip and Marion (Potter) Matteson.
He received a bachelor's degree from Bates College and a Master's degree from the University of Rhode Island. Bill worked at URI for 43 years starting in security and retiring as director of Support Services. An avid dahlia grower, he was a member of the RI Dahlia Society and the National Dahlia Society. He was a lifelong sport fisherman and a member of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers. His love of fishing was passed on to his son who he taught to fish as soon as he could hold a rod. Nothing made Bill happier than spending the day on the ocean or a lake fishing with Phil. Bill was a former coach for South Kingstown Little League. He led Phil and his teammates on the team sponsored by Hal's Garage to the SKLL 2005 championship. Bill had a special place in his heart for Moonstone beach where he made lifelong friends and met his wife Pam. He had a loud booming voice and an infectious laugh. He was stubborn and opinionated and had a wicked sense of humor. He gave big bear hugs and "face rakers." He made up words and phrases which became part of the vocabulary of those who knew him. "The chuggies are biting." With his boundless energy he created a whimsical garden overflowing with roses and dahlias, flowering shrubs and lilies. The garden was often featured on local garden tours. Blooms from his property were picked daily and made into beautiful bouquets which he left on doorsteps and desktops of friends and coworkers.
Bill's family would like to thank the Perryville community which gave so much love and support throughout Bill's illness; also to Beacon Hospice and his caregivers Sarah, Julia, Dee and Amanda.
Besides his wife he leaves a son Philip R. Matteson his fiancée Kimberly Rameika of Wakefield and a brother Robert E. Matteson and wife Helen of East Greenwich.
A celebration of his life will be held August 6, 2021 at 4 p.m. at the South Kingstown Land Trust 17 Matunuck Beach Road. Wakefield. Memorial contributions in Bill's memory may be made to the South Kingstown Land Trust or to Dr. Dickerson's Dementia research program at Giving.MassGeneral.orgFTDUnit.
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Published by Southern Rhode Island Newspapers from Jul. 23 to Jul. 30, 2021.