New gravestone for Berne State Trooper
“He gave his life in the line of duty” says the new gravestone for Harold C. Mattice, a corporal with the New York State Police, buried in Berne’s Woodlawn Cemetery. The condition of his original, damaged marker was brought to the attention of The Enterprise by Fred Peter Bassler who visits the grave of his wife at Woodlawn.
Tom Mungeer, president of the NYS Trooper Police Benevolent Association, said the granite stone cost “upwards of $1,000 and the PBA secured funding from a couple of anonymous donors.”
Raised in Berne, Mattice was a blacksmith like his father before him and had first joined the State Police in 1917, the year it was founded. He was shot dead on April 28, 1923, at the age of 33, leaving behind a son and a pregnant widow. He was the first Trooper to be killed by gunfire in the line of duty.
“Now future generations will know that when they pass this spot they will be in the presence of a hero,” said Mungeer. “I also want to recognize the Burek family of Century Monument Co. in Rensselaer for their time and effort on this worthwhile project.”