Matthew D. Candlena, who operated Matt's Mobil Service for nearly 35 years, died Monday in his North Tonawanda home after a long illness. He was 81.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Buffalo Technical High School and studied electrical engineering for two years at the University of Buffalo. He also attended Coyne Electrical School in Chicago.
Mr. Candlena served in an Army combat engineer battalion in the Philippines during World War II, attaining the rank of tech sergeant. He was a member of Stephen Sikora Post 1322, American Legion.
After working for Bell Aerospace, Mr. Candlena opened a service station on Niagara Falls Boulevard in 1959. He relocated to Main Street and Harlem Road in Snyder and retired in 1993.
Relatives said he was known for his wisecracks to his customers and playing pranks on young family members.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, the former Josephine Cardinale; two daughters, Mary Jo Murphy of North Tonawanda and Michelle Miller of Montoursville, Pa.; three sons, Philip and David A., both of North Tonawanda, and M. Donald of Niagara Falls; a brother, Russell of the Town of Tonawanda; three sisters, Connie Kupco of Buffalo, Mildred Downey of Glendale, Ariz., and Eileen Zwetsch of North Tonawanda; and seven grandchildren.
Prayers will be said at 9 a.m. Friday in Brunner Funeral Home, 156 Robinson St., North Tonawanda, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 in
Ascension Catholic Church, 168 Robinson St., North Tonawanda. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga.