Wanda Wittmeier of Aquebogue, the retired owner of the Modern Snack Bar, died on May 15. She was 91.
Born in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts, on December 12, 1922, to Adolph and Natalie (Breitenbach) Mattis, she attended school in Newtown, and spent time with her parents in Europe, where she met her husband, John, who predeceased her. They married and the couple’s son, Otto, was born in Europe in 1940. She returned to the United States in 1946 to start a new life for her family and worked for a time in Massachusetts before moving to Aquebogue.
She was a seamstress in Bon Marches in Riverhead. In 1952, she went to help her sister, Lillian, and her husband at the snack bar they owned at the time. She went from seamstress to learning to be a cook, hostess and waitress. Ms. Wittmeier and her husband, who was working on a farm, purchased the snack bar from her sister in 1956. Under their ownership, they expanded the menu to serve hot meals, sandwiches, salads and homemade desserts. When the business grew, they added a kitchen and dining room and changed the name to the Modern Snack Bar.
The couple worked hard to make the restaurant a success, said their son, Otto, a former vice president of special concepts for Howard Johnson’s restaurants, who took over the business in 1989, along with his brother, John, who was a manager of a Ground Round.
The brothers said their mother was instrumental in helping her husband build the Aquebogue Mobile Home Court and that she enjoyed whatever she put her mind to, including sewing, knitting and crocheting.
Ms. Wittmeier is survived by two sons, Otto and John, and their wives, Stacy and Patricia, respectively; five grandchildren, Jordan, Pamela, Emma, Lily and Claire; and three great-grandchildren, Jordan, Christina and John Patrick.
Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Reginald Tuthill Funeral Home in Riverhead.