Melvin Mattson, 1923-2020

Published 2:04 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Melvin Ellsworth Mattson was born Sept. 15, 1923, at his parents’ home in Mansfield Township, the son of Ludvig and Dora (Yost) Mattson. He attended School District No. 74 through eighth grade, and then graduated from Alden High School in 1941.

Melvin Mattson

Melvin worked as a farmer until he retired in 1986, living most of his career on the homeplace his dad purchased, and where his sons and grandsons farm as a partnership now. 

Melvin met his wife, Gertrude Helland, on Sept. 2, 1941, in Emmons at a Main Street dance celebrating the opening of Highway 69. They were married Oct. 8, 1943, and were married for 68 years. Melvin and Gertrude moved to Thorne Crest Senior Living Community apartments in September 2011. Gertrude passed away May 1, 2012.

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Melvin was a lifetime member of Bear Lake Concordia Lutheran Church, where he was baptized and confirmed. He was on the church board, a brotherhood member, church choir, dart ball team, and on the church council as a secretary and treasurer for many years. He also served on the elevator board, creamery board and school board. 

Melvin’s dad, Ludvig, was born in Sweden and came to America at the age of 17. Many of Melvin’s relatives lived in Sweden, so he and his wife visited Sweden nine times. They also toured other countries in Europe. Many of these relatives came back to America to visit them, also. They also went to Crane Lake, (their second home) in northern Minnesota with friends and family for 60 years. They also visited many places and states in the U.S. 

Melvin was a talented woodworker, making many pieces for their home, churches, family and friends, including the Lord’s Prayer, 23rd Psalm, praying hands, dollhouses, crosses and many other fine things.

Melvin died Monday, April 20, 2020, at Thorne Crest Senior Living Community.

Melvin is survived by two daughters, Elaine (Jerry) Jahnke and Eunice (Gary) Newman; three sons, Daryl (Sharon) Mattson, Dennis (Nancy) Mattson and Dean (Linda) Mattson; 14 grandchildren, Evon Johnson, Steve (Penny) Jahnke, LaNelle (Corey) Klanderud, Kevin (Deb) Newman, Kory (Amy) Newman, Kristi (Casey) Soost, Natalie (Rick) Loock, Tiffany (Nick) Niebuhr, Brett (Ashley) Mattson, Michael (Kari) Mattson, Melissa (Erik) Wasmoen, Michelle (Sam) Hintz, Tara (Brad) Haugen and Chad (Jenni) Mattson; 46 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

Melvin was preceded in death by his parents Ludvig and Dora; wife, Gertrude; sister, Arlene; many cousins and in-laws; and grandson-in-law, Doug Johnson.

A private family graveside service will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Bear Lake Cemetery, where the service will be livestreamed. To view the livestream, go to and click his obituary tab; there you will find the livestream video.

Blessed be his memory!