Lois Matson, 88, KiesterPublished 11:14am Thursday, February 14, 2013
Funeral services for the longtime Kiester Courier newspaper publisher Lois Wittman Matson, 88, will be at 1:30 p.m Saturday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Kiester. The Rev. Katie Pals will officiate with interment in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells. Lois died Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester from an aortic aneurysm.
Lois was born Oct. 29, 1924, on a farm east of Kiester, the third of four daughters to parents George and Elsie (Bartz) Wittman. She graduated from Kiester High School in 1942, the Minnesota Business College in 1943 and then worked in Minneapolis as a secretary to Munsingwear Company Vice-President Clarence Tolg, known also to countless WCCO-Radio listeners as Uncle Fogy. Lois was baptized, confirmed and married Elton W. Matson on Jan. 16, 1945, at the former St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kiester. They lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Atlanta, while he served with the U.S. Navy. The couple returned to Kiester in 1946 when he was discharged from the military and purchased the Kiester Courier, beginning her long career as a newspaper publisher. Matty and Lois worked side-by-side on the Kiester Courier and later the Courier-Sentinel. Lois wrote the paper’s Pen and Ink column and was delighted to be chosen to write a column for the Minneapolis Star when their regular columnist Cedric Adams took a vacation in the 1950s. She found immense joy and comfort in work, continuing to work on the newspaper until macular degeneration forced her to retire in 2004. Lois was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church as well as the Kiester Civic and Commerce, Kiester American Legion Auxiliary and Kiester Historical Society. She loved Kiester and was very grateful she never had to leave it. She loved to keep up on current events and to read, relying on books and magazines on tape to keep informed in her later years. She was lifted by every visit and call from her grandchildren and later great-grandchildren as well. She cherished time spent with her three sisters and their families. Lois was extremely practical and always satisfied, easily finding great pleasure in the familiar rhythms of ordinary life even to her very end.
She was master and commander of her family to whom she never failed to extend unconditional love. They include her daughter Cynthia Matson and her husband Gerald Nelson and her daughter-in-law Sheryl Halvorsen Matson, all of Kiester; her grandchildren, Claire (Matt) Gehling of Madison, Wis., Taylor Matson of Seattle, Landon (Veronica) Nelson and Graham Nelson, all of Minneapolis; great-grandchildren, Miles, Camille and Malcolm Nelson; sisters, Hazel Kepple of Albert Lea and Ona Lee and her husband Roger Iverson of Sioux City, Iowa; brother-in-law Robert (Carol) Matson of St. Paul; and many beloved nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Lois’ family also includes her husband, Matty, who died in 2001, her son Chuck, who died in 2009, and her sister and brothers-in-law Helen and her husband Al Strohschein and Paul Kepple.