Duane J. Mattheis, 88

Published 10:50 am Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Duane J. Mattheis, 88, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, passed away on Jan. 15, 2016, with family at his side.



Duane was born on Oct. 20, 1927, in Ellendale, North Dakota, to John and Katherine Mattheis. He was married on June 26, 1955, to Beverly J. Tjosvold of Granite Falls, Minnesota, in the Granite Falls Lutheran Church.

Duane served in the U.S. Army from 1946-1948, and was stationed in Kyoto, Japan, as a member of the U.S. occupying forces. He received degrees from the Ellendale Normal & Industrial College (later the Ellendale State Teachers College), the Colorado State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Colorado) and Stanford University.

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Duane had a long and notable career in education, serving as the commissioner of education for Minnesota from 1964 to 1969; the deputy commissioner of education in the U.S. Department of Education (then part of HEW) from 1971 to 1976; the executive director of the Educational Research Council of America from 1976 to 1983; the executive director of the Association of Metropolitan School Districts from 1986 to 1993; senior counselor to National Computer Systems from 1993 to 1997; and as a teacher, vice principal, principal and superintendent of schools in Granite Falls, Minnesota, LeRoy, Minnesota, Owatonna, Minnesota, and Asheboro, North Carolina.

He was a lifetime member of the National Education Association and the Rotary Club, and a faithful member of Normandale Lutheran Church. He was dedicated to his sons’ extracurricular activities, often coaching and participating in scouting events.

He will be remembered as a lifelong educator, passionate about the importance of public education to the health and wellbeing of his adopted state of Minnesota and the nation. He was proud to be an American and proud to have served his country in many ways. He loved to travel, see new places and visit family. He took great pleasure in seeing old friends from the Army I Corps football team and old teammates from Ellendale High School’s 1945 state basketball championship team. He was a devoted follower of the Minnesota Twins, Vikings and Gophers. And most importantly, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather.

Duane is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Beverly; his two sons: Pete (Karen) Mattheis of McLean, Virginia, and Erik Mattheis (partner Annette Price), of St. Paul; three granddaughters: Hannah, Emma and Greta; his sister Della Williams of Baltimore; and his brother Floyd Mattheis of Greenville, North Carolina.

He was predeceased by his parents; his sisters: Irene and Ruth (Matheny); and his brother Calvin.

A memorial service for Duane will be held at at Normandale Lutheran Church in Edina (6100 Normandale Road) on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, at 11 a.m., with a visitation at 10 a.m. Instead of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Normandale Foundation or the Normandale Center for Healing and Wholeness.