CHESTER - Allen Carl Mattson, 92, of Chester died peacefully at a Chester rest home Monday afternoon, May 22, 2006.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chester. Burial will follow at the Chester Cemetery.
Allen was born Aug. 6, 1913, at the family homestead north of Chester to Andrew and Minnie (Johnson) Mattson. He received his formal education at the Fairview country school, then began working on the family farm. He was 21 years old when his mother died, so he helped raise his two younger brothers.
Allen married Irene Mildred Lakey on Dec. 20, 1939, at Havre. They lived and worked on the Mattson farm, where they raised two sons and two daughters. In addition, they helped with the upbringing of three nieces, whom they enjoyed having as part of their family.
Allen was diagnosed with M.S. in 1969. Being the proverbial fighter and always maintaining a positive attitude, he continued to farm and function for many years to follow. He officially retired in 1976, but his love of the land kept him active in the farming operations into his 80s.
In the early 1990s, the Mattsons moved to the Sweetgrass Lodge Retirement Home in Chester. When the Wheat Country Estates, an assisted-living facility, opened in 2001, they were among the first residents. They enjoyed their life together there for two years, then Allen's health began to decline. He transferred to the Liberty County Nursing Home in 2003, and Irene joined him the following year.
In his youth, Allen was baptized and confirmed at the Lutheran church in Joplin. Throughout his adult life, he was an active member at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chester. In addition, he was a member of the Chester Lions Club and volunteered as a 4-H leader for many years. He also served on the school boards of Fairview country school and Chester High School.
Allen enjoyed the simple things in life. He loved tinkering in his shop and had a good imagination for building things. Years ago, he constructed an early prototype of a snowmobile. Later, he built his version of a go-cart to entertain the grandkids. Another time, he refinished an old pump organ that belonged to Gramma Lakey. When he wasn't staying busy, Allen liked to take evening rides through the local countryside to enjoy the crops and scenery.
In his earlier years, Allen enjoyed bowling in the men's league and was a longtime member of Gilbert's Parts team. He also enjoyed playing whist and cribbage. During his quiet time at home, he loved to read the daily newspaper. He was a good eater, who loved good food, and he always looked forward to those regular coffee-and-cookie breaks with family members at the farm.
Allen and Irene had many fond memories during their 66 years together. One of their favorites was the celebration party of their 50th wedding anniversary provided by their children in 1989. Another special memory was in the 1990s when they were crowned king and queen of Harvest Festival in Chester.
Allen and Irene had an unconditional love for their family. Several grandkids affectionately called them “Coolio and Hotstuff,” which they thought was neat, but nothing felt better than those common terms of endearment, Pa and Ma.
Survivors include his wife, Irene Mattson, of Chester; four children, Bob (Carol) Mattson of Chester, Andrea (Tom) Thomas of Billings, Dave (Karen) Mattson of Chester, and Vonda (Jim) Laird of Bozeman; 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.
Allen was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, George and Jennings Mattson.
Memorials may be given to the Hi-Line Health Foundation, the C/J-I Education Foundation, Our Savior's Lutheran Church, or donor's choice.
Arrangements by Rockman Funeral Chapel.