Marlys F. Mattson, age 82 of Willmar died on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. Memorial service will be 11:00 am on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at the United Methodist Church in Willmar. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-6pm on Friday, September 7, 2012 at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar.
Marlys F. Wirskye was born on February 11, 1930, in Sibley, Iowa, the daughter of William and Margaret (Bergman) Wirskye. The family lived near Sibley, Iowa. Marlys graduated from high school in Sibley in 1948. She attended college at Northwestern University in the Twin Cities. She married Donald S. Mattson on August 18, 1950, in Sibley, Iowa. After Don completed medical school, he and Marlys served as missionaries in Wonju, South Korea for six years. Marlys and Don came to Willmar in 1967. In this community, Marlys continued raising her family and participated in church and community activities. She and Don helped to start the Rice Hospice program, with Marlys first working as a volunteer and then taking on the role of Volunteer Coordinator. They were also instrumental in the founding the Grief Center at Rice Hospital in the 1980s.
Marlys was a member of the United Methodist Church in Willmar where she sang in the church choir and more recently served as an active participant in the Prayer Chain of intercessors.
In addition to her love of helping others and volunteering, Marlys enjoyed reading, flowers, walks, taking part in the “Marlys” Club of friends in Willmar, and a birthday club. After their retirements, she and Don traveled to many parts of the world. Her family will remember her love for them, her commitment to friends, her sense of humor, her quiet and reflective approach to life, her love for her grandchildren and especially the strength she showed in supporting her husband Don through his long battle with Alzheimers.
Marlys is preceded in death by her son, Thomas William Mattson and her husband, Donald Mattson, and is survived by her brother, Merlin Wirskye of Texas, and by five children: Paul (and Dorothy) Mattson of Fridley, Stephanie Mattson, Susan M. (and Jim) Rodgerson of Van, Texas, Michelle Mattson (and Matthias Kaelberer) of Memphis, Tennessee, Scott (and Lisa) Mattson of St. Cloud; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.