John Norris Mathson, age 84, of Whitehall, WI, completed his earthly journey at home on Friday, June
30, 2023, and left heaven-bound for the greatest trip of his life!  John was the second of four sons born
on March 25, 1939, to Clarence and Agnes (Norland) Mathson in Whitehall, WI.  He attended Daggett
School and graduated from Whitehall High School in 1957. He married his high school sweetheart,
Shirley Ryan, on June 6, 1959, and the two enjoyed laughter almost every day of their 64 years together.
John was a hard worker who enjoyed his career in agriculture and inspired many family members to
follow in his footsteps. After high school he worked for Colliton Plumbing in Whitehall, and later joined
the Bar-Non Mills in Whitehall, WI, where Shirley was already employed.  In 1965, the Mathsons
purchased the portable feed mill business from George and Florence Fellrath and started Whitehall
Agricultural Service.  In 1967, they purchased the former Bar-Non Mill in Whitehall and moved their
business office there. Later they purchased the Anderson Mill in Blair and started the Blair Agricultural
Service. They also purchased the Noble Kleven Feed Mill in Pleasantville and started the Pleasantville
Agricultural Service.  In 1976, they purchased Sid’s DX Gas Station, and started Whitehall’s first Self-
Serve Gas Station. They enlarged their feed, seed and fertilizer services to include custom planting,
spraying, harvesting and grain drying.  John also enjoyed purchasing and renovating five Whitehall
homes and one in Arcadia for rental properties. The Mathsons sold their business in 2006, and John
began his retirement. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, woodworking, playing cards, shaking dice, drinking
coffee with friends and family, and mowing seven acres of lawn on their hobby farm, God’s Little Acre,
which they purchased in 1962. He also enjoyed traveling with Shirley within the United States and to
Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. John was a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church his entire life
and served on the Board of Trustees and as a Sunday School teacher.
John is survived by his wife of 64 years, Shirley, his children and their spouses: Brad (Lisa) Mathson of
Hixton, WI, Dawn Mathson of Arden Hills, MN, and Cindy (Todd) Herness of Whitehall, WI, bonus son
Luc (Kristel) De Noyette of Brugge, Belgium, his grandchildren: Michael (Kayla) Mathson, Juliette Al,
Emily (Daniel) Oates, Kelly Herness, Nathaniel (Jada and family) Aldridge, Levi (Elizabeth and family)
Aldridge, Lucy Mathson, Lily Mathson, Daisy Mathson, Luke Mathson, and Annabelle Mathson, his great-
grandson Emerick Oates, family by marriage: Frieda Mathson, Darlyn Mathson, Sharon Mathson,
Wallace Ryan, Barb Mathson, and Marc Al, the family dog, Yagi, and many other extended family
members and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Agnes Mathson,
parents-in-law Elmer and Florence Ryan, brothers: David Mathson, Robert Mathson, and Richard
Mathson, great-grandson Barrett Aldridge, and family by marriage: Broney and Lucille Manka, Elmer and
Theresa Ryan, and Shirley Ryan.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at 12:00 PM at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church
in Whitehall, WI. Visitation will be from 10 AM until the time of the service at the church. Burial will
follow the service at Lincoln Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church
or the Alzheimer’s Association or volunteering for the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) would
be appreciated.
The family thanks St. Croix Hospice for the excellent care they provided to support John and Shirley in
their home, the ADRC for providing daily meals with a smile and rides to appointments, and the staff at
Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinic.

No responses yet

Leave a Reply