The world needs more “Jerrys.” He was born Gerald Wallace Mattson on May 4, 1947 in St. Paul. Jerry was the oldest of eight kids to Gerald and Ramah Mattson. He beat his twin brother to the “oldest child” title by just 14 minutes. He grew up with five brothers and two sisters on Rush Lake. Jerry graduated from Braham High School in 1965 and enlisted in the Navy. He served for four years as a CB-Construction Battalion in Vietnam, Guam and Panama. While there, Jerry saved a fellow CB’s life. To this day, Jerry still gets a Christmas card from that man.
In 1974, Jerry and his first wife had their daughter Jessica. He loved watching her on stage, the big screen and even the football field. He was so proud to show off that Jessi was a Minnesota Vikings cheerleader. He and Lois were supposed to go to California in May to watch her graduate with her Masters degree.
Jerry and Lois were set-up by Jerry’s youngest sister Julie in 2000. They married in August of 2002. Through this union, Jerry gained five more kids- Lori, Brian, Eric, Lori’s husband Sean and Brian’s wife Aya. Jerry and Lois loved living on Rush Lake together for the last 10 years, boating, fishing and just relaxing with the beautiful view. Jerry is also known as “Ba-Pa,” the special name given to him by his two grandsons- George and Thomas.
Jerry worked for 41 years at Onan-Cummins Power Generation and retired in 2010. As his doctor once said, “He flunked retirement.” So, Jerry got a part-time job stocking shelves at Menards, not for the money, for the enjoyment of it. He had a good, strong heart even until the end. Jerry died peacefully surrounded by those who loved him. It was a straight shot to heaven, nothing in his way.
Jerry is survived by his wife Lois, children Jessica Mattson of Los Angeles, Lori Fisher and her husband Sean of Maple Grove, Brian Lees and wife Aya of Nara, Japan, Eric Lees of West Rush Lake, 2 grandchildren, mother Ramah Mattson of Braham; mother-in-law Fern Menke of Pine City; siblings: John Mattson and his wife Carolyn of Mora, Sue Chandler and her husband Bob of Brooksville, Fla., Pete Mattson and his wife Teri of Rush City, Mike Mattson and his wife Penny of Andover, Patrick Mattson and his wife Jean Ann of Stanchfield, Tim Mattson of Braham, Julie Giffrow and her husband Chad of Stanchfield; many nieces, nephews and friends.
Gerald is preceded in death by his father Gerald Mattson, Sr., nephew Jeremy Mattson, and niece Tina Reid.
Father Dennis Evenson will celebrate a Memorial Mass on Tuesday April 24, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rush City with a time of visitation one hour prior to the Mass. Music will be provided by a niece Allyssa Mattson and Karen Nordenstrom. Military honors will be provided by the Grothe-Jacobson VFW Post #6692 and the Minnesota National Guard.
The Mattson family suggests memorials be directed to the American Cancer Society or Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the Funeral and Cremation Service of Rush City; Olson Chapel.