John Matheson

Fargo — John Arthur Matheson, 94, died Sunday, November 23, 2020 at Sheyenne Crossings Nursing Home in West Fargo, ND. John was born on August 25, 1926, in Breckenridge, MN to Harry S. and Selma (Ness) Matheson. He was the third of four children, including his older brother Virgil and sister Geraldine, and younger brother Harry. John had several stories to tell of his childhood, but the ones he loved to tell the most were about the adventures he had with his siblings on the river.

After graduating from Breckenridge High School, he enlisted in the Marines (1945-1946) and participated in the occupation of Japan until his discharge. After returning home, John worked with his brother, Harry, in the family house moving business, Matheson Movers, and attended Concordia College in Moorhead MN where he obtain his teaching degree in 1959. He began working in the Mathematics Department at Pelican Rapids High School in Pelican Rapids, MN in 1959 and continued helping Harry move houses during the summers. On November 28, 1960 he married Elaine Hafner from Breckenridge, MN and they started their life together in Pelican Rapids. Not only did John became a husband to Elaine, but he became a father to her three children from her previous marriage, which was quite an undertaking. Her two sons, Gary and Scott, and her daughter, Luann, and John and Elaine had one son together, John David.

John taught Algebra and Geometry in Pelican Rapids and was part of an excellent Mathematics department. Some students may remember his alligator pit and yard stick. John also was the timekeeper and ran the scoreboard at many sporting events over the years at the high school until his retirement in 1987. John and Elaine moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area after John’s retirement, but John still wanted to continue teaching so he worked in various positions over the next few years. In 2019 John was inducted into the Pelican Rapids Hall of Fame in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to Pelican Rapids schools.

John loved ice fishing on Prairie Lake and enjoyed making pickled fish to share with everyone at school. He also really enjoyed a good game of Chess with his coworkers and after retiring he continued to play at Barnes and Noble with his fellow Chess enthusiasts.

He is survived by his four children, Gary Hafner (Sandy) in Moorhead MN, Scott Hafner (Muriel) in Fergus Falls MN, Luann Hafner Gross in Fargo ND, and John David Matheson in Fargo ND; and his brother, Virgil Matheson, in Breckenridge MN; His seven grandchildren

Michael Hafner and Lance Hafner in Moorhead, MN, Amanda Gross in Fargo ND; Kevin John (Melissa) in West Fargo ND, Stephen John (Kristi) in Pelican Rapids, MN , Eric John (Bridget) in Felton, MN, and Nathan John (Lori) in Missoula, MT; eight great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death is his wife Elaine, sister Geraldine and her husband Verle, his brother Harry, and his parents.

Services will take place at a later date.

Arrangements entrusted to Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. Online Guestbook:

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