Glen Matthews Profile Photo

Glen Matthews

d. January 25, 2024

Glen Matthews died peacefully on January 25 in Fergus Falls at the age of 94.

Glen was born on June 14, 1929, in Bottineau, ND. He grew up on a family farm near Willow City, ND, where he worked so diligently, he dropped out of school after his freshman year to help with the harvest. Glen eventually returned to school, graduating in 1948 as Salutatorian and earning an academic college scholarship. Turning down the scholarship, Glen chose to farm with his father. He married Grace Marsden on June 22, 1951. That same year, the Matthews' family purchased the land in Pierce County, ND, where Glen and Grace farmed and raised their family, living on the homestead until 1995, when they moved to Rugby. A misstep at an annual farmers' dinner, where Glen fell in the swimming pool and broke his femur, sent him into retirement at 80 years old in 2009. This is when the couple moved to Fergus Falls, MN.

Glen raised cattle for most of his adult life. His hard work allowed him to double the ranch acreage and double the size of the cattle herd during his 60+ years as a rancher. He received the Pierce County Soil Conservation Award in 1967, and in 1996 he was recognized as North Dakota Farmer of the Year for Pierce County. But it wasn't these accolades that pleased Glen most. He believed that making an honest living doing what one enjoyed was the greatest achievement in life.

Our dad excelled at optimism, eradicating bats from the farmhouse attic, growing strawberries, arriving late, living within his means, admiring crops, doing "one more thing," and smiling. He also became remarkably compassionate and loyal to our mother Grace as her physical capacities diminished near the end of her life, reading daily Bible devotions to her, taking her places in the car even as it became cumbersome to get her in and out, and always eager to share their favorite restaurant (Perkins) or to visit family.

He took great joy in his children and grandchildren. He had a soft spot for grandson Alex who, like Glen, loved wildlife, and who loyally accompanied his grandpa on deer hunts as soon as he earned his hunter safety certification (while gently pointing out that his grandpa had not taken a hunter safety course). Recently, when Alex offered to pick up the check for the entire family when dining out, Glen cheerfully allowed it. Dad was generous, but he was also thrifty, and he never minded when someone offered to pick up the tab.

As a widower, Glen continued to blossom and try new things. He learned how to play bridge and became active in his local Senior Center. His billiards-playing skills became sharp, and he was excited to have befriended the young mayor of Fergus, Ben Schierer, who played pool with him occasionally. Distraught at the wasted fruit from an apple tree in a neighbor's yard in his 90th year of life, Glen received permission to harvest the apples and mastered baking deep-dish, double-crust, apple pies.

Glen was preceded in death by his parents, LeRoy and Alice Matthews; an infant daughter, Vicky; his beloved wife of almost 65 years, Grace; two siblings and their spouses, Hulda Rose Hoover (Jerry) and James Matthews (Barbara); and two sons-in-law, George Frein and Randy Gebhardt.

Glen is survived by his children, Tamara Gebhardt, Keith Matthews (Barb), Shelly Matthews, and Jenell Matthews (Dan Efron); his grandchildren, Kevin (Jenny), Kristen, Alex, Nathan, Alice, Hannah, and Serena; and his great-grandchildren, Bryn and Kollyns Grace.

A celebration of life service is scheduled at Grace United Methodist Church in Fergus Falls on February 17 at 11:00 am. Burial will be scheduled for the Summer of 2024 in Rugby, ND. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Fergus Falls Senior Center, 115 Lincoln Ave W, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.

Assistance provided by Olson Funeral and Cremation in Fergus Falls.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Life Celebration Service

Saturday, February 17, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Grace United Methodist Church

1100 Friberg Avenue, Fergus Falls, MN 56537

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