Virginia Mae Mathisen, the daughter of Mads and Katie Jepsen Lange, was born June 13, 1926, at her parent's home near Marne, Iowa and died February 2, 2012, at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa at the age of 85 years, 6 months, and 19 days.
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Virginia was baptized at the Elk Horn Lutheran Church in Elk Horn, Iowa and confirmed at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon, Iowa. She attended rural schools in Brayton, Iowa, Anita, Iowa, and Marne, Iowa and then graduated from the Audubon High School with the Class of 1943. Following graduation she was employed at Carlson Hybrid Seed Company for a short time and then worked at Cam Ross Signs, and later worked for DeBoth Flowers.
On November 19, 1946, she was united in marriage to Robert Mathisen at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon. Two daughters, Linda and Karen, were born to this union. Bob and Virginia also raised her two nephews Steve and Gary O'Doniel. They farmed west of Audubon on Bob's parent's farm for many years. During this time Virginia help Bob farm, was as home maker raising her family, and also worked for DeBoth Flowers. They retired from farming and moved into Audubon in 1971. Virginia worked at DeBoth's until she retired in 1988. Virginia and Bob wintered in Texas for many years and then sold their home in Audubon and purchased a mobile home. They spent the winters in Texas and traveled around the country and spent time in Audubon. In 1994 they became permanent resident of Fun and Sun in San Benito, Texas. Robert died in December of 1999. Virginia enjoyed her time in Texas and on January 30, 2007, moved to the Friendship Village in Audubon. Later on September 26, 2011, she moved to the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan.
Virginia was a member of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon and was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Audubon.
Virginia was preceded in death by her husband Robert Mathisen; her parents; and her sisters Maxine and husband Bob Kraft and Geraldine and husband Bob Bothwell.
Survivors include her daughters: Linda and husband Adrian Nelson of Kirkman, Iowa; Karen and husband Kirk McLaughlin of Beaver Lake, Nebraska; her adopted sons: Steve O'Doniel of Lincoln, Nebraska and Gary O'Doniel of Lawrence, Kansas; 8 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren; her sisters-in-law Joanne Mathisen of Emmetsburg, Iowa; Irene and husband Jim Jorgensen of Audubon, Iowa; nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.
The Celebration of Life Memorial Graveside Services will be conducted by Pastor Doug Opp on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 10:00 A.M. at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon. The family will meet with friends Monday evening at 6:00 P.M. at the Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon, Iowa.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Feb. 10 to Feb. 17, 2012