Empowering Communities, Celebrating Minnesota Locally

Elizabeth “Liz” Rose (Torgelson) Mathison

Elizabeth “Liz” Rose Mathison, age 85 of  Monticello, Minnesota, formerly of Morris, MN, passed away peacefully on April 10, 2024.

Born to Ida Olga (Myrom) and Amund J. Torgelson on June 10,1938 in Big Bend Township – rural Milan, MN, Liz’s life was a tapestry of love, family, and hospitality.

Services to celebrate Liz Mathison life will be held on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. with visitation starting at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Alberta, MN.

Burial will be in Frog Lake Cemetery immediately with lunch to follow in the fellowship hall.

Black was never her thing, so please wear color!

Liz’s journey began in Milan, where she grew up with her sister, Marian, and parents in rural Milan. She was baptized and confirmed in Big Bend Lutheran Church. Her childhood was filled with the simple joys of playing with her dolls, her dog Fido, piano, schoolwork and helping her parents around the farm. She was active in Girl Scouts and Luther League and attended the National Lutheran Youth Gathering in San Francisco, CA in 1955. After graduation from Milan High School in 1956, she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a focus on Social Studies and Business Education at Moorhead State University (now MSUM) in Moorhead, MN. It was while at college and spending the weekend with her roommate, Bonnie in Morris, MN that her heart found its counterpart in Delroy “Pete” Mathison at a town dance. She graduated college on June 3, 1960, and Liz and Pete were married on July 30, 1960, in Big Bend Lutheran Church. Their marriage of 62 years was a testament to enduring love. Together, they raised two children: Karen and Larry. She was so proud of them.

‍Liz beginning teaching in 1960 at the West Central School of Agriculture (WCSA) in Morris, MN and then served as the first secretary for Rodney Briggs, Superintendent of the University of Minnesota, Morris as WCSA phased out. She was immensely proud to have worked at the UM- Morris until 1969 when the family moved to Garrison, ND to support Delroy’s career advancement.  It was during this time that Liz spent as a full-time homemaker and was active in the community. Four years later, they would move to Minot, ND followed by a short stint in Shoreview, MN before returning to Minot in 1975 as Delroy’s career continued to expand.

From 1978 to 1987, Liz was the parish secretary for Christ Lutheran Church in Minot, ND. She was active in the criterion bible study club, and church circle. Together with Pete they enjoyed playing bridge regularly with dear friends. In 1987, Liz received her certification as a Parish Secretary by the American Lutheran Church. This milestone included a blessing event at Christ Lutheran Church in Minot, ND. It was also during this time that Liz, together with her husband harvested many cucumbers for pickling, berries, and other vegetables from their always plentiful garden. While raising Karen and Larry, they enjoyed many trips fishing on Lake Sakakawea, camping into Canada, visiting extended family back in Minnesota.  Liz and family also took camping trips to Montana, South Dakota, and Colorado along with an epic trip over Christmas and New Year’s to Montana, Utah , Colorado and California to visit family, see the sights and be back into time for school to resume. Liz was active in raising her children in the Lutheran faith, ensuring their homework was complete and encouraged them in music, sports, and theatre. She rarely missed a school performance and loved having Karen and Larry’s friends over anytime.

In fall of 1987, Liz and Pete would move to Detroit Lakes, MN residing on Big Floyd Lake for more than 30 years. Liz was the secretary and bookkeeper at Anglo-American Oil Company in Detroit Lakes, MN. She was active at First Lutheran Church serving on the council and enjoyed being active in circle and volunteering in the church office. Liz was also active as an office volunteer with Hospice of the Red River Valley and the Sons of Norway Chapter #495 as a local and zone officer.

In the fall of 2021, they would move together to Monticello, MN to be closer to their son. Whenever she talked with her family she always wanted to know that everyone was okay, asking by name of each one she held closest.

Throughout their life together, Liz and Pete enjoyed entertaining family and friends in their home. She was famous for her lefse, flatbread, sandbakkels, and brownies all made with love. Together they made multiple trips to Norway to connect with extended family. They also enjoyed trips to Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Alaska. Together with Karen and Larry they enjoyed a fun holiday trip to NYC and two trips to Chicago.

When her grandchildren, Peter and Emma, were born, she embraced her role as Grandma proudly.  She was there in Rochester, MN, and Perrysburg, OH for baptisms, confirmations and many fun days together exploring Lake Erie, multiple school performances, and graduations. Together with Grandpa, she loved having Peter and Emma stay with them at the lake, teaching them to fish and play cards! She always made sure there were brownies and made her tasty BBQ and her homemade buns! Her heart expanded even further when Larry met, and married Veronica Westerman and she became grandma two more times to Izaac and Owen!

Liz’s memory is honored by her children: Karen of Moorhead, MN, and Larry (Veronica) of St. Michael, MN; her grandchildren: Peter and Emma; step grandchildren: Owen and Izaac; brother-in- law: Duane Hanson of Willmar, MN; along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, and a community of friends.

Liz is predeceased by her devoted husband: Delroy; her parents; an infant brother: Charles born still in 1934: sister: Marian;  infant grandson: Joshua David.

Arrangements are with Peterson Grimsmo Funeral Chapel.