Francis Matson

Francis Matson

Francis James Matson, Jr. died peacefully at home on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at the age of 88.

Francis was born in Viroqua, Wisconsin to Francis J. and Edna (Everson) Matson on September 29, 1928. As eldest child, Francis was soon joined by siblings Jerrold, Joan, David, Jean, and Nancy.

Francis married Joyce Baker in 1950. The family grew to include daughters, Cathy and Sharon, and son, Larry. Joyce died in 1965. In 1966 Francis married Elaine Lutiger who brought her three daughters, Christine, Rosanne, and Stephanie into the family. Elaine died in 1993. In 2008 Francis married the companion of his later years, Ann (Schmerda) Prissel.

Francis graduated from Viroqua High School in the class of 1946. As a young man and after a brief employment at JC Penny’s, Francis began a long career at the Trane Company of La Crosse, first in the print shop and retiring many years later as head of the service writing department.

Francis is survived by his wife, Ann, his children, Cathy Matson of Newark, Delaware and New Orleans, Louisiana, Sharon Overton (Dennis) of Coca Beach, Florida, Larry Matson (Karen Joyce) of Gurnee, Illinois, his step-children, Christine Lutiger of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Rosanne Lutiger (Steve Klein) of Sparta, Wisconsin, and Stephanie Lutiger (Valley Morrison) of Chicago, Illinois, and Ann’s children Lori (Dustin) Miller of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and Paul (Iris) Prissel of Owatonna, Minnesota. He is also survived by his brothers Jerrold (Hilda) Matson of Viroqua, Wisconsin, Dave (Maureen) Matson of Arkansas City, Kansas and his sister Jean (Gerrold) Mattie of La Crosse, Wisconsin as well as numerous and dearly precious grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews. Fran was preceded in death by his parents, wives Joyce and Elaine, sisters Joan (Ervan) Olson and Nancy Matson, and a brother who died in infancy.

Francis was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Viroqua and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, La Crosse and was a 60 Year Master Mason, most recently of the La Belle Lodge, Viroqua. After retirement, Francis spent many years creating and selling wooden toys. He had a special love for music and truly enjoyed playing music with his family and friends.

The family appreciates the excellent and compassionate medical care Francis received from the physicians and the staff of the Hirsch Clinic, Vernon Memorial Home Health Care and Vernon Memorial Home Hospice Care. And words cannot express our thanks to Pastor Yvonne, Pastor Kathy, and Pastor Meg for their tender guidance and loving care.

Funeral Services will follow a Masonic Service at 2pm on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at the Vosseteig-Larson Funeral Home, 123 W. Decker St, Hwy 56, in Viroqua. Pastor Kathy Ingbritsen will officiate. Friends may call at the Funeral Home from 12:30 pm till the time of service at 2pm.

In lieu of plants or flowers, memorials may be given to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church or to the Our Saviors Church in La Crosse.

Online Condolences may be offered at

The Vosseteig-Larson Funeral Home of Viroqua is serving the family.