Mildred “Milly” Matson

Mildred “Milly” Matson

MONONA – Mildred “Milly” Matson, age 97, died on Wednesday, May 9, 2012.

Mildred was born on Jan. 29, 1915, on a farm in North Dakota, to Scandinavian immigrants Hulda and John Kirkeby. She was the second of five children. Mildred saw many changes in her life. Her father was the first to plow the prairie on the family farm. There was no telephone, electricity or running water in the small farmhouse where she was born, and no doctor to attend her birth. She traveled miles to school, by horse-drawn sleigh, in the darkness of winter. Her family worked together through the Great Depression. Mildred trained at a Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis, to become a registered nurse. She worked as a nurse in Minneapolis and Madison before taking graduate training at the University of Chicago. She returned to Madison where she served as an obstetrics supervisor at Madison General (Meriter) Hospital.

On May 16, 1947, Mildred married Robert Matson at Bethany Church in Madison, the church where they had met. They were married for 44 years, until Robert’s death in 1991. They had two sons, James and John. Mildred was a wonderful mother and a legendary cook and baker. While raising her family, she also managed to continue her nursing career. Before blindness ended her career in middle age, Mildred helped bring many babies into the world. With help from her family, Mildred was able to stay in her home in Monona until she was 95 years old. She spent the last years of her life in assisted living, where she benefited from the kindness of staff and fellow residents. Throughout her life, Mildred’s family was a source of strength, love and pride.

Mildred was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings, Richard, Myron and Gladys; and by her husband, Robert.

She is survived by her older brother, Vandel; and by her sons, James (Beth) and John.

The family plans a private graveside ceremony.

Memorials may be sent to the Salvation Army to help those in need.

Mildred was a warm, faithful, strong and loving spirit, and a friend to all. She was quick to laugh, slow to anger, patient in adversity, and full of gratitude and hope.