Burlin “Bud” Mattson, 83, former Ely resident, dies

Burlin “Bud” Mattson, 83, passed away peacefully at home on March 17, 2017 in Rochester, MN surrounded by family. He was born in Minneapolis, MN on December 3, 1933 to parents Carl H. and Dorothy Mattson. He is proceeded in death by his parents and survived by his wife of 61 years, Janet, children: Julie Mattson (Paul) Ostrow, Tracy Mattson (Jim Strande), Jim (Kathy) and grandchildren Jordann Mattson (Josh) Crowley, Matthew Ostrow, Lauren Mattson, Christopher Mattson, Kira Strande, Emily Ostrow and Luke Mattson.
Bud grew up in south Minneapolis and attended Washburn High School. At the age of 17 he joined the US Navy and was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base serving as a hospital corpsman. After being honorably discharged from the navy, he earned his GED and went on to graduate from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master’s Degree in Education. It was there that he met his beloved wife Janet. They were married on August 27, 1955 in Rochester.
For over 30 years, Bud taught English and Latin at John Marshall High School in Rochester. It wasn’t uncommon for students to line up to register for one of Bud’s classes. He significantly impacted the lives of thousands of students throughout his teaching career and kept in contact with many former students’ years after his retirement.
Bud was very active in the Rochester community serving as Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge, President of the Rochester Figure Skating Club and active in the Rochester Youth Hockey Association.
In 1984 Bud took a sabbatical from teaching. He and Jan sold their Rochester home and moved to England where they lived for nine months studying English literature and the land. Bud and Jan wanted to have a once in a life time adventure that they could reflect on when they could no longer travel. After their retirement in 1992, Bud and Jan moved north, to Ely, MN.
After the birth of his grandchildren, the retired Bud began “Camp G’pa.” Each grandchild spent time with their beloved G’pa, where they learned the love and compassion that Bud embodied. He cheered on his grandchildren at their swim meets, soccer games, tennis matches and figure skating competitions. His closet was filled with the sweatshirts from their high schools, colleges and sports teams.
Between the affectionate nicknames for his family members, pocketsful of cinnamon candies, and the endless stories he told, Bud’s legacy will live on through his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all who knew and loved him.
A celebration of Bud’s extraordinary life will be held on Saturday, May 6, 1 p.m. at John Marshall High School in Rochester, MN. Visit the Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home website for celebration details. Private interment at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the North Star Sierra Club, 2327 East Franklin Avenue, Suite 1, Minneapolis, MN 55406-1024. In honor of Bud, please share “a few kind words” with others.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes 5421 Royal Place NW Rochester MN 55901
www.ranfranzandvinefh.com