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Michael “Mike” Mattson, 80

Michael Mattson “Mike,” age 80, passed away in his home in Hallock, Minn., on March 16, 2023.
Many people will remember Mike best as the lone bicyclist who could be seen any day, year around riding down an open road somewhere in the county with a wave for any passerby. He would like that.
Mike was born in Pontiac, Mich., on March 2, 1943, to Vincent and Joyce (Nelson) Mattson. When his dad went into the army for WWII, Mike and his mother returned to Hallock and lived on the Nelson farm. After the war, the family moved into town. Mike grew up in Hallock and graduated from high school in 1961. Following his graduation from the University of Minnesota, Mike enlisted in the Marines and served as an officer in the Vietnam War. After returning to Hallock, he met Patricia Hornung, a high school English teacher, and they were married in November 1973. Mike had a long career at the Canadian border in Pembina, N.D., as a government import/export specialist.
Mike was a life-long athlete. He played center on the high school hockey team that went to the state tournament in 1961. He enjoyed throwing hay bales and all the other work at the family farm. He and Pat did some curling and snowmobiling. In the summer, he regularly kayaked from their cabin at Lake Bronson to swim near the beach. But what sustained him throughout the years was bicycling. Mike did many marathons around the state. He rode every day and knew every road, house and farm in Kittson County. When the wind made it impossible to bike on a winter day, he cross- country skied at the state park. After retirement, Mike, Pat and their beloved cat Annie spent a few months each winter on the beach in North Carolina. Mike would ride bike and Pat would quilt. They both read voraciously. To this might be added the detail that Mike was a man who knew how to wear a hat!
Although not much for socializing, Mike participated in community and church activities. Mike was deeply interested in farming and the history of families and places in Kittson County. His green county atlas is practically worn out from use and his memory was almost encyclopedic. He was proud of 40 years of sobriety but most of all, he was proud of the number and variety of trees he planted on his property. Those trees have grown tall and beautiful and are his legacy.
Mike is survived by: his wife Pat; his sister, Kathy Mattson; and his in-laws, Tim (Tracey) Hornung, Tom (Carol) Hornung, and Carol (Glenn) Dahlstrom.
He was preceded in death by: his parents, Vincent and Joyce; his brother, Kim; and his nephew, Erick.
Memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association or Greenwood Cemetery (P.O. Box 43, Hallock) or Kittson County Hospice (P.O. Box 581, Hallock). Informal graveside services will be held in the spring or summer.
Austin Funeral Chapel, Hallock, is in charge of the arrangements. www.


  1. Dale Thorson on March 24, 2023 at 8:02 am

    My sincere condolences go out to Pat & Kathy. The love I have for this family is immeasurable. That Mike passed on his brother Kim’s birthday leaves an even deeper mark. Enjoyed trips to Hallock to visit Joyce & Vincent & to hear Kim preach one Sunday. I miss them.

  2. Minda McVean Pearson on March 28, 2023 at 7:32 am

    So many memories for me with the Mattson family as a big part of my life!!! Kathy and Pat, my thoughts are with you.

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