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Mardelle M. Mathewson
April 21, 1934 ~ January 12, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old
Mardelle (Mardi) Marie Mathewson, of Appleton WI passed away on Friday, January 12, 2024
Mardi was born on April 21, 1934 in Thorp WI, the eldest child of Donald C. Mathewson and Sophie Mae (Borowick) Mathewson. Growing up in Owen, Wisconsin, she enjoyed a small-town childhood with her brother Norm and sister Gail, cousins and friends. The main thread throughout the stories from that time was fun and laughter. She graduated from Owen High School in 1952 and enjoyed lifelong friendships made there, continuing to revisit friends with every class reunion. After high school, she worked as a typesetter for newspapers in Iowa and back in Owen before beginning her long career as a graphic artist with the marketing department of Kimberly Clark.
Mardi was very independent (some might even say stubborn!), a woman who lived life on her own terms. This allowed her to follow her passions and be involved with causes important to her, which included nature, photography, travel, rooting on the Packers, and painting.
She was an extraordinary lover of nature and wildlife, with hunting and fishing in her younger years and spending a lot of time outdoors cross-country skiing, shooting pictures of wildflowers, waterfalls and the colors of autumn in Wisconsin, all of which became the inspiration for her art. She had a special fondness for trees, grey wolves and wild birds and was a volunteer and supporter of many organizations including Trees for Tomorrow, Ducks Unlimited, the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and local nature preserves.
She was an accomplished, award-winning watercolor painter, with many works shown in juried art shows. Painting with friends and teaching others the love of painting through classes at the YMCA and Appleton Art Center was her life's calling and she enjoyed it immensely. Her love for the beauty of Door County often led her to The Clearing Folk School, where she spent many happy days creating art with friends, enjoying nature and sharing laughter.
Mardi was committed to her faith and actively involved with the St Mary Church parish for over 50 years. In the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, she was a member of Secular Franciscans St. Joseph Fraternity for over 25 years and served on the council.
Above all, Mardi was a people person. She had a particular soft spot for children, corresponding for years with her "adopted" daughter in Mexico and supporting the St Joseph's Indian School in Chamberlin, South Dakota. And kids were drawn to her too, as shown in one recent photo where a little girl at a restaurant came over to her table and climbed right up into her lap!
Always ready for an adventure, Mardi's travels took her all over the world. She had thousands of photos, from Europe to China and everywhere in the US. As a gregarious person with a generous gift of gab, she enjoyed talking to new people and sharing jokes and laughter wherever she went.
Mardi is survived by her brother, Norman C. Mathewson (Nancy) of Appleton and Gail Gagne of Neenah WI, along with cousins, nieces, nephews, and many other friends and relatives. She was preceded in death by her parents Donald and Sophie Mathewson and nephew, Steven Mathewson.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, January 22, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 312 S. State St., Appleton with Fr. William Switchenberg officiating. A time of visitation will be held on Monday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of mass at church. In lieu of flowers, memorial offerings in Mardi's name can be made online at stjo.org/flowers or sent to: St Joseph's Indian School PO Box 10 Chamberlin SD 57325.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Primrose Retirement Community for the comfort and care given to Mardi during her time there, as well as her friend, Jean Peltier, for so many years of loving care and friendship.