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Deceased Name: WILLIAM A. ''BILL'' MATTSON

William A. ''Bill'' Mattson, 62, of Mt. Iron, died Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2002, in the Arrowhead Senior Living Community in Virginia, after a year long battle with ALS/Lymes disease.

He was born on March 5, 1940, in Virginia to Arthur and Marie (Jung) Mattson. He graduated from the Virginia High School and from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he played basketball and earned a degree in business. On Sept. 5, 1959, he married Virginia (Ginny) Jenia in Virginia. From 1962 until 1973 he owned and operated Pizza Bill's Pancake House, a popular downtown Virginia restaurant. An avid hunter and dog lover, he began running his own dogs in retriever trials and soon began training other dogs. He was a lifelong member of the Iron Range Retriever Club. In 1980, he started Magnum Retriever Kennels and ran that until its sale this fall. Bill approached everything he did in life with passion playing basketball, racing boats, trapshooting, weight pulling and hunting. His quest for the ultimate hunt took him from Mexico to Canada, until he found his perfect spot in northern Saskatchewan.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his older brother, Robert Mattson.

Survivors include his wife, Ginny Mattson of Mt. Iron; two daughters and their families, Melody and Rich Lentsch of Forest Lake, Minn., and their children, Griffin and Samantha, and Mindy and Mike Smith, also of Forest Lake, and their children, Hunter and Logan; sister-in-law Kathleen Mattson; two nephews, a niece and many special friends who supported him and his family during his illness.

VISITATION: Private family services will be held in the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia. A reception celebrating Bill's life will be held in the Mt. Iron Community Center from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29, 2002. Memorials are preferred to the ALS Equipment Fund, 333 North Washington Avenue, Suite 105, Minneapolis, MN 55401.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Duluth News-Tribune (MN) Date: December 27, 2002 Edition: FINAL Page: 04B Record Number: 0212270113 Copyright (c) 2002 Duluth News-Tribune