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William “Butch” Mathews IV, completed his journey from dementia with Lewy Bodies with Parkinson’s Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at Azura Memory Care in Eau Claire.

Butch was born Dec. 31, 1940, a “cold winter night,” on the family farm in the town of Tainter, Wis., the son of William A. III and Fern (Rogge) Mathews. He attended Knapp Settlement grade school and graduated from Colfax High School in 1959. A week later he began his 11 year employment with Arthur Overguard Construction Co., as they were building Interstate 94 in the Menomonie area. He then worked for Dunn Co. Hwy. Dept. for 32 years, retiring in 2002. Doing the best job possible was important to Butch.

On Dec. 1, 1962, he married Mary Ellen Martinson. Together they raised two children, Karla and Heath. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren.

Butch enjoyed hunting, especially deer hunting, camping, fishing, snowmobiling, canoeing, bicycling, hiking, cleaning and repairing wood duck houses, shooting trap, using his Ford 8N tractor, bus tour vacations and taking naps. His daily ritual included walking downtown meeting friends for morning coffee and for social hour in the afternoon.

He was a member of Colfax Lutheran Church, Hillgrove Cemetery Board, Union of Operating Engineers, AFSCME Union, Colfax Snodrifters and the Colfax Sportsman’s Club.

One summer he coached Little League and got a kick out of the kids approaching him years later, after all grown up and challenging him to remember who they were! He also enjoyed embarrassing his family with things that he would create and build such as his “camper,” his deer shack, his bird feeder and his canoe trailer.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Ellen; his daughter, Karla (Jeff) Fennie; his son, Heath Mathews; his sister, Carol Alms; grandchildren, Maryl (Paul) Napierala, Brier (Dakota Tollakson), Brynna and Calvin Fennie; stepgranddaughter, Alecia Petty; great-granddaughter, June Ann Napierala; his aunt, Lucille Rongli; brothers-in-law, Steven (Karen) Martinson, David (Linda) Martinson and Kurt Martinson; stepsister-in-law, Jean (Nick) Turner; along with several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his younger brothers, Richard and Lynn; in-laws, Marlow Martinson, Ellen Martinson Isakson; and stepfather-in law, Merrill Isakson.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at Sampson Funeral Home, 1017 Railroad Ave., Colfax, and again one hour prior to the memorial service. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Colfax Lutheran Church, 600 Balsam St., Colfax, with Pastor Leslie Walck, PhD, officiating. Burial will be in Hill Grove Cemetery in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Colfax Lutheran Church or Hill Grove Cemetery.

Sampson Funeral Home of Colfax is assisting the family. Online condolences may be shared at

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the life of: William "Butch" Mathews IV
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