Ralph Vincent Mathewson


Ralph V. Mathewson was born in Scandia Valley, Minnesota; September 18, 1932, on the family farm to Charles and Ingrid Mathewson. He died April 23, 2021, at Guardian Angel Homes in Lewiston Idaho.

Ralph attended school in a one-room school house in Scandia Valley and went on to attend high school in Pillager, Minnesota. After graduating, he started as a bricklayer’s apprentice learning from his uncle. Ralph continued on with his career as a bricklayer and stone mason for 40 years.

He married Phyllis M. Converse in 1952, and they had five children: Kenneth, Mary, Scott, Janine, and Paul; their marriage ended in divorce.

On May 23, 1970 he married Eva L. Willis and adopted her young son Randy. They had two children: Randy and Ramona. The family lived in Columbia Falls Montana and eventually relocated to Lewiston Idaho where they remained for 45 years.

Ralph had a rich life filled with varied hobbies and interests. He was an avid gardener and loved tending to his walnuts. He enjoyed experimenting with grafting various fruit and nut trees. Ralph was also a hobbyist beekeeper. He enjoyed woodworking, both carving and carpentry. Since Ralph hailed from the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” he would most certainly describe himself as an accomplished fishermen. He loved singing in the church choir every Sunday. He was a member of the Montana Symphony chorus and also a member of the Washington Idaho Symphony chorus. Ralph sang both bass and tenor.

Ralph was a member of the Hell’s Canyon Gem Club for many years. In 1988 he suffered a terrible accident while on the job ending his career as a bricklayer and stone mason. Since Ralph had a lifelong interest in geology and stonework this led him to take up a new hobby, faceting. He went on to win various awards for his faceting. In 1995, he took second place in the Biron International Invitational Challenge in Australia. In 1996, he won second place in the Australian Facetor’s Guild Challenge for both the team and individual faceting competitions. Ralph entered the Biron International Invitational Challenge again in 1997, and when the results were announced Ralph Mathewson was declared the winner of the third and final Biron Championship making Ralph a world-class facetor and the first non-Australian to win first place.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Eva; son, Randy Mathewson; daughter, Ramona Stinson (William “Billy” Stinson); granddaughter, Kate Stinson of Lewiston, Idaho; and brother-in-law, Marvin Swanson of Pine River, Minnesota.

His surviving children of a previous marriage: son, Kenneth Mathewson (Lynn Mathewson) of New York Mills Minnesota; daughter, Janine Corey (Darrel Corey) of Dakota, Minnesota; son, Scott Mathewson (Sally Mathewson) of Motley, Minnesota; and son, Paul Mathewson of North Carolina. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Ingrid Mathewson; his sister, Regina Swanson (Marvin Swanson); his brother, James Mathewson; his daughter, Mary Mathewson; his daughter-in-law, Mary Seglum-Mathewson; and son-in-law, William “Billy” Stinson.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to Guardian Angel Homes, Advanced Hospice team, and Tri-State Memorial hospital and staff.

A private remembrance service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers or gifts donations can be made to a charity of your choice.

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