Orpha Matthiesen

Orpha Mary Matthiesen was born on January 29, 1920 to Peter and Lucy (Wohlenberg) Matthiesen in Clay County, Iowa. She attended country schools and High School. She participated in sports, music and drama. As the oldest girl of seven siblings, life was very hard. She learned to cook, clean, sew, and worked in the field and did daily chores. All work in general, inside and out. In 1936, she met the love of her life, Joe Matthiesen and was married in 1938. Together they worked hard as hired help and was paid by the month. Eventually, with some help they started renting farms. They always cleaned the rental property inside and cleared the farm land as well. If you asked Orpha what the answer was to a long life, she would say, hard work. Always having large gardens and beautiful flowers, their property was spotless. On August 9, 1943, they were blessed with a daughter, Joan. The three of them were members of the Zion Lutheran Church of Dysart and members of the choir. Orpha belonged to the sewing circle and held office in the Alter Guild. Joe and Joan participated in music and other groups. In a tragedy, Joan was killed in an automobile accident on August 8, 1962. Hit by a drunk driver, the accident took the lives of 4 young adults. In 1976, Orpha and Joe had a farm sale and retired in Clear Lake, Iowa. They volunteered at the Handicap Village store for 10 years. Orpha opened the store on Saturday mornings and other days as needed. They kept the store clean, hung pictures and put Christmas trees together along with many other things that needed to be done. Orpha also worked at other positions, as did Joe. Orpha sanded green ware, and once a month, joined the Methodist Church women to patch and sew at the Handicap Village. Orpha taught herself to play the organ, knit, crochet, and refinish walnut furniture and upholstery. In later years, she took China painting lessons and eventually held her own classes. She was a lover of flowers and gardening as was Joe. Orpha and Joe always worked together whether inside or outside. In the house or in the field, it was always togetherness. In 1995, they purchased a home back in Dysart. They celebrated 72 years of marriage before Joe’s passing on March 14, 2010. So sadly missed, he was a wonderful man. Eleven long years, Joe had been beside Joan. They both longed for Joan as Orpha did for Joe after his passing. Joe often said, the one left behind is going to be very lost, so true. Orpha always said she was ready to be with her loved ones, Joe and Joan. Orpha was preceded in death by her husband Joe, daughter Joan, parents, two brothers and two sisters. She is survived by a brother and sister, many nieces, nephews, great and great, great ones, and many, many friends. The funeral will be on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at Overton Funeral Home in Dysart at 2:00 PM, with a visitation for an hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Dysart Cemetery.