Obit: Christian "Chris" Mathieson

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
Christian "Chris" Mathieson

Christian “Chris” Mathieson, 76, former Devils Lake City Police Chief, passed away on Thursday evening, October 11, 2012 at his home in the loving care of his family and Mercy Hospice.  

Mass of Christian Burial for Chris will be on Tuesday, October 16, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake.  Fr. C.F. Wilhelm will celebrate the Mass and burial will be in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery.  Military Honors will be accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post No. 756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team.  Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Monday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. with a Rosary and scripture service at 7 p.m. with the Knights of Columbus leading the Rosary. Visitation on Tuesday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral Mass.

Serving as casket bearers for Chris will be Jon Barnett, Darin Rixen, Dallas Carlson, Bill Byrum, Tim Cruff and Kyle Ternes with the Devils Lake Kiwanis Club as honorary bearers. Reading the scriptures will be Carol Kuntz and Eucharistic Minister will be Ron Boomersbach. Chris’ grandsons, Christian,  Joshua and Nathaniel will carry the Eucharistic gifts and Cameron will be an altar server at the Mass.  

Christian Vernon Mathieson, son of Martin and Evelyn (Hanschen) Mathieson was born on October 10, 1936 at Breckenridge, MN.  Chris was reared and received his early education in DeLamere, ND and attended his high school years in North Dakota and Minnesota and graduated from Milnor High School, Milnor, ND with the class of 1954.

Chris entered the United States Army on April 1, 1955 at Minneapolis, MN and served as a Platoon Sergeant with the Army Security Agency at Kenai Peninsula, AK.  He was honorably discharged on January 15, 1958, with the rank of Specialist 2 and was with the Army Reserves until 1963. At the time of his discharge, his parents were living in California and this would be where Chris would begin a life-long career in Law Enforcement serving as a motorcycle traffic officer and sergeant with the City of Oxnard, CA. From July of 1963 to 1976, Chris served with the California Highway Patrol (CHiPs) as a State Traffic Officer after graduating from the California Highway Patrol Academy.   The family moved to Weaverville, CA in 1976 and Chris was a Sheriff’s Lieutenant.  

In 1980, Chris and the family moved to Devils Lake and Chris served as the Chief of Police for the City of Devils Lake for seven years.  Chris moved back to the West Coast and he continued his job as a Chief of Police, but for the next 12 years it would be for the city of Florence, OR.  Chris and Patricia Senecal were united in marriage on October 28, 1983 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake.  Their retirement years began in March of 1999 and they became the ultimate RVers, traveling throughout most of the United States with long-term stays in Apache Junction, AZ and Henderson, TX.  In 2008, Chris and Pat moved back to Devils Lake to be closer to Pat’s family.

Throughout Chris’ career, he was determined to keep up to date with continuing education and was instrumental in establishing many new programs and receiving many commendations for his dedication and outstanding service as a Law Enforcement Officer.  

No matter what town Chris called home, he was always an active member of the community and belonged to many organizations.  He was a life member of the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, Association of California Highway Patrolmen, Veterans of Foreign Wars and National Rifle Association.  He also was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, served as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and on the Parish Council, member of Knights of Columbus and was a very active member and officer with the Kiwanis Clubs in Devils Lake and Florence.  

In his retirement years, Chris also enjoyed model railroading and was an avid reader.  But Chris’ life was one of service to his community and fellow man. If you had the chance to meet Chris, you were soon his friend.  However, family was everything to Chris and time spent with his family were the best days in his life.  

Chris is survived by his beloved wife, Patricia of Devils Lake; daughters, Hawley Mathieson of Whitefish Bay, WI and Christi Ann Mathieson also of Devils Lake; step sons, Chad (Rhonda) Wilcox of Stokesdale, NC and Ryan (Jamie) Wilcox of Helena, MT; grandson, Christian Price, Devils Lake; and step grandsons, Cameron Wilcox, Joshua Wilcox and Nathaniel Wilcox all of Helena; brother Joel Mathieson of New York City, NY; sister, Judy (Chuck) Nelson of Tubec, AZ; cousin, Diane Scheff of Fargo; and mother-in-law, Evelyn Senecal of Devils Lake.   

Chris was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Evelyn.  

Friends may sign the online register book and share memories of Chris at

Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, is in charge of arrangements.