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Published: Tuesday, 11/27/2001

Longtime farmer worked land in Michigan, Fulton County

WALDRON, Mich. - Veryl Mattern, a longtime farmer here and in neighboring Fulton County who worked at a variety of factory jobs on the side, died Sunday in the Fulton County Health Center, Wauseon. He was 90.

Mr. Mattern died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia, said his son, Paul Mattern.

Born in Fayette, Mr. Mattern attended Hillsdale College for one year before the Great Depression's effect on his family brought him back to the farm, his son said.

During the 1930s, Mr. Mattern tried his hand at selling vacuum sweepers in the Detroit area, but by 1940 he returned to farming yet again. That year, he married Wilma Cottrell in Defiance, beginning a 49-year union that ended with her death in 1989.

For many years, Mr. Mattern raised grains on a 65-acre parcel on U.S. 20 east of Fayette, Paul Mattern said. At various times, he raised pigs and other livestock.

Mr. Mattern moved north when the opportunity arose to swap his Fulton County land for a larger property near Waldron, but he maintained close ties to his many friends in the Fayette area, the son said.

Paul Mattern said his father worked part time at area factories to make ends meet.

“Farming was his love, but you couldn't make a living on that amount of land,” the son said. His final factory job was with Hollowburg Furniture in Bryan, where he worked in carpentry and assembly until the plant closed during the early 1980s.

In his younger years, Mr. Mattern played saxophone at Fayette-area square and round dances, Paul Mattern said. For the last 51 years of his life, Mr. Mattern wore a leg brace that was a legacy from the polio epidemic of 1950, his son said.

Mr. Mattern lived at the Fairlawn Haven nursing home in Archbold for six years before his death.

Mr. Mattern is survived by a son, Paul Mattern; daughters, Carol Jean Clark and Darlene Sherman; eight grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma, and a sister.

The body will be in the Eagle Funeral Home, Charles Fink Chapel, Morenci, where visitation will be held after 2 p.m. today. A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the mortuary.

Tributes may be made to a charity of the donor's choice.

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