Willis "Buster" Mathis

Willis "Buster" W. Mathis, 99, of Waukon died Friday, May 6, 2016 at Good Samaritan Center in Waukon. Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 10 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon, with Rev. Msgr. Cletus Hawes, Fr. Donald Hawes and Deacon Mike Ward officiating. Burial was at St. Joseph's Paint Rock Cemetery, rural Harpers Ferry.

Willis "Buster" William Mathis was born December 6, 1916 on his parents' farm in Lafayette Township in rural Lansing, the son of Adolph and Nellie (Burns) Mathis. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph's Paint Rock Catholic Church in rural Harpers Ferry and attended Prairie country school in Lafayette Township, rural Lansing.

October 19, 1938 he married Myrtle Magdalene Steiber at St. Joseph's Paint Rock Catholic Church. Together they farmed in the rural Harpers Ferry area milking Holsteins and raising Black Angus cattle, pigs, sheep and chickens until moving to Waukon in 1978.

Buster also worked at the Northeast Iowa Sales Commission and Waukon Sales Barn for at least 50 years. He also built pole barns and did custom fencing. After retiring from the sales barns at the age of 80, he cut, split and sold wood. Buster also still fenced and cut weeds with a scythe at his Waterville farm and cut wood until going into the nursing home at the age of 95.

Buster was a former member of St. Joseph's Paint Rock Catholic Church and a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon. He enjoyed being with his family and many friends, dancing with Myrtle, playing cards, and squirrel hunting. Buster loved nature, being outdoors and in the woods. He had a great sense of humor, laughed and joked with everyone. Buster loved life and had fun with everything that he did.

Survivors include his children: Jerry, Bob (Jeanine) and Dale (Rita), all of Harpers Ferry, Diane Regan of Waukon, and Galen (Sandy) of Peosta; 23 grandchildren; 50 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Myrtle, who died in 1997; a daughter, Colleen (Maurice) Hart; three grandsons: Jason and Craig Mathis, and Jacob Regan; a daughter-in-law, Karen Mathis; four brothers: Ray, Everett, Morris and Delbert Mathis; and a sister, Mary Lorraine Mathis.

Honorary casketbearers were Buster's grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Casketbearers were Jay, Steve, Austin and Kevin Mathis, Mike Hart and Jack Regan. Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.

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