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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 63
Year of Death: 2009

Dean W. Mathison

The final page was put out for Fire Chief Dean W. Mathison‚ God called him home on Tuesday‚ February 10‚ 2009; he was 63 years old.

‘The name Dean Mathison and Larsen/Winchester were synonymous. He was the backbone of those communities‚’ one friend quoted in the local paper.

Dean loved fire trucks. He collected them and he lived with them. For 42 years‚ he rode them as a firefighter for the Clayton-Winchester Fire Department‚ in Larsen‚ WI. For 20 years‚ Dean served as the Fire Chief. Less than 24 hours before his death‚ he responded to a fire call and died while attending a regional safety meeting. While the fire department serves two townships‚ Dean’s commitment to his community was beyond that.

When Dean wasn’t busy making a living‚ chances were you’d find him down at one of the two fire stations that serve the townships. The stations and the fire department were his second home and family.

He served as Chairman of the Winnebago Area Firefighters Association for many years. Dean was Chairman of the Winnebago County Fire Chief’s Association‚ member of the Quality Assurance for the Winnebago 911 Dispatch Center‚ served on the Winnebago County E911 fire sub-committee‚ member of the Northeast Wisconsin Safety League (Dean was voted to be the vice president the night he died)‚ and member of the Winnebago County Fire Investigative Unit. He pretty much had meetings 4 nights a week‚ and always ready when the pager went off.

Dean was just one of those community icons. He would always go above and beyond. If you knew Dean – he always was ready to share a laugh with a joke. ‘Did you hear the one about…’ was always in a conversation.

Dean left behind his wife of 42 years‚ Sharon; ; their four children: Kim‚ Glen‚ Scott‚ & Amy; their spouses; and seven grandchildren. Outside of the family‚ some of the firefighters looked to Dean as their father figure‚ and role model.

Even though the backbone of the family is gone‚ strong community involvement continues today. Both of Dean’s sons have followed in their dad’s footsteps. Glen is currently Fire Chief‚ and Scott is Assistant Chief of the fire department that Dean left behind.

On October 3‚ 2009‚ Dean’s name was written upon the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial‚ in Wisconsin Rapids‚ WI.

Etched on his grave is the patch of the Clayton/Winchester Fire Department‚ which is so proudly served‚ and wore.

Even though Dean is gone‚ we are so thankful that we were blessed with the love and respect he shared with everyone. Dean’s dedication and uncanny sense of humor will be remembered forever.

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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  1. Miss you so much, Daddy… Love, Your Little Girl… Amy

    – Amy Mathison Wilke
  2. I’m so sorry that I never had the pleasure of meeting this great man, Dean Mathison. I’ve seen the horrible sadness of his family through Face Book as they have become part of my “friends family”. Without question, in my mind, he was the father that everyone should have and the husband who every woman wants to have. He left this world way too soon. My heart goes out to his family, but they can all be proud because he most definitely left behind a wonderful legacy that will never be forgotten.

    – Nancy Plamann Bethe
  3. I love you so much even though I never really had a chance to make memories with you you are the best grandpa ever.Dad always tells me all the funny things you used to do and how great of Adam you were.LOVE YOU !!!!!!!!!!!?????❤

    – Lindsey mathison
  4. Happy birthday grandpa miss you wish you were still here. Still pray and wish you wernt gone. Love you sooooooo much. We all miss you .

    – Lindsey mathison
  5. It was a pleasure to be on the fire department with Dean. Only one department but he knew his business. Always had a smile on his face. Keep the memories in your heart. You have my sympathy.

    – Myron Loehrke