Lori Jo Anne Mathsen

Lori Jo Anne Mathsen

May 1, 1964 – May 23, 2019

 She was preceded in death by her infant son, Jacob.  She is survived by her husband, Chris; children, Karsten and Kari; parents, Art and Mary Jensen; brothers, Greg (Louise), Jay (Tara), and David (Ranae); numerous nieces and nephews.

VISITATION: Saturday, June 1st from 11am to 1pm at Westside Church, 15050 W. Dodge Rd., followed by SERVICES at the church at 1pm.  Memorials to: Metigoshe Ministries; Hogar de Vida Costa Rica; Boys Town; or Mathsen Children’s Education Fund.


Lori was born in St. Cloud, MN, May 1, 1964 and spent much of her childhood living in Grand Forks, ND.  In 1980 the family moved to Fargo, ND where Lori attended Fargo North High School.  She enjoyed music, sports, and was very active in the Youth Group at her church, where she met and began dating her future husband, Chris Mathsen.  She graduated from High School in 1982 and went on to North Dakota State University, graduating in 1986 with a degree in Psychology.

College summers were spent working at Camp Metigoshe, a Bible Camp on Pelican Lake, outside of Bottineau, ND.  Lori was a counselor and subsequently the program director.  The final day of camp on August 16, 1986, culminated with Lori and Chris getting married in the camp chapel on Lake Metigoshe.

They moved to Lincoln, NE for Lori to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology.  In 1989, Lori and Chris decided to spend a year as Family Teachers at Boys Town, NE.  “A year” turned into 30 years.  She mentored, coached, served as an outstanding role model, and touched the lives of countless youth during her time as a Family Teacher.

Their first son, Jacob, was born in 2001 and lived only two days.  Karsten was born two years later, and Kari two years after that.  Lori’s love of music and sports was passed down to the kids.  When not immersed in the kids’ activities and Boys Town activities, Lori and Chris enjoyed traveling, especially to visit family members scattered throughout the U.S.

The best adjective to describe Lori is “high energy.”  She poured her heart and soul into everyone she encountered, from the first camper at Metigoshe to her last resident at Boys Town.  She was first to volunteer to chaperone kids’ trips, first one to the car on vacation day, the most vocal cheerleader at kids’ activities, and sought out the ones needing an extra boost of encouragement.  She was quick with a kind word, a warm hug, and an infectious laugh. Of all her accomplishments, Lori was most proud to be a mom to Karsten and Kari.  She embraced motherhood with an overwhelming dedication and joy. She leaves behind a vast network of family and friends who have been blessed by knowing her; they grieve with her husband and children for a life tragically cut short.



  • Linnea Geiger Hill Posted May 29, 2019 3:48 pm

    Sending prayers, hugs and tears as we think of Lori and the entire family. Lester and Linnea Geiger Hill.

  • Erin Stargel Posted May 29, 2019 5:07 pm

    Lori – You were one in a million and your impact will never end. Praying for your family every day.

  • Tony Jones Posted May 29, 2019 6:01 pm

    We are here for you.

  • PAUL AND LINDA CHRISTIANI Posted May 29, 2019 6:05 pm

    Lori touched so many and will be remembered for the love she gave to over 200 youths.

  • Rick Riedel Posted May 29, 2019 6:12 pm

    May Your God strengthen you and give you courage in the face of this storm.

  • Ellen Briggs Posted May 29, 2019 6:26 pm

    Lori has the most amazing and warm presence. I was acquainted with her for a very short while but she managed to pass the love in her heart through her warm greeting and smile. I wish to convey that same warm to the family and friends of Lori with wishes for comfort and peace.

  • Stacey Anderson Posted May 29, 2019 6:29 pm

    I have many fond memories of Lori . A wonderful example of a christian woman.

  • Marie Ruhter Posted May 29, 2019 6:37 pm

    Lori was such a beautiful person. I will miss her dearly. We were so blessed to be able to be neighbors for almost 10 years. I will miss seeing her in her yard or with her dogs and chatting as we come and go throughout the day. Chris, Kari, and Karsten, and all your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Dennis & Pam Squier Posted May 29, 2019 6:37 pm

    Safe in the arms of God now. May He bless and comfort her family in their time of sadness.

  • Heidi (Mrs. Smith) Wilhelm Posted May 29, 2019 6:52 pm

    Chris, Karsten, and Kari- I am so very sorry for your loss. Your family has always held a very special place in my heart. Lori always knew what to say. She was so full of love, laughter, and a contiguous optimism. It was an honor to know her. What an tremendous loss for us all. She was a gift to everyone she encountered. What a beautiful soul heaven gained. I am sending you all my love and constant prayers for peace.

  • KARLA Posted May 29, 2019 7:26 pm

    Un modelo de servicio a la niñez Costarricense, gracias por ser parte de nuestra familia y dejar memorias hermosas. Gran esposa, madre y maestra.
    Un abrazo fuerte de parte de la familia de Hogar de Vida.
    Lamentamos mucho lo sucedido, más sabemos que Dios hizo milagros.

  • Andrew McManaman Posted May 29, 2019 7:29 pm

    I can say with a smile Lori was my “mother”for the two years I lived with her and Chris. She was so fun and full of life. A teacher, mentor, hero, mother and friend. I am so blessed to know such a wonderful human being. My heart goes out to the family and kids.

  • Tish Roe Posted May 29, 2019 8:48 pm

    Lori always had a bright smile and thoughtful conversation to share with others. These gifts will be carried forward in our hearts.

  • Jason West Posted May 29, 2019 8:50 pm

    Lori was an absolutely amazing person: Always positive, encouraging, and looking out for others. I will never be able to make sense of what happened, but I can only find hope in knowing that she is with the Lord now. I am praying for you all to find hope, peace, and comfort in this time.

  • Ranae Jensen Posted May 29, 2019 9:06 pm

    Beloved sister. You will be missed.

  • Christopher Flaat Posted May 29, 2019 9:57 pm

    May the Lord bring consolation amid this terrible loss. Lori was such a wonderful person and gave so much to many great young boys over the years. Our sincere condolences for the Mathsen family.

    Chris Flaat
    Redmond, WA

  • Jodi Skartvedt Posted May 29, 2019 9:57 pm

    Lori was one of the very first People we encountered, as we drove our moving van onto Boys Town campus 20 years ago. Her bright smile, her warm presence, she made us feel welcome. If you know Lori at all, you know what I’m talking about, 20 years later, she was still that same compassionate, bubbly person! The people and lives that she touched is immeasurable. Lori’s legacy is huge!

    Chris, Karsten, Kari our thoughts & prayers are with you today and for ever more.

  • Tom and Michelle Nielsen Posted May 29, 2019 10:42 pm

    We have been praying for your family at this very difficult time. May you experience the loving comfort of friends and family and know peace and joy again in the days to come. We are so sorry for your loss.
    The Nielsen family

  • Misty Sweezy Posted May 29, 2019 10:42 pm

    Amazing women with a heart of gold. All of my 22yrs of knowing her, she has always been true to herself and others. She will always be someone I aspire to be like. She will be desperately missed, but remain in our hearts forever.

  • Jeff Sweezy Posted May 29, 2019 11:02 pm

    I miss you Lori. We all do.

  • Karen O’Connor Posted May 29, 2019 11:17 pm

    Chris , Karsten and Kari, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • F. Ward Posted May 30, 2019 3:56 am

    “May Jehovah. the God of all comfort be with your family as you mourn the loss of Mrs. Mathenson.. I pray hope from God’s Word will sustain you until our relief comes at the hands of Jesus. I pray also your meditation on Revelation 21:4, and John 5: 28,29, will help ease the emptiness loss brings, confident these words will soon be reality, with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27,

  • Rachel Warne Posted May 30, 2019 5:21 am

    There is no way I can describe how Lori has impacted my life. Lori brought pure joy into every room she entered with her huge smile and loud laugh. Lori had nonstop energy. She loved her family so much and she and Chris didn’t hesitate to welcome me into their family. I will miss her random text messages and chocolate she would drop off on my desk. I will miss her humor and laughter. Chris, Karsten and Kari, I will continue to be here for you. Praying for you all.

  • Bill Scheibeler Posted May 30, 2019 8:07 am

    I was crushed to hear the news. The memories of Lori and the times I worked in their home, we worked in the same community , friendship, support and simply many years of just special memories. Come to mind instantly. She ALWAYS lived her life for others and went out the same way. She is needed by our Lord now and I am blessed to have known someone so special. Rest in Peace Lori. Chris and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless!
    Bill – Palm Springs, Ca.

  • Naomi Lewis Posted May 30, 2019 9:24 am

    I am thinking of you during this difficult time. May God comfort you in the days ahead as Romans 15:5 says he supplies comfort and endurance. My deepest sympathies to the family of Lori. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Danny and Annora Holland Posted May 30, 2019 10:19 am

    The Lord is are Shepard and we shall not want. You have are deepest condolence and your family will always be in our prayers.

  • Lance & Karina Grush Posted May 30, 2019 10:45 am

    Mathsen Family, we are so heartbroken for your loss. We pray for comfort and healing in your hearts. Holding close to us the Hope we have in Christ, that we are going to see our loved ones again. We are praying for you and your family.

  • Tosha Kumke Posted May 30, 2019 11:59 am

    I first met Lori 18 years ago when I was a new AFT at BT through the family teachers I worked with. Every interaction I had with her was so pleasant. She had a special grace about her. Always a huge smile and kind words to say, such a positive presence wherever she was. She has positively impacted the lives of so many and her legacy will carry on no doubt. So sorry for your loss, Chris and family. May the Lord give you strength to get through this, peace and comfort.

  • Steve Coppard Posted May 30, 2019 12:17 pm

    Chris , Karsten and Kari, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I first met Chris and Lori when I started at Boys Town in 1993. What a strong representation of faith, hope and love. I grieve for your loss.

  • Chris Ahrens Posted May 30, 2019 12:44 pm

    Lori was an amazing, funny, caring, and positive person. She was so kind to me when I was sick and for that, I will always be very grateful. I am praying for you all to find comfort, peace, and hope in your time of deepest sadness..

  • Dick & Judy Roller Posted May 30, 2019 12:51 pm

    Although we did not know Lori we know her parents Art & Mary. We can not fully understand why these things happen but our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  • Christa Monti Posted May 30, 2019 12:58 pm

    No one was a casual acquaintance to Lori. Her kindness and smile drew you in as if she’d known you all of her life. She had a warmth and light about her that everyone admired but few can replicate. Lori’s legacy will live on in every heart that she touched…and that number is immeasurable. I will try to live by Lori’s example and make the day of everyone whom I come in contact with just a little bit brighter in her honor. Mathsen family, you are being lifted up in prayer by so many people right now. May you find the comfort you need in this difficult time and always hold your memories of Lori close to your heart, just as we will!

  • Dan Jackson Posted May 30, 2019 1:19 pm

    I was lucky enough to get to spend time with Lori due our sons playing baseball together for years. I will forever will remember her being continually positive, down to earth and understanding. There is zero question the world was a far better place with her a part of it. But there is also zero question that it’s better off now than it was before she arrived. There are special people whose time and efforts here continue to reverberate long after they pass on. Lori is undeniably one of those truly exceptional people. I am privileged to have known her. Thank you so much, Lori. My heart will continue to go out to Chris, Karsten and Kari and I look forward to seeing Lori live on through them.

  • Deric & Ashley Slaughter Posted May 30, 2019 1:22 pm

    Lori was such an amazing person. She would always go out of her way to encourage us with a smile and kind words. We are so grateful to have known her. We are praying for the Mathsen family. We’re wishing you love, comfort and hope. .

  • Aaron Cobbs Posted May 30, 2019 2:03 pm

    Lori had a smile that would light up the world. I will always miss that smile, and how pleasant she was all the time. She was a blessing to all of us, and the perfect example of a Christian women. She will be missed dearly. My prayers go out to the family.

  • Renaker Posted May 30, 2019 7:38 pm

    Our prayers for Lori’s family. Although we were only in Lori’s life for fifteen months, she was a wonderful loving, caring and patient Mom for Corey during those months. She made sure we were involved in Corey’s life every day with many miles between us. She was always there for us through emails, and phone calls. She made sure we felt welcomed in her home. Thanksgiving is always a fond memory of our time at the Mathsen home. Chris, Karsten, and Kari, you will always be in our hearts. Lori, one special Lady.

  • Mike Poland Posted May 30, 2019 8:10 pm

    Such a warm and energetic woman. Was that way 25 years ago when I was there and was to the day she passed on. May god watch over your family and friends. We love you Lori, and miss you terribly.

  • Howard and Karen Young Posted May 30, 2019 9:28 pm

    Art, Mary, we are holding you and your family in our prayers.

  • Jeremy McLoyd Posted May 31, 2019 5:27 am

    May the Lord wrap your family in His loving arms during your time of bereavement and ever after. Lori was a true gem.

  • Delvon Johnson Posted May 31, 2019 6:18 am

    I’m in absolute state if shock right now. Lori and Chris were my Family Teachers in Boystown and taught me so much of what I use in life today. I will never forget her happy spirit and her constant bursts of laughter. Chris, you are in my prayers and although I didn’t graduate from BoysTown, the knowledge that they taught me will forever be cherished. Rest In Heaven Lori.

  • Jeffrey Lee Posted May 31, 2019 7:16 am

    I never knew her, but as a former Boys Town youth, I know the work she did was special. My condolences to her family and friends.

  • Godlewski Posted May 31, 2019 7:43 am

    Our prayers goes to the whole family. Thanks for all you have invested to this community. May God continue to heal each and everyone of you. Know that God is in control. This is a terrible tragedy, but we know she’s in God hand now. Whatever the enemy had plan for evil, pray God will turn it for his Glory. I pray blessing on the kids, and for the coming days, months and years to come, God will blessed them protect them, and help any way possible. Love you all.

  • Debbie Esser Posted May 31, 2019 8:13 am

    What a beautiful legacy she leaves, investing in so many lives with love, care and encouragement. May her life continue to inspire all of us to make a difference to those around us. I will continue to pray the God of all Comfort will surround your family.

  • Michelle Tauber Posted May 31, 2019 8:27 am

    Lori was one of the first people to greet us as the moving truck pulled onto campus! She rolled up her sleeves and got right to work unloading. She eased our nerves and had some fun stories that assured us that Boys Town was where we wanted to be! Her support and encouragement did not stop there. Her smile, optimism, and spark for life will forever be remembered! Chirs, Karsten, and Kari you are in our hearts and we are praying for you!

  • Jodi Dinan Posted May 31, 2019 8:40 am

    My sincere condolences to Lori’s family. She was an awesome person and I am sure her passing will leave a big hole in her family’s lives. God bless all of you and hoping you find peace in knowing what she accomplished here on this earth.

  • Gerald A Davis Posted May 31, 2019 11:19 am

    In our prayers – so sorry for your lose.

  • Amy Hartman Posted May 31, 2019 2:17 pm

    Chris, you and your children are in my thoughts and prayers. Lori was a special woman and we are all blessed to have known her.

  • Jake Nau Posted June 1, 2019 1:46 am

    Chris Karsten and Kari, I’m just so sorry. Lori was a fantastic human, an inspiration to so many. She made my life better. You all four blessed me in so many ways and I am forever indebted. Sending love from the Pacific Northwest, holding you in my prayers, thanking God for the gift of Lori.

  • John and Linda McGuire Posted June 1, 2019 7:21 am

    We are blessed with more memories than we can count of doing life with Lori. Her energy and optimism were unmatched. Lori’s voice and laughter ring in our hearts; her smiles and her quick wit will forever be remembered. While incredibly sad and still shocked, we feel lucky to have shared this journey with Lori. Chris, we love you. John and Linda .

  • Art and Gail Williams Posted June 1, 2019 8:34 am

    Thank you Lori for giving of yourself to kids and adults alike and making everyone feel special. Your smile and positive outlook was very impactful and will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and the family through this difficult time.

  • Tom’s Mom & Dad Posted June 1, 2019 9:41 am

    Lori had gifts that so few are given. Her insight into human beings was profound. She used the many gifts that she was given to such good purposes. Her enthusiasm for life was obvious to all with whom she came into contact. Her care for, and work with the Boystown boys with have an impact far into the future.
    Initially, it seemed so unfair to lose her when there was still so much to accomplish, so many of us who still needed her.
    To Chris, Karsten, and Kari, and her extended family, our profound sympathies and prayers.. May your hearts be lifted by knowing that Lori walked with the Lord,and surely He has welcomed her into His kingdom. We will never forget Lori, and as now, will be looking to her wisdom and counsel for the rest of our lives.
    May eternal rest be hers. May her soul Rest In Peace.

  • Moquin family Posted June 1, 2019 10:17 am

    The world lost a beautiful person with Lori’s passing. She was a caring happy person. Our sons played baseball together for a few years and we will always remember the warm caring person Lori was. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris, Karsten and Kari.

  • Kay Graham Posted June 1, 2019 10:25 am

    Chris, my heart is so very sad to have heard the news about Lori. What a tragic loss of a life too soon. She certainly crammed a whole lot of living in her 55 years. Prayers of strength and courage for the difficult days ahead. There must be comfort in knowing the many lives Lori touched. May the joys of remembering begin. You and your family and your Boys Town family will be in my prayers.

  • Brennan Agostino Posted June 1, 2019 10:25 am

    I lived with Lori for a few years on and off. She was always there to help with the brightest smile. She is one of the most influential people in my life and I will be forever grateful that I had a chance to know her. I miss you so much Lori. My thoughts and prayers are with the Mathsen family.

  • Theresa and John Mumm Posted June 2, 2019 10:34 am

    Chris, we are saddened and heartbroken over your loss for you and the kids. Not too many in this lifetime have been as special as Lori. Our hearts and prayers are with your family.

  • JoDell McMurray Posted June 4, 2019 10:50 am

    Sometime you meet someone, and right away you know that she is a grace given from God. Lori was one of those people She was warm, caring and amazing. My heart is sadden by the lose of her. I know that although she is gone from this earth, her memory, spirit, and love continues in the lives of so many people she helped and loved. If all the people on earth had Lori’s ability to love, there would be no need for angels in Heaven. Go with God Lori, I will miss you greatly.

  • Kathy Kirby Posted June 4, 2019 2:23 pm

    Chris, Karsten and Kari,
    I cannot imagine the sadness in your hearts. Your wife/mother’s legacy will live on through the many lives she touched. She truly was a beacon of hope and healing for so many. When I told my son about Lori’s commitment to others and this tragedy, his response was, “she had a straight line to heaven”. I have no doubt that she’s hanging with Fr. Flanagan. Be strong and continue to make her proud, she would want it no other way.

  • Jeri Wimpfhimer Posted June 5, 2019 2:22 pm

    Art, Mary and Family
    My Heart is heavy to hear about the loss of Lori.
    I’m praying you will find Comfort, Peace and Hope in the very difficult time.

  • Jeri Wimpfheimer Posted June 5, 2019 8:00 pm

    Art, Mary & Family
    I have many fond memories of Lori growing up in Grand Forks.
    May you find peace and comfort in the days to come.
    God Bless.

  • Morrow Family Posted June 6, 2019 9:58 am

    We are forever grateful for the love of Lori and Chris to our son at BT. Lori was an amazing example of living a life of service to her family and community. Our sympathy and prayers for Chris, Kari and Karsten.

  • Fran Schilmoeller Posted June 7, 2019 6:23 pm

    I am sorry. Just got the news from our daughter in Phoenix who got it from a mutual friend. Love and prayers to the whole family

  • Abe Jackson Posted June 11, 2019 9:21 pm

    Chris, I can’t tell you how much I’ve admired you and Lori’s commitment and dedication over the decades. I just hope that my prayers can help you along the way.

  • Brennan Agostino Posted December 25, 2019 1:24 am

    I miss you so much Lori. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you did for everyone who went through your home in BT, including myself. You truly changed me for the better, and the impact you’ve made on me will be there my entire life. Merry Christmas, and thank you for being an incredible human being.

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