MATSON, Arlen Jan 12, 1934 – Apr 11, 2021

TRAVERSE CITY [mdash] Arlen Curtis Matson, 87, of Traverse City, entered the gates of heaven, April 11, 2021. Arlen, a man who faithfully walked with God, was a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and dear friend who spent his life teaching, guiding, leading, serving and providing for his family, friends, and community. Blessed by his work ethic, kindness and dedication, he will be greatly missed.
Arlen leaves behind his loving wife of 67 years, Arlene (Griswold); children, Dan (Kathleen), Calvin (Brenda), Cheryl (Don) Carlson, Lori (Tom) Hodek; and daughter-in-law, Becky; 19 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; sisters, Merridee Benham and Anita Peterson; nieces, nephews, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Melvyn and Celia (Sikorski) Matson; son, Bryce Matson; and brother, S. Kent Matson.
Arlen was born in Iron River, Jan. 12, 1934. He met, Arlene Griswold, his "Cadillac Princess" while attending Cadillac High School. The couple married on Palm Sunday, April 11, 1954. Arlen proudly served his country during the Korean War, in the United States Air Force. Despite the "time and distance" the war posed, the couple remained very much in love and united through their commitment to one another and the Lord.
Arlen attended Central Michigan University, and enjoyed a 35-year career in elementary education. He taught in the TCAPS system at Old Mission, Oak Park and Sabin schools. He taught all subjects, but he was most passionate about science.
Arlen loved being in nature and surrounded by God's creation. His favorite hobbies included camping, hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, biking, backpacking, fishing and photography. Arlen's passion for the outdoors was integral in his founding of the GT Hiking Club, and pivotal roles with the North Country Trail. He assisted in numerous grant writing proposals for the trail, along with blazing and maintaining parts of it. He was a talented poet and published author of the book "The Adventures of Anderson.
Faith and spirituality were Arlen's foundation for everything he did in life, and nature was a way for him to connect to the fullness of God's beauty. He was a long-time member of Bible Baptist Church. As a husband, father, and grandfather he was a beloved teacher, provider, and leader. His generous spirit, eternal kindness and love for God, family and friends impacted countless lives.
A funeral service honoring Arlen's life will take place Saturday, April 17 at 10 a.m. at Bible Baptist Church in Traverse City. Visiting hours will begin at 9 a.m.. Following the service, there will be procession to Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens, where military honors will take place.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Bible Baptist Church, 1915 Cass Road, Traverse City, MI 49685 or to Grand Traverse Hiking Club, 520 Highland Park Drive, Traverse City, MI 49686.
Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home is caring for Arlen and his family. His tribute page may be viewed at

View Original NoticeMATSON, Arlen Jan 12, 1934 - Apr 11, 2021