Phyllis "Colleen" Paulson


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for 95 year old Colleen Paulson on Friday, November 3, 2023 at 10:30 A.M. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Graettinger, Iowa. Rev. Paul Kelly and Msgr. Michael Sernett will be the Concelebrants.

Visitation will be Thursday, November 2, 2023 from 4:00-6:00 P.M. at Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

Inurnment will be in High Lake Cemetery in Wallingford, Iowa.

Phyllis “Colleen” Paulson, 95, of Emmetsburg, formerly of Wallingford, Iowa passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 25, at Palo Alto County Hospital surrounded by her family and under the care of the hospital’s compassionate hospice care team.

Colleen was born on January 1, 1928 to Frances (Maloney) and the late Ona Reynolds in Estherville, Iowa where she grew up and attended school. She met Jerome Kenneth Paulson at the Estherville skating rink in the 1940s and they were united in marriage on November 12, 1947 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Colleen started her family in Estherville while she and Jerome started exploring the ice cream industry, opening the first Dairy Queen in Estherville and later in Emmetsburg. They then moved to Florida before finding home in Perry, Iowa. Colleen and Jerome owned and operated the popular Dairy Stripe in Perry and Adel, Iowa for 25 years– Home of the Turtle Sundae and known for its coney dogs and the Paulson Family’s customer service. They then retired to High Lake in Wallingford, Iowa.

Colleen was involved for years in the High Lake Improvement Association, Sons of Norway, and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Graettinger. She enjoyed traveling to visit family and friends on the West Coast, bus trips to Branson, MO, and was a fantastic baker who will be remembered for her perfected Norwegian Kringla. In her lifetime she likely baked tens of thousands of Kringla and shared them with all of her friends and family. In 2016 she moved to Willow Ridge Independent Living in Emmetsburg where she enjoyed her weekly card club and connections and conversations with her dear friends.

More than anything, Colleen enjoyed time with her family. She hosted an annual Labor Day Christmas celebration at High Lake and later at Willow Ridge. Family would travel from coast to coast to spend a weekend in Northwest Iowa enjoying Colleen’s company, a large gift exchange, rhubarb pie, and the Christmas spirit at the end of summer. She will be remembered for her generosity, quick wit, and stubborn Irish spirit. She was adored as a strong and loving mom, grandma, aunt, and dear friend.

Colleen is survived by four of her children, Keith Paulson of Virginia Beach, VA, Linda (Greg) Luethje of Cedar Falls, IA, JB Paulson of Wallingford, IA, and Jennifer Williams of Rock Island, IL. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, one great-great granddaughter, and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, her daughter, Phyllis McDowell, and her parents. She was also preceded in death by her four siblings Doug, Barney, and Mike Reynolds and Mary Jo Goecke and two sons-in-law, David McDowell and Robert Williams.

Arrangements by Martin-Mattice Funeral Home