SOUTH RANGE – Gordon J. Mattila, 87, of South Range, died on December 3, 2013.
Gordon was born June 23, 1926, on the Mattila family farm in Toivola, the sixth of thirteen children to Samuel and Laura Mattila.
He was preceded in death by his parents and eight of his siblings.
He is survived by brothers, Alvin (Lydia), Sanfred (Pat) and Leo (Marian); and sister, Carol (Bob) Deede in addition to a large extended family.
Gordon was married to Marjorie Aho on December 23, 1950, at her home in Boston Location. Gordon and Marjorie had four children, Joel (deceased), Laurie (Tom Mattila), Wynne (David Crisman) and Kris (Christina); and four grandchildren, Grayson, Garrett, Dane and Owen.
Gordon worked on the family farm from a young age, logged, served in the United States Navy during WW II, sailed on the Great Lakes, was employed at the White Pine Copper Mine and worked for Yalmer Mattila Contracting, Inc., initially as carpenter (with only a hammer and a saw) and retired as Vice President in 1992.
Gordon was a 62-year resident of South Range. He was a village council member, serving several terms as president. For a time, he was a member of the Range Lions Club, serving as their president. Additionally, he was a Boy Scout Master in South Range. Gordon was a long time member of the South Range Apostolic Lutheran Church where he served many years as a board member and chairman. In addition, he was a Sunday School teacher and superintendent.
He enjoyed spending his free time at his camp at Misery Bay on Lake Superior. He enjoyed the outdoors, especially brook trout fishing even when unsuccessful. Gordon enjoyed spending time with his grandsons at the camp, in the woods, or teaching them life lessons. Gordon was particularly adept at fixing just about anything. During his retirement he wrote five books of stories about his life, it’s lessons and it’s adventures.
The family would like to thank the administration and staff of the Houghton County Medical Care Facility for their loving care of our husband, father, grandfather and friend for the past two years.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, December 6, 2013, in the Fellowship Hall in the South Range Apostolic Lutheran Church.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the church with Pastor Ernest Bylkas III to officiate.
Additional visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Memorials may be given to the South Range Apostolic Lutheran Church in the name of Gordon J. Mattila.
Arrangements are being handled by the Mountain View Mortuary of South Range, Antila Funeral Service, Inc.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at antilafuneral.com.
He was a good man.