IRONWOOD, Michigan – Nathan Wayne Mattila left this earth at the age of 55 on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 to be with his dear Heavenly Father for eternity and his children by his side in his final moments. He was an inspiration to many as his love for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shone brightly in his daily life.
Nate was born on October 3, 1967 in Vancouver, Washington, to Robert and Sandra Mattila, the fifth child. He grew up in Brush Prairie, Washington and worked on his parents’ berry farm. When he moved to New Hampshire at the age of 17, he began a new career in construction. From a young age he set up his own house building business.
Nate met the love of his life, Kristy Kinnunen, in the summer of 1988. They married on August 19, 1989 and began life together in Vancouver. In 1992, Nate moved into a new life in Ironwood with Kristy and their first two children. There they welcomed six other children. Being a father was one of his greatest joys and his children never doubted his love for them. He continued his career as the owner of Hiland Construction and enjoyed teaching his sons his craft while they worked alongside him.
Nate was a lifelong member of the Apostolic Lutheran Church. He served his local church in Ironwood for many years as a board member.
At the age of 46, Nate began a long battle with medullary thyroid cancer and was diagnosed in November 2013. He fought naturally for nine years with extraordinary determination and strength that could only come from God.
With the diagnosis of terminal cancer, it became increasingly important for him to enjoy his days to the fullest. He was determined to show others the love of Christ. He led by example with his gentle kindness and cheerful spirit, whether at work or at play. He enjoyed vacationing with his wife, hunting, fishing and playing board games. He found great joy in visiting friends and family. Nate loved his grandchildren and was known for always having a baby in his arms.
Nate is survived by his beloved wife Kristy of 33 years; eight children, Tyson (Shana) from Ironwood, Kasey (Logan) Aho from Greer, South Carolina, Randy (Mariah) from Pasco, Washington, Ethan (Nissa) from Houghton, Benjamin (Renae) from Ironwood, Jenna from Ironwood, Ruby ( Randal) Somero of Rindge, New Hampshire, and Anders of Ironwood; 18 grandchildren; his parents, Robert and Sandra Mattila of Brush Prairie; 12 siblings, Mary (Peter) Seppala of Rindge, John (Becky) of Kyle, Texas, Lois (Greg) Holombo of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, Naomi (Al) Kussat of Blaine, Washington, Debbie (Joel) Hill of Pasco, Washington, Martha (Jason) Olin of Seguin, Texas, Ruth (Darin) Kinnunen of Ridgefield, Washington, Tim (Cindy) of Spokane, Washington, Joel (Crystal) of Felida, Washington, Beth (Billy) Kyllonen of San Diego, California , Grace (Jared) Trimble of Pasco, Washington, and Andrew of Brush Prairie; his father-in-law and mother-in-law Kenneth and Marie Kinnunen of Ironwood; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Cindy (George) Pajari of Sebeka, Minnesota, Darin (Ruth) Kinnunen of Ridgefield, Washington, Kurt (Michele) Kinnunen of Manitowish, Wisconsin, Lisa (Alex) Mattila of Battle Ground, Washington, Amy (Kalomb) Hollenbeck by Ironwood, Amanda (Eric) Matson from Brush Prairie, Shianne (Daniel) Aili from Ironwood; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by siblings Mark, Mark’s wife Marge and four of their children Max, Katie, Marcy and Adam; and his niece Whitney Pajari.
Nate will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the staff at the Regional Hospice who supported him in the final months of his life. Everyone who visited, helped in any way, called, and showed their love contributed exponentially to Nathan’s life. He was a sociable person and enjoyed any fellowship. They all made this hardship so much easier to bear.
A funeral service will be held at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, November 27, at the Apostolic Lutheran Church, 326 W. Aurora St., Ironwood, preceded by a 2:00 p.m. visitation, conducted by the Rev. Alan Estola.
After the service there will be lunch.
A funeral service and burial will be held at Sunset Acres Cemetery in Ironwood Township in the spring.
Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc. in Wakefield, supports the family. To send online condolences, please go to lakesidememorialchapel.com.