Ralph John Mattila, 96, passed away on July 13th, 2020. Ralph, a triplet, was born on
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June 15th, 1924, to William and Aili (Koopikka) Mattila in Laurium, MI.
Ralph knew his future wife, Milda Evelyn Hanson of Kearsarge, MI., since childhood.
They married on December 16th, 1944 and celebrated 73 wonderful years together with
residences in Detroit and South Lyon, MI. They attended Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Ralph served in the U.S Navy during WWII. After completion of his military service, he
continued to serve his country as a Wayne County Sheriff until his retirement in 1976.
Ralph was patriotic with a deep love for his ancestral home of Finland. He traveled
there 5 times. He was a member of the Knights of Kaleva, Kaleva Park, the Finnish
Historical Society, and the Finnish Cultural Center. He loved the Sauna, the Copper
Country, Deer Hunting, Pasties, and wintering in Lake Worth, FL.
Ralph embodied the Finnish ideal of SISU. Ralph is survived by his 6 children: Dennis
(Norma) of Howell, MI, Donnie (Cheryl) of Westland, MI, Carol (Gary) McKee of Canton,
MI, Dale (Charo) of Thomasville, GA, David (Tracey) of Higgins Lake, MI, and Charlene
(Dale) Coman Hoard of Plymouth, MI.
He was loved by his 12 Grandchildren: Brian (Nicolle) Mattila, Michael (Taryn) Mattila,
Dana (Jessica) Mattila, Dr. Mia (Kyle) Chesnut, Kirt (Dr. Heather, MD) McKee, Scott
(Kristen) McKee, Kelli (James) Lile, Erik McKee, Corrie (John) Sands, Megan Mattila,
Erik Coman, and Jake Coman, his 18 Great Grandchildren: Melina and Livianna Mattila,
Jack and Beck Mattila, Kara and Cody Mattila, Ethan and Camden Chesnut, Myer, Eve,
and Abram McKee, Lukas, Noah, and Levi McKee, Lea Lile and soon to arrive Baby Girl
Lile, Ewan McKee, Dalton Mattila, and his many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Ralph was preceded in death by his loving wife Milda, brothers Robert and Willis, twin
brothers Earl and Carl, sister Barbara, and triplet sisters, Norma, and Aileen Pleshe.
Graveside Service: 1:00pm. Tuesday, July 21 Lakeview Cemetery, Calumet MI.
Memorial donations may be made to the Finnish Center Association Scholarship Fund.