MARQUETTE, MI. - Donald Gene Mattson, age 73, of Marquette, passed away Monday, March 10, 2014, at his home, in the loving, comforting care of his family and Lake Superior Hospice.
Born August 10, 1940 in Duluth, Minnesota, a son of Hjalmer and Mabel (Gulbranson) Mattson, Don was raised in Duluth and graduated from Duluth Central High School in 1958. Upon graduation, he immediately and eagerly enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, proudly serving his country during the Vietnam Era.
Following his honorable discharge in 1962, Don returned to Duluth where he worked for Clyde Iron Company in their machine parts department. He eventually got the carpentry bug and enrolled in evening carpentry classes, eventually doing a lot of carpentry work on the side. He perfected his skill and created many beautiful, functional, and exquisite pieces of furniture over the years; desks for his daughters, and hundreds of cribbage boards, most of them with inlaid designs. In 1985, Don was offered a position with the union and began a long career with the United Steelworkers of America as a staff representative in Duluth. In 1987, he was transferred to the Negaunee office where he served until his retirement in February 2001. In retirement, Don volunteered his time and talent at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans, running the woodshop for the residents and often bringing his dogs for the vets to enjoy. He and wife, Donna, purchased an RV and began spending their winters in Texas, returning to Marquette in the summers. Don was a fantastic carpenter, a mean cribbage player, enjoyed fishing in his younger years, and belonged to golf leagues in the Marquette area. He had a great love for his dogs and treasured their companionship. Don was a member of the United Steelworkers of America, former Marquette Moose Lodge, and Eagles while residing in Duluth.
Don is survived by his wife, Donna Raye (Partika) Mattson, whom he married December 24, 1967; his daughter, Leah (Mark) Boudreau of Alexandria, VA; grandchildren, Henry and Max Boudreau; a sister, Betty Noel of Humble, TX; several nieces and nephews; and his canine companion, Tootsie. Don was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Megan Elizabeth Mattson in January 1985; and canine companions, Sisti and Tio.
The family will receive relatives and friends at the Fassbender Funeral Home on Saturday, March 22, from 1:00 pm until the time of service at 2:00 pm. Rev. Leon Jarvis will preside. Veteran's honors will be accorded by members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 380.
A reception will be held in the reception area located at the funeral home.
Condolences may be expressed online at fassben derfuneralhome.com