BAXTER — Retired United States Air Force MSGT John August Maattala, 57, of Baxter, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, at his home surrounded by his family.
John was born on Jan. 22, 1954, in Crosby, Minn., to David and Bernice Maattala. John graduated from Crosby-Ironton High School. He joined the U.S. Air Force on April 2, 1974, and worked as a Fuel Specialist for the POL Unit most of his career. He spent the last few years in the Air Force working for the Hazardous Materials Supply Unit. He retired from the Air Force on Sept. 30, 1996, and began his career as a Solid Waste Technician for Crow Wing County. John was a Gulf War veteran and received numerous commendations and service awards. He was a life member of the Ironton American Legion Post No. 443 and life member of DAV. John enjoyed traveling, camping, motorcycling, snowmobiling, fishing and spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Marja-Leena Maattala (Lehmikangas), of Baxter; children, John August Maattala II, of Richfield, and Richard Pekka Maattala, of Baxter; four brothers, Richard (Leslea) Maattala, of Leesville, La., James (Frances) Maattala, of Leominster, Mass., Larry (Olimpia) Maattala, of Whittier, Calif., Robert Maattala, of Leominster, Mass.; three sisters, Virginia Santiago, of Fitchburg, Mass., Dorothy (Roland) Copley, of Webster, S.D., and Rochelle (Frank) Choirniere, of Ayer, Mass.; mother-in-law, Kerttu Lehmikangas, of Vasaraperä, Finland; sister-in-law, Sirkka-Liisa Maskulin, Helsinki, Finland; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; and father-in-law, Yrjö Lehmikangas.
John will be laid to rest at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls, Minn., on Friday, July 15, 2011, at 2 p.m. Memorial services will be held the same day at 3-5:30 p.m. at the Arboretum in Baxter.