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Helen Mattson

Helen Sophia Mattson, 82, passed away Monday, Sept. 28, 2009, at her home.

She was born Jan. 22, 1927, in New York Mills, to Walter and Signe Sophia (Hotakainen) Niska. Helen attended country school at District 110 South through the eighth grade. She graduated from New York Mills High School with the class of 1945. Helen was employed as a waitress, a seamstress for Munsingwear, a clerk and secretary for the Co-op Store, Future Homes, Community Action and Dr. Pentti Snellman. On June 15, 1946, Helen married Arnold Alexander Mattson in Wadena. Together they made their home in Minneapolis for six months and then moved back to the Mattson Family Farmstead in rural New York Mills where they raised their family. On Oct. 11, 2008, Arnold passed away. Helen was active in her church group, she enjoyed visiting, baking and canning for her family and friends, especially her hienoleipa and pickles. She loved spending time with her family, yearly vacations to Itasca State Park and attending sporting activities through the years that her children and grandchildren participated in. Helen also enjoyed gardening, bird watching, reading, writing poetry, cross country skiing, her wolf, bear and cardinal collection. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Funeral services were held Friday, Oct. 2, at the Apostolic Lutheran Church in New York Mills with the Rev. Don Salo officiating. The hymns were sung by the congregation with special music provided by Andy and Janet Tumberg. The pallbearers were Barry Miller, Wayne Mattson, Mike Mattson, Don Maunumaki, David Mann and Russ Jacobson. The honorary pallbearers were Helen's grandchildren: Holly, Andy, Jay, Jerry, Tyson, Taryn, Shane, Kyle, Traci and all of her great-grandchildren. Helen was laid to rest in Woodland Cemetery, New York Mills. Arrangements are with Karvonen & Son Funeral Home of New York Mills. Condolences may be sent online at

Survivors include her two sons, Anthony (Karen) Mattson of New York Mills, and Tyrone (Darcy) Mattson of Fargo, N.D.; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sister, Esther (Ray) Underdahl of New York Mills; sister-in-law, Alyce (Bill) Miller of Montrose; many other relatives; and a host of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Arnold; parents-in-law, Hulda and Sander Mattson.