Sandra A. (Mattila) McDonald

February 25, 1946 ~ September 15, 2022 (age 76)


Sandra A. McDonald, 76, Silver Bay, passed away peacefully Thursday, September 15, 2022 at Essentia St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth.

She was born February 25, 1946 in Appleton, Minnesota to Evelyn and Walt Mattila.  Sandy was raised in Silver Bay and graduated from William Kelley High School in 1964.  She met her best friend and the love of her life, Merle McDonald and they married on June 19, 1976.  They retired and returned to Silver Bay where they have resided for 19 years.  They are active members of Sychar Lutheran Church.

A true Finn, Sandy enjoyed a sauna and had plenty of “sisu”!  She loved their trips to Arizona in their RV and hikes in the desert.  Of course, it always ended with a picnic lunch!  She loved her large family and truly did enjoy the forced fun of crafting and weekly dominoes with her sisters. Sandy loved to follow the sporting events of her son and grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Walt and Evelyn, her brother Alvin, sister Dorothy and daughter Melissa.  Sandy is survived by her husband Merle, her son Phillip (Amanda) of Hibbing, Minnesota; Grandchildren Mason and Mara; her sisters, Carol Warrick of Silver Bay, Dianna Wicks (Larry) of Silver Bay, Sharon Babbitt (Bob) of Burnsville; brothers, Jon Mattila (Chris) of Silver Bay, Bill (Jody) of Silver Bay and Jim (Shelly) of Blaine.

Visitation at 10 until 11:00 AM at Sychar Lutheran Church and service to follow on Friday, September 23, 2022.  Private burial at Sawtooth Mountain Cemetery at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, donations to Sychar Lutheran Church.  To share your memories or condolences online please visit

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Memorial Service
September 23, 2022

11:00 AM
Sychar Lutheran Church (Silver Bay)

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