Onni Mattias (Matt) Maja

Born April 23, 1927, in Port Arthur, Ontario. Passed away on January 20, 2016 in the Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Matt was predeceased by Helen, his loving wife of 66 years in 2014, his two elder sisters, Sylvia (Arne) Maki, Julia (Dalton) Mayes, brother-in-law, Jack Hodges, sister-in-law Betty (Owen) Neill, and his eldest daughter Grace (Rick) Maja-Johnston. He is survived by 2 younger sisters, Lemmitty Hodges, Aune (Eero) Pontynen, 6 children, Dan (Lynne) Maja, Betty (Richard) Fahlman, Julia (Kent) Hough, Emily Maja (Cyril Gregory), Matt (Barb) Maja, Jodi (Bill) Rendall, 11 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, brother- in-law Harry (Norma) Barden, and many nieces and nephews. Matt moved to BC from Ontario in 1951 with his new family to pursue job opportunities in logging and road construction. Matt was active in the Kinsmen Club, Masonic Order, Boy Scout Leadership and also ran as a Liberal candidate. In 1970, Matt and Helen moved to Kelowna where he taught at Okanagan College. When that ended it was back to logging until he accepted an Instructor position in the Heavy Equipment Operator Program at Malaspina College in Nanaimo which included a two year teaching stint in Indonesia. When that Program was cancelled he worked for the Department of National Defence at Nanoose Bay until his retirement. Matt had high expectations of honesty, good work ethics, family values and high moral standards of everyone he knew. He also enjoyed sharing his passion for creating new projects, fishing, gardening, and crib playing with family and friends. A celebration of Matt’s life will be held in Nakusp from 1-4 pm, April 23, 2016, at the Legion Hall. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice as giving to the community was always an important part of Matt’s life. Matt’s family would like to express their appreciation to the doctors and staff at the Arrow Lakes and Vernon Jubilee Hospitals for their care and comfort of their Dad through this difficult time. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.firstmemorialfuneralkelowna.com. Arrangements entrusted with First Memorial Funeral Services, Kelowna, BC 250-762-2299

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