ATTALAI, Matthew Peter George - Afghanistan / Ishpeming, MI Matthew Peter George Attalai was killed in Afghanistan at the age of 26 serving his country on September 6, 2010. Matt was born November 1, 1983 and raised in Toronto, Ontario, a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S.A. After completing high school, Matt joined the U.S. Army and served with distinction in Iraq. Following honourable discharge, he continued to work against his countries' enemies in Afghanistan. Matt had a deep love for his family and friends, for both of his countries, for the North, the outdoors, canoeing, road trips across North America, food, and drink, AC/DC and animals. He was brave, tough, funny, thoughtful, decisive and a leader. When he spoke, he meant what he said. His family was very proud of him and misses him very much. Survived by forever loving parents Andrew and Christine (Koskimaki) Attalai, beloved sister Emily (Attalai) Kaare, brother-in-law and great friend Jason Kaare and their child Jacob Kaare, friend and almost sister Bernadette Stewart, his beloved grandfather George Koskimaki, great-aunts Maria Antalffy, Mildred Hilley, Agnes Metsa and Sally Ohman, uncle Les Antalffy, aunt Lilli (Antalffy) Keating, aunt Kati (Antalffy) Sowiak, uncle John Kolehmainen, many cousins and friends in Canada and the States, his godparents Mary Hardie and Rev. Stanley Bunston and four special dogs: Rusty, Leah, Marley and Lexie. He was preceded in death by his beloved grandparents Helen and Peter Attalai and Eva Koskimaki. A memorial service will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at the Faith Lutheran Church, Co. Rd. 581 Ishpeming, Michigan with Rev. Kenneth Lahners officiating. Visitation one hour prior to the service. A reception will follow the service at the Tilden Township Hall. Military Honors will be conducted at 4:15 p.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Marquette County Humane Society. Matt's obituary may also be viewed at www.bjorkandzhulkie.com where his guestbook may be signed.
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Published in the Toronto Star on Sept. 9, 2010