April 8, 1947 — April 24, 2021

John Warren Mattila, 74, was born April 8, 1947, in Longview, Washington, to parents Arne John Mattila and Aina Elsie (Heino) Mattila.

Mr. Mattila was a three-sport athlete at Mark Morris High School in Longview, and graduated in 1965. A lifelong fan of all outdoor activities, John was also a Boy Scout, and attended the national jamboree in 1960. He enjoyed all outdoor activities.

After high school, John played football at Grays Harbor College, graduating in 1967, and transferring to Western Washington University. There he continued his football career, and graduated in 1970. He received the most inspirational player award for football in 1969. John received a master’s degree from Lewis & Clark College and an administration certificate.

In 1967, at the age of 19, John organized a slow-pitch softball league of six teams in Longview, which later became the Longview Softball Association of more than 150 men’s teams. While at Grays Harbor, he coached two years of Powder Puff football at Hoquiam High School.

While working on his degrees, John spent summers logging for Reynolds Aluminum and R&W Paper. He accepted his first teaching position in 1970 at Tillamook High School, teaching English and coaching football, wrestling and baseball. In 1972, he became the head football coach.

In 1974, John moved to Warrenton High School as the head football coach and taught English, physical education, health, drivers education and later became vice principal.

He coached 23 years of freshman and junior varsity boys basketball, and spent 15 years as the head girls basketball coach. He retired after 42 years of coaching as a member of the elite top 10 list of all time football wins, and in the top 25 of all time basketball career wins.

Beyond his retirement from high school sports, Coach Mattila continued to coach youth football and basketball, which culminated into 50 years of a coaching legacy. All John wanted to be was a coach, and was honored to be called “coach.”

John and Mary Ann (Bechtolt) Mattila have been together for 40 years full of memories and joy. They have one daughter, Dr. Allison Marie Mattila-Gascoigne, of whom he was extremely proud.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, John Alfred and Josephine Mattila and Henry (Wano) and Ina Heino, who all emigrated from Finland; his father, Arne John Mattila; his mother, Aina Elsie (Heino) Mattila, who built a family out of a tragedy; and beloved Aunt Olga Louise (Heino) Karnofski, who continued the legacy of her sister.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; daughter, Allison; son-in-law, Paul; three “brothers,” Mike, Henry and Roger Karnofski; a lifelong friend, Marv Olsen; and the many friends, family and students whose lives that he touched.

John felt how fortunate it was that all members of the family have been so successful, remained close and could rely on each other.

An open, public viewing will be held at Hughes-Ransom Mortuary, 576 12th St., on Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.

The date for an upcoming celebration of life is still being determined.

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