Karen “Kaye” Mattson peacefully crossed over into new life on April 16, 2019, surrounded with love from her family. Born on February 24, 1941, in Storm Lake, Iowa, to Walter and June Sundblad, she grew up in Albert City, Iowa, and later moved to Longview Washington where she met her husband Dale Mattson. They were married for 58 years, living in Bellingham and on Orcas Island.
Kaye was loved and known by many as “The Butterfly.” She treasured music, played the piano and sang in church choirs in Bellingham and Orcas Island. Her faith was very important to her. She was a discussion leader in Bible Study Fellowship, served as deacon at St. James Presbyterian Church in Bellingham, and as senior warden at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Orcas Island. She was well known in the community, having served in many organizations including the Orcas Island Community Foundation, National Association of Bank Women and as president of the Orcas Island Kiwanis Club. She had a long career in banking beginning in 1962 at Northwestern Commercial Bank in Bellingham, followed by Security Pacific Bank and Bank of America. She retired in 2004 as a vice president and branch manager of Islanders Bank on Orcas Island. In retirement, Dale and Kaye would say that they were fortunate to live in two paradises – Orcas Island and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Kaye is survived by her husband Dale, son Doug (Sharon) Mattson, daughter Kristin (Phillip) Suarez and grandchildren Eric (Amber) Mattson, Zane Suarez, Cameron Mattson and Marley Suarez. She also had many dear friends with whom she’d share a cup of Earl Grey tea on the island deck or “te helado” on the “casita terraza.”
A memorial service to celebrate Kaye’s life will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Orcas Island June 1 at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Kaye’s honor to Christ Church by the Sea, which supports a small school for children of migrant workers located north of Puerto Vallarta. Checks may be written to: “Vallarta Mission” (a 501(c)(3)), and sent to: Vallarta Mission c/o Jeff Fulton, 1507 Brookcrest Ave., Morton, IL 61550. A receipt will be returned upon request.