Carl W. Mantila, 57, passed away Monday, January 3, 2022, at Mid-Michigan Medical Center, Mt. Pleasant, MI. Carl was born in L’Anse, Michigan to Edward and Barbara (Spruce) Mantila. He attended the Pelkie and Baraga Twp. Schools. After earning his high school diploma, he attended the Culinary Arts Program at Northern Michigan University’s Career Technical Education Center. Everyone knew of Carl’s love for baking, and all delighted in his culinary creations. He was also a proud member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Baraga, MI. Proud also of his Finnish heritage, Carl practiced Finnish language phrases, always engaging others to join him.
Carl was an avid birdwatcher, and his knowledge of birds was remarkable. He could cite bird names, types, their birdseed preferences, if they flew south for the winter or stayed in the north or where or how they nested. He loved cats, particularly his niece’s cat Bella. Carl often shared boyhood experiences growing up on the family farm in Pelkie, remembering the many animals including cows, cats, dogs, and bunnies.
Although Carl faced many challenges over the years, all that knew him were awed by his ability to face those challenges with courage. He did so with a remarkable sense of humor, an unbelievable kindness with a gentleness and generosity that inspired many.
Carl was a member of Clubhouse, a program of work and relationship support and recovery for people with mental illness. He was considered a ‘Clubhouse icon’ by Vail Place members in Minneapolis, MN, where he worked in their administrative- business office while residing in Minneapolis for several years. Carl was very proud of his work and contributions to Vail Place. Pictures of Carl remain on the walls of Vail place, reflecting the special place he held in their hearts. The past two years he was a member of PACE, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly in Mt. Pleasant, MI where he resided with his sister Sylvia and brother-in-law Tim. There and at PACE, Carl continued to plant joy.
He will be deeply missed for his sweet, innocent spirit and loving heart!
Carl was predeceased by his Mother and Dad, Edward, and Barbara Mantila and grandparents Samuel Lightfoot Spruce and Margaret Spruce and John and Sophia (Myllyla) Mantila.
Carl’s survivors include his sisters Sylvia (Tim) Murray of Mt. Pleasant, MI; Mavis Mantila of Minneapolis, MN, with whom he resided for five years, and Kathleen (Amparo) Mantila of Alexandria, VA. Surviving brothers are John (Geraldine) Mantila of L’Anse, MI, and Jim (Lisa) Mantila of Republic, MI. Numerous nieces and nephew including beloved niece Elizabeth Evans, whom Carl phoned each evening (Gretchen Piatt), Ypsilanti, MI and Jonathan (Dara) Evans, Salt Lake City, Utah. Kristin Mantila (Scott) Brown of Galesburg, MI, Sara Mantila (Scott) Roosa of Mattawan, MI, and Emily Mantila (John) Russell, Howards Grove, WI., 14 great nieces and nephews, and many cousins. Numerous friends both near and far also grieve including special friend, Connie Edberg of Minneapolis, MN with whom he spoke weekly.
Vail Place will be holding a hybrid/virtual memorial service for Carl. A date has yet to be determined. A graveside service will be held on Friday, May 27th at 1:00 p.m. at the Pelkie Cemetery with Rev. John Henry officiating. A celebration of Carl's life will follow at 2:00 p.m. at the KBIC Zeba Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Carl’s memory can be made to Vail Place, Minneapolis at https://www.vailplace.org
The family is being assisted by Clark Family Funeral Chapel & Cremation in Mt. Pleasant and Jacobson Funeral Home, L’Anse.
Friends may sign Carl's guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com