Joseph Mackai , 77, of Cloquet, Minnesota passed away October 4, 2017, peacefully at Solvay Hospice House after a long 9 year battle with cancer. Joe was born May 17, 1940, in Cloquet, Minnesota, to Joseph and Minerva (Yrjanson) Mackai. Joe devoted 31 years to the Cloquet School District and community activities of Cloquet.
Joe was always busy and full of life. He was an avid athlete in his younger years playing baseball and basketball. He led the Cloquet Basketball team, as captain in 1958 to the Big 8 Region Championship. Joe continued his active healthy lifestyle throughout his years. He enjoyed tennis until age 60, canoeing, and traveling with his wife Paula, his children and grandchildren. Joe had a big heart and was always there for his family.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Paula Mackai, two brothers Jim (Carolyn) Mackai and Larry (Kathy) Mackai, and his children Kelly (Mike) O'Donnell, Sherri (Tim) Anderson, Steve Fiske, Michelle Fiske; his loving grandchildren whom he adored Amber O'Donnell and Brian Anderson; uncle and aunt, Ralph and Ona Yrjanson and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be held Saturday, October 7, 2017 10:00 AM, with the funeral service following at 11:00 AM, at Journey Christian Church in Cloquet, with Pastor Fred Goldschmidt and Pastor Hollis Graves officiating. A luncheon will follow immediately in the church and conclude with the Interment service at Maple Grove Cemetery.
Joe's family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Brett Friday of Essentia Health Oncology Dept. whose care over the past 9 years gave the gift of another day, Solvay Hospice House and to all at Journey Christian Church for their support.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Cloquet Education Foundation.