Cathlene Lou Maatta
  • 64 years old
  • Date of birth: Jun 16, 1950
  • Place of birth:
    Menomonie, Wisconsin, United States
  • Date of passing: Aug 21, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Chetek, Wisconsin, United States
Let the memory of Cathlene be with us forever

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Cathlene Maatta, 64, born on June 16, 1950 and passed away on August 21, 2014. We will remember her forever.


On August 21, 2014, Cathlene Lou (Clark) Maatta passed away peacefully at home after a two-year battle with cancer.  She was surrounded by her children and knew that she was loved by many.  Cathy was 64 years old.


Cathy was born in Menomonie, WI on June 16, 1950.  She was the second of four children born to Audrey (Owens) Clark (Samplawski) and Joseph Clark. 


Her family relocated to Chetek, WI, and most of her adolescence and adulthood was spent in the Chetek area.  She attended Chetek High School, and had the opportunity to not only paint a mural on the school hallways, but was also the subject of a step-by-step demonstration of leather tooling.  Her teacher took pictures of her at each step and then used the slides to teach his future classes.


After graduation, she attended cosmetology school and took a job at Honey’s Beauty Shop in Rice Lake (now the Charm).


On November 7, 1970, she married Edwin Maatta at the Chetek Lutheran Church.  After having two children, the family settled in Owatonna, MN for 11 years before moving back to the Chetek area.


Cathy worked at Kwik Trip in Chetek for 20 years, retiring not long after her initial cancer diagnosis.  She first started in the deli, and eventually worked numerous areas of the store – coffee hostess, bakery department, cash register, truck unloading, and freezer.  She was told by numerous people (locals and tourists alike) that they made a point to visit Kwik Trip in the mornings just to experience her smiles and cheerfulness.


Cathy’s artistic and crafting abilities extended throughout her whole life.  She was an avid tatter, a skill taught to her by her great-aunt, and one that is being lost in today’s world.  She sewed, crocheted, knitted, painted, drew, and also enjoyed learning new craft projects.  She enjoyed her ability to create items and give them to other people, saving very few of the items for herself.


She was an avid Packers fan.  After she purchased a garden gnome figurine simply because it was painted in green and yellow clothing, her family started giving her officially licensed Green Bay Packer gnomes.  Those gnomes were on display all season long, and if the Packers were having difficulty in a game, the gnomes would be lined up right in front of the television to share their “mojo” with the team and to lend their support.  She did not have a traditional Christmas tree – she had a Green Bay Packer tree complete with a green and gold Santa hat as a tree topper (we never got around to painting an angel figurine with Packer colors).  When game day rolled around, she would call her kids and remind them to put on their Packer gear to support their team.


Cathy’s children often teased her about her “Pollyanna” view of life.  She was habitually cheerful and chose to see the positive aspects of events and circumstances.  She remained cheerful throughout her difficult battle with cancer, and always made time to help others even though she was having such a struggle in her own life.  Even at the end, she would join her daughter in singing the chorus to “What’s New, Pussycat”.


She had the rare gift of making other peoples’ lives just a little bit better, simply by being around her.  One of her favorite sayings was, “Sadness and sickness go hand in hand, but it’s hard to throw up when you’re laughing!”


Cathy was preceded in death by her husband Edwin Maatta, her father Joseph Clark and stepfather Melvin Samplawski, brother Charles Clark, and stepbrother Michael Samplawski.


Cathy is survived by her children, Stephanie (Douglas) Rautio of Eau Claire, WI, and Joshua Maatta of Barron, WI; her grandchildren Jacob Maatta of Frederic and Logan Rautio of Littleton (CO); her mother, Audrey Samplawski; her siblings Ginger Kell of Chetek, Cindy (Steve) Risberg of Augusta, Vicki Clark of Cameron, Gayle (David) Pearson of Racine, John (Christine Weymouth) Samplawski of Bloomington (MN), and Patricia Samplawski of Holmen; numerous nieces and nephews, and many friends.


A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 30 at 11:00am, at the Advent Christian Church (1204 Second Street) in Chetek, WI.  Her ashes will be interred at Sumner Cemetery at a later date during a private ceremony.


In lieu of flowers, the family would like to ask that memorial donations be sent in Cathy’s name to support the wonderful hospice program that cared for her in the last days of her life.  The donations will be used to support the hospice volunteer and bereavement programs.  Gifts can be mailed to: Mayo Clinic Health System, Home Health & Hospice, PO Box 2060, Eau Claire, WI 54702.  Please include a note that you would like to specifically direct the donation to the Barron Team so that the funds can be used locally to help other families going through this difficult time.


We love you, Mom.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Melanie Kell on 30th August 2015

"Hi,  Aunt Cathy! - Just wanted to acknowledge your day (even though I'm writing this a little late).  I can't believe it has been a whole year.  Everyone is doing probably as well as you'd imagine...  Just wanted you to know that you are thought of often and you'd think I'm funny, but I still have your phone number in my phone.  Thanks for all your smiles and encouraging me to live my life as a strong independant woman.     I will always remember your wisdom in the most recent talks we had.    I love you.  - Mel"

This tribute was added by Joe Jezek on 30th August 2014

"I was lucky enough to meet Cathy a handful of times thanks to Stephanie, but what I realized during those few times being around Cathy was what a compassionate and loving human being she was.  I loved her laugh and loved that she truly loved her children.  What a wonderful person.  Although our encounters were brief and short, she will always be remembered.  Rest in peace Cathy."

This tribute was added by susan davis on 29th August 2014

"Sweet, beautiful, and a breath of sunshine. Blessings sent to the family."

This tribute was added by Robyn Lee on 28th August 2014

"I send my sincere condolences to all of Cathy's friends and family. I met her many years ago as she waited on me at Kwik Trip, and over the years greeting each other while passing through the store.  About a year ago I saw her again while attending the YANA support group in Rice Lake. She was always willing to visit and had a smile on her face. She will be greatly missed by all of us who knew her and will be missed by her YANA sisters. I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers, and hold onto the wonderful memories she gave you."

This tribute was added by Susan Schaller Paulson on 26th August 2014

"A beautiful lady inside and out!"

This tribute was added by Chris Dewey on 26th August 2014

"What a beautiful tribute to a lady who always had a smile on her face, always had the time to greet you and tell you to have a great day. When I was still working I used to stop every morning and "visit" briefly at Kwik Trip with Cathy and it made my day. She was an awesome artist, but so humble about her creations. I asked her one day if she would bring in something she was working on and she told me to stop the following day; she had pencil sketched the most beautiful clown face and when I told her it was terrific her response was; "oh it's nothing really." I haven't seen her in some time, but when I heard she was battling cancer I added her to my prayer list. We have lost one of the most caring and loving individuals and Heaven has gained a very special Angel. Prayers to the family & friends of Cathy as you celebrate her life. A special hug to Audrey Samplawski in the loss of both her husband, Mel, and her beloved daughter, Cathlene. God's peace to all of you!"

This tribute was added by sue hughes-dodge on 25th August 2014

"i have known cathy for a long time we were classmates and she was a great friend,she would cut my hair and we would talk and laugh,she was a great artist and had so much love to give,and she did,she will be missed by so many,sorry I won't be able to say a final good bye to her,we will be out of town that weekend,but i will say a special pray for her and the family."

This tribute was added by Melanie Kell on 25th August 2014

"My Aunt Cathy never complained - not ever. Not even on her bad days.  I was glad for all the laughs I could give her to distract her from her sickness.  She had the bluest eyes and they always twinkled threatening mischief. She was an expert at making little doll clothes and I'll treasure them always.  She always found the bright side of everything and I will miss her smile."

This tribute was added by Kathie Coulombe on 24th August 2014

"I will remember Cathy's smile and positive attitude. Her 'Good Morning' and 'How ya doing" was sincere. She really wanted to know how I was doing. We would chat for just a second at Kwik trip, and I always left feeling glad to have seen a friend. Our little outings with the girls were fun and she always made me feel part of the family, even though I am just a friend. I especially loved her stories about her grandson, Jake. We would laugh about getting old and being Grandmas. She will be missed..... Blessed Be."

This tribute was added by Nancy Lukens on 23rd August 2014

"What a special lady and friend.  Even though I haven't seen Cathy for 25 years the memories I had of her are vivid.  So pleasant and she always had a sense of humor.  I consider her one of the dearest people I've known. If you knew her very well you would know how genuine she was.   She left a mighty big mark in this world. May the Lord comfort your family as you figure out how to live without this special person day by day.  God truly is our refuge and strength......"

Leave a Tribute:
Invite your family and friends
to visit this memorial:

Subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when others contribute to this memorial.

Click on a photo to enlarge.

This memorial is administered by:

Stephanie Rautio


Have a suggestion for us?

We are waiting for your feedback!