Nathan W. Saari


Nathan Wilson Saari

Date of Birth: November 26, 1982
Date of Death: February 22, 2018

Nathan Wilson Saari, age 35, entered eternal life Thursday, February, 22, 2018, doing what he loved to do, flying. He touched many lives, lived many lives, and we wish he lived longer, as we on earth miss him and mourn.

Born November 26, 1982 in Boston, Massachusetts, a son of Arthur and Paula (Wilson) Saari, Nathan’s parents, both from Marquette, brought him back to the Upper Peninsula “God’s Country” in 1983. He graduated from Marquette Senior High School, Class of 2001, and from Western Michigan University in 2008 with many years of flight training during and after his college years. As a flight instructor, he taught many the beauty, freedom and challenge of flying. He certified and re-certified multiple times as a flight instructor and commercial pilot. He served as a co-pilot and pilot-in-command for various single-engine, twin-engine and small frame jets. Nathan worked for several years for Superior Aviation in Kingsford. This year, he began as the corporate pilot for Pagels Ponderosa Farms in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. At this time in his life and career he considered it a dream job, liking everyone he met and embracing this new phase of his wholeheartedly.

Nathan was a loving son, brother, uncle, nephew, and friend. He never lost his playful spirit as the children in our family can attest. They say with men that growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional. The former eluded him to our great despair. He truly leaves a void in our lives as we had looked forward to so many good times yet to come.

Being at our home and camp will never be the same without him.

Nathan leaves behind his parents, Paula and Arthur Saari; sister Aliisa, husband Chad, and daughters Maila, Mariella, and Malina in Hilo, HI; brother Andrew, wife Tessa and daughters, Dylan, Emersyn, and another on-the-way in Lincolnshire, IL; uncle Dean Wilson in Skandia, son Clayton and family, aunt Polly Beach, partner Sue Lundquist, in Ashland, OR, uncle George Wilson, wife Catherine and daughters Rebecca and Sarah with their families, in the Greater Minneapolis area, and many great friends and colleagues throughout the United States.

Nathan was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Bernice and Dr. George M. Wilson, Jr, his paternal grandparents Aili and Arthur Saari, and our adopted uncle Edward Dimock, from his Boston birthplace.

Nathan enjoyed every season outdoors. He enjoyed family and friends, being home or at camp with us all. He lost his canine companion, Odie, last year which stung him greatly. A rescue dog, he was so devoted to Nate. Nate was a great help when he was here at home and camp. We will certainly miss our projects, adventures and time together. He was a lionheart, weathering more than one storm.

We are so thankful that Paula and I had a great overnight visit with Nate in Green Bay the weekend before he died. What a blessing to have hugged him, made future plans for great times yet to come, and kissed him goodbye not knowing how important that moment will forever mean to us. Never take today for granted. Pray for Nathan and pray for each other.

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalm 18:2

The family will receive relatives and friends at Redeemer Lutheran Church on Friday, March 2, beginning at 9:00 am until the time of service at 11:00 am. Rev. Chad Ott, pastor, will officiate. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.

Memorials may be directed to Redeemer Lutheran Church Preschool, 1700 W. Fair Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855 or UPAWS (Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter) P.O. Box 968, Marquette, MI 49855.

The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at

Return to the Memorial Listing