Condolence & Memory Journal

Matt was my first Kid's Hope student - what a way to start! His huge smile and joyful presence will remain in my heart forever. I am so sad for the family's loss and also the loss to our world. I'll see you in heaven, Matt, waiting for your big smile and hug.

Posted by Ruth Dreyer - Holland, MI - Friend   January 18, 2022

I was MattĀ“s professor at WTS. I wanted you to know how much I loved and appreciated him. May the Spirit of Jesus fill the empty places in our hearts.

Posted by Thomas Boogaart    January 17, 2022

I remember when Matt told me that he wanted to be a pastor. He was not quite a teen-ager yet. I praised God when he was ordained. Matt had reached his goal. Only God knows the full impact of Matt's life on the lives of others now and in the years to come. Family, may the God of compassion, give you comfort. Love you.

Posted by Marilyn Stewart - Bowie, MD - Family Friend   January 17, 2022

You have my sincere condolences in the loss of Matthew. God saw he was getting tired and called him home. Rest assured he is now in his Father's house. May God bring your family comfort during this time. Sorry I can not be with you. I'm praying for all if you.

Posted by Gilda Jean J Wilson - Family   January 16, 2022

Matt, you were such a good friend to me. You clearly impacted so many people and it's easy to know why. Your heart was open to everyone. I will miss you. It's so sad to think that I won't see you for a while, but I do know I will see you again.

Posted by Merla - Friend   January 15, 2022

I enjoyed supporting his Ministry at First Presbyterian
Church in Ann Arbor. He displayed so much potential. His smile was infectious and could make you smile on a bad day. Sing with the angels.

Posted by Sandy Herold - Other   January 14, 2022

As a member of First Presbyterian Church, I only met Rev. Matthew in person once, at the All Saints service in November. I will never forget the warmth of his energy during that first meeting. Despite wearing masks, I could see his smile. I hold space to honor his life and grieve the loss many who knew him much better than I, are experiencing at this time. I pray he is resting in peace.

Posted by Tara Shantz - Ann Arbor, MI - Friend   January 14, 2022

Sending my condolences and prayers for the family at this difficult time

Posted by Traci Powell - Other   January 13, 2022

Rita, Matt Sr., Sam and family ~ Sending our love and sympathy to you and your extended loved ones in the loss of Matt! Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you. Sometimes words are just not enough. Embracing you with our hearts, souls and minds. All of you are precious in God's sight and in our hearts. God go with you in the days ahead.

Posted by Rachel Ver Hoef - Holland, MI - Friend   January 13, 2022

As the mother of two sons, I was immediately drawn to Matthew when I first met him, soon after he joined First Pres as a Resident Pastor in Ann Arbor. He had a smile that wouldn't quit.

Our older son is an avid U of M football fan, and has had football tickets for several years, but doesn't live in Ann Arbor, so often has them to share. When he heard that Matthew was new to Ann Arbor and had never seen a Michigan game, we offered him the four tickets. That was the beginning of our wonderful but way too short friendship!
Our family, along with so many more at First Pres, can't believe that the light he shared has gone out in our church, but we know he has left so much love, grace and caring for us to also share! We pray for his family and dear friends who are mourning this great loss, but he will forever be in our thoughts as an amazing witness to Christ's love for all people!

Posted by Katie Parker - Ann Arbor, MI - friend   January 13, 2022

He was a pre-teen when I met him. I called him “Warfelt”. I am heartbroken that he’s not with us anymore. But I am rich for having known him and it was a privilege to see him grow up. To become a manA Godly man who loved others. I’ll forever remember him and cherish those memories

Posted by Timothy Schut - Friend   January 12, 2022

My condolences and prayers to the family during this transitional season.

Posted by A. Jeffrey LaValley - Flint, MI   January 12, 2022

We at First Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor will miss that radiant smile and exuberance for life that was Matthew. I fondly remember hearing him singing in his office as I sat at the Welcome desk at church. We mourn the loss of this promising young pastor as heaven welcomes him to choruses of angels.

Posted by Merry Muilenberg - Friend   January 11, 2022

Yes. Matthew's smile could melt ice. He had such an eagerness and thirst for learning. I knew Matthew in my librarian role at VanRaalte Elementary School. I am grateful I was able to view his joyful ordination service online last summer. He leaves a huge hole in our hearts. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Posted by Sandra Peterson - Holland, MI - Teacher   January 11, 2022

Heaven has definitely gained an angel. I met Matthew at Van Raalte School when he was student there. His smile and personality, and sense of humor lit up a room. My condolences to his family. May God bless and comfort you as you face the next few weeks adjusting to his absence.

Posted by Marita Ruiz Perry - Niederwald, TX - Friend   January 11, 2022

I never saw Matt without a basketball in his hand or a smile on his face. My deepest condolences Rita, Matthew and family. Love, Nurse Ann

Posted by V. Ann Beagle - Lansing, IL - Family Friend   January 10, 2022

I remember you as a young boy hanging out my nephew Justin Greathouse. You were always happy and smiling. You will be greatly missed Matt . My sincere condolences to family and friends. Praying for the strength, comfort, and peace of God to wrap around each of you during this difficult time .

Posted by Yolanda (Candy) Jackson - Selma, AL - Family Friend   January 10, 2022

Matthew, I will forever remember your radiant presence as your colleague and friend. Although I only knew you for a brief period in time, and your beloved Lakers are rivals to my Warriors, all is forgiven. You made a profound impact on my life and the lives of our youth, families and others in our First Pres Ann Arbor community. No one can ever fill the big shoes you leave behind, but we will follow in your footsteps by smiling a little broader, laughing a little louder, and bringing a little more joy into this world... just as you did. Blessings, Brother, to you and yours. Evans

Posted by Evans McGowan - Ann Arbor, MI - Coworker   January 10, 2022

Peace and Comfort, Dear Friend

Posted by Paula Fabiano - Holland, MI - Friend   January 10, 2022