Jump to content

RIP Austin1972 1972-2020


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 246
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I am sorry to say that our resident cow expert Austin1972 has passed. He had been sick for the past month and was down in Illinois selling his house so that he could move to Michigan and live wit

It's tough losing a good guy like Matt. We'd communicated a bit privately since meeting on SA, but didn't get to really know him well till 2014, when Kim Bottles recommended me as the photographer for

That makes me very sad. I can’t tell you all what a tough year this has been. Too many good people have had very bad things happen to them. Fair winds Austin. I wish you had been able to realize your

Posted Images

This thread desrves a pin.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 10:15 AM, Greever said:

I am sorry to say that our resident cow expert Austin1972 has passed.

He had been sick for the past month and was down in Illinois selling his house so that he could move to Michigan and live with his SO/childhood sweetheart. She had last talked to him this past Sunday, and when she hadn’t heard from him by Tuesday she called the local Sherrif to do a wellness check. They found him face down, and deceased. 

His Mother had him cremated, and there will be a Memorial for him this Summer in Onekama, MI. He wasn’t tested for Covid, and there was no autopsy, but his girlfriend thinks it was Covid related. He did have Exema (sp?) an auto immune disease, and he took the quarantine very seriously.

I met him through SA shortly after joining, and we became good friends. I spent many weekends at his family cottage, and he even gave me a key to it. I was at his farm several times and we once blew up a bunch of pumpkins with tannerite. I talked to him a few weeks ago and he didn’t even mention being sick. We instead discussed plans to buy some adjoining land in Michigan and establishing a no kill animal rescue shelter.

He was like a Brother to me, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.......

FUCK 2020, and FUCK Covid-19!!! 

 

Sorry to hear about your loss. 

If only we done things better...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sitting here, listening to a really beautiful livestream of a trio in Amsterdam.  The woman singing has the voice of an angel.  And I'm reading this thread.  

Tears are rolling down my cheeks

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Snaggletooth said:

laffeng that harde?

You know, it's a bittersweet thing.  

I had a great afternoon with a very good friend of mine here, and it was a beautiful autumn day.  Now this woman is singing these beautiful songs about life and lost love and all that shit.  So I feel really good and really bad but not in a bad way, it's life right?

The house in the photo below is a couple of hundred year old estate house.  This part of Poland was Germany until the end of WW II.  I think Austin would have loved the old house in desperate need of renovation.

sa1.thumb.jpg.fc6e7322df6dec961d5629ece29273dd.jpgsa2.thumb.jpg.fbb1bd91dbb8475d3938548a10fc3c98.jpg

sa3.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

very sad news. 2020 really sucks

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 9:21 PM, Burning Man said:

  It would not surprise me in the slightest if some narcissistic, selfish non-mask wearing prick who thought it was a good idea to go out to bars and parties came into contact with Austin at some point and killed him.  It could have been the grocery store cashier, the UPS or Amazon driver, or any number of other people in MI who are calling this the same as "just the flu".  I would say that sort of knowingly reckless behavior borders on 2nd degree murder.

It is beyond my comprehension why people still refuse to wear a simple mask.  How selfish an act this is.  If you do not care about your own well being, that is one thing, but if you do not care about the others around you, that is just insane.  

People in retail are dealing with this anti-mask crap every day.  They are not getting the management support to enforce this.  The local TJmaxx there were 50% of the people not wearing masks this weekend (wife used to work there, keeps in contact with the ladies there) even though signs are everywhere stating this is the law.

Sister in law wanted to get together this Thanksgiving since the larger family cancelled (mom is 84 so we wanted to protect her health).  She said same as above "just the flu".  After the Governor instituted more actions to protect the public, she texted saying "maybe we should not do it this year".   Some say follow the science.  I say follow common sense.

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Mid said:

@Greever

Wouldn't hurt to show this thread to Austin's family 

I was going to let his SO/girlfriend know about it later today.

Gonna be a long day though. I have been working out of town since Covid started. After work I will check into a hotel, then setup my computer for a Zoom meeting since I have school tonight.

Will try to catch up on the thread after that.

In the meantime, thanks for all of the well wishes, Austin72 was a really special person, who was always trying to help other people, and of course take the best care of his beloved cows.......

  • Like 22
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Greever said:

I was going to let his SO/girlfriend know about it later today.

Gonna be a long day though. I have been working out of town since Covid started. After work I will check into a hotel, then setup my computer for a Zoom meeting since I have school tonight.

Will try to catch up on the thread after that.

In the meantime, thanks for all of the well wishes, Austin72 was a really special person, who was always trying to help other people, and of course take the best care of his beloved cows.......

Nice!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 7:15 AM, Greever said:

I am sorry to say that our resident cow expert Austin1972 has passed.

He had been sick for the past month and was down in Illinois selling his house so that he could move to Michigan and live with his SO/childhood sweetheart. She had last talked to him this past Sunday, and when she hadn’t heard from him by Tuesday she called the local Sherrif to do a wellness check. They found him face down, and deceased. 

His Mother had him cremated, and there will be a Memorial for him this Summer in Onekama, MI. He wasn’t tested for Covid, and there was no autopsy, but his girlfriend thinks it was Covid related. He did have Exema (sp?) an auto immune disease, and he took the quarantine very seriously.

I met him through SA shortly after joining, and we became good friends. I spent many weekends at his family cottage, and he even gave me a key to it. I was at his farm several times and we once blew up a bunch of pumpkins with tannerite. I talked to him a few weeks ago and he didn’t even mention being sick. We instead discussed plans to buy some adjoining land in Michigan and establishing a no kill animal rescue shelter.

He was like a Brother to me, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.......

FUCK 2020, and FUCK Covid-19!!! 

 

Sorry, man. Tough stuff. You were a good friend and I am sure you meant a lot to him as well.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Sol Rosenberg said:

In a year in which it seems like we get dulled to an inordinate amount of loss, Austin’s passing stands out as hitting particularly hard. What a loss, and what a void of decency he leaves behind. 

This.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 3:28 PM, Point Break said:

That makes me very sad. I can’t tell you all what a tough year this has been. Too many good people have had very bad things happen to them. Fair winds Austin. I wish you had been able to realize your move to the PNW and live to a happy old age. 
 

There is a lesson here my SA friends........and I have learned it at a very dear price. 
 

We are not promised tomorrow. We only have today. Live that way. 

A good lesson. 

Will we learn?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Much saddened to hear of Austin's passing...he always loved this pic of my Lab pack...we had a couple of chats laughing about my Chinglish tractor and a few more about bacon...hate to see one of the good guys gone...Fair seas and following winds mate...

Screenshot_2020-11-15-06-45-33.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 7:32 PM, VWAP said:

When appropriate someone who knew him should set up a  time for a moment of no posting on this site  in his honor 

There will be a memorial for him this Summer in Onekama, MI.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, badlatitude said:

I am so sorry to hear this. RIP Austin 1972, this world will be darker without you. If you run into Jon Eisberg, tell him that we all miss him as well. Eight bells to you, you will be forever missed.

 

Jon gave me a lot of pointers when I built my Spindrift 9N.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 10:37 AM, IStream said:

What Steam said. For a while he was talking about moving out to the PNW and I was really looking forward to meeting him. Hopefully the Prairie Schooner has taken him to a better place.

The Prarie Schooner is a beast! Rust and all!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 8:59 PM, Burning Man said:

WTF????  WOW!  That sucks hairy balls.  Austin and I corresponded quite a bit early on.  We even talked about getting together on his farm to do some long range shooting and cook steaks with his awesome cast iron skillet recipe.  I regret now I didn't try harder to take him up on his offer, but living overseas made that difficult.  

Oh wow, I'm totally on tilt.  I don't recall how old he was, but I don't think he was all that old.  The world has definitely lost one of the good ones.  FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!

He did buy the rifle and scope that you specified.

Great trigger, I must say.......

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember at least one story Austin told about being out in the middle of the winter having to repair something critical on the farm.  He explained that the job required him to work barehanded.  I grimaced at the thought of it, but when you read it, you would swear he was enjoying himself.  And I can't count how many times when he would mention what he was having for dinner, normally thick steaks, and I was ENVIOUS.  With his love for Lake Michigan, if he is cremated and spread in the lake, I hope he gets to meet my brother and father.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 3:15 PM, Greever said:

I am sorry to say that our resident cow expert Austin1972 has passed.

He had been sick for the past month and was down in Illinois selling his house so that he could move to Michigan and live with his SO/childhood sweetheart. She had last talked to him this past Sunday, and when she hadn’t heard from him by Tuesday she called the local Sherrif to do a wellness check. They found him face down, and deceased. 

His Mother had him cremated, and there will be a Memorial for him this Summer in Onekama, MI. He wasn’t tested for Covid, and there was no autopsy, but his girlfriend thinks it was Covid related. He did have Exema (sp?) an auto immune disease, and he took the quarantine very seriously.

I met him through SA shortly after joining, and we became good friends. I spent many weekends at his family cottage, and he even gave me a key to it. I was at his farm several times and we once blew up a bunch of pumpkins with tannerite. I talked to him a few weeks ago and he didn’t even mention being sick. We instead discussed plans to buy some adjoining land in Michigan and establishing a no kill animal rescue shelter.

He was like a Brother to me, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.......

FUCK 2020, and FUCK Covid-19!!! 

 

Oh fuck!!  

We'd had quite a few discussions over the years about cattle breeds and farming etc, including many pictures of his herd and pasture land.

He'll be sorely missed. RIP Austin. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very sad to hear. Too many good folks leaving us far too soon. I regret not having the chance to meet him in person, but will always appreciate the interactions with him here. Very sorry for your loss Greever, losing a loved one, whether family or folks who are like family, is never easy. My thoughts are with you and the rest of Austin's loved ones.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 7:32 PM, VWAP said:

When appropriate someone who knew him should set up a  time for a moment of no posting on this site  in his honor 

I will bump the thread when I have a date for the memorial service this Summer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 9:21 PM, Burning Man said:

This ^^.  Without wanting to make this political - I simply cannot fathom the whining from those who feel put upon having to wear a paper mask when out in public when both my mother and father spoke of the incredible sacrifices they and all Americans gladly made during both the Great Depression and even more willingly at home during WWII.  Once upon a time not too terribly long ago, Americans actually cared about their fellow citizens and often made sacrifices for the great good of the country.  Now, it all about the individual.  "Me, me me.  F*ck you, I've got mine!" and "what have you done for me lately?"  

Unbelievable disappointment in my fellow Americans is a severe understatement.  I'm embarrassed and disgusted at what we've become and what we're continuing to become.  It would not surprise me in the slightest if some narcissistic, selfish non-mask wearing prick who thought it was a good idea to go out to bars and parties came into contact with Austin at some point and killed him.  It could have been the grocery store cashier, the UPS or Amazon driver, or any number of other people in MI who are calling this the same as "just the flu".  I would say that sort of knowingly reckless behavior borders on 2nd degree murder.

Michigan has responded with tougher restrictions than most states. Believe me, Austin took the quarantine seriously.

I have noticed that age seems to have a lot to do with wether you wear a mask or not. The youngsters think they are bulletproof, but don’t seem to grasp how easy it would be for them to kill Grandma...

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Greever said:

There will be a memorial for him this Summer in Onekama, MI.

If this is anywhere near Mac Race time, open to SAers and safe...please keep us posted.  I chatted with A72 about a visit up that way after one of the Mac races a couple years ago, but I couldn't make the time work.  That's the lesson.  

Make the time work. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Super sorry to hear this news.  He didn't live far from me, and I am sad to have never gotten the chance to sail with him.  Went a bunch of rounds with him here, and he always seemed like a super great guy.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

We supposedly worked with Team Litho at the same time in NYC, though I don't remember him. I thought about his photos of the gatherings of all his employees. I always enjoyed talking with him about the old days in NYC printing, and he loved those cows.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Snaggletooth said:

Merganthaller Litho?

Team mostly had Mitsubishi equipment, they probably had some Mergenthaler prepress stuff, everyone had a bit of that. They were the best shop in NYC, they did the hexachrome, stochastic screening, UV. I could only afford them for a handful of projects, but it was Austin's shop of choice. He could afford anyone.

That media company he owned was apparently very profitable, really big clients. And still he preferred to drink beer with the cows. I never really looked at cows the same way after reading about his time with them.

This is upsetting, he really never had a bad word to say about anyone.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Without meeting or speaking to someone our imagination creates an identity and a voice based on an avatar and a collection of posts. It is sad when that voice becomes silent. It is sadder yet to know a person died alone. Peace Austin. Condolences to all who loved you.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/16/2020 at 4:40 AM, Greever said:

I was going to let his SO/girlfriend know about it later today.

Gonna be a long day though. I have been working out of town since Covid started. After work I will check into a hotel, then setup my computer for a Zoom meeting since I have school tonight.

Will try to catch up on the thread after that.

In the meantime, thanks for all of the well wishes, Austin72 was a really special person, who was always trying to help other people, and of course take the best care of his beloved cows.......

Hey Greever - I've been pondering on this for a few days and wanted to run this by you.  Matt and I corresponded quite a bit over the years and our first real conversation was him contacting me on PM to ask some questions about getting into long range shooting.  He wanted to know what to get, how to use it, setup, scope, etc.  Without going into details, he ended up buying a Rem 700 5R rifle that he later said he loved to shoot when he had the time and he appreciated the recommendations.  He seemed to truly enjoy it and I always felt good about it whenever the subject came up that a recommendation helped someone out and brought some happiness.  We obviously chatted about other stuff..... politics and economics mostly.  But I'll remember him the most related to his interest in long range target shooting, which is a passion of mine as well.  I doubt it was ever a passion for him, but he seemed to enjoy it just the same.  

So I was thinking if the family estate was going to sell that rifle anyway (assuming he even still has it), I would be interested in buying it to keep and use as a tribute to him.  It would be a way to remember him on a regular basis.  There's nothing special about the rifle, it's a fairly common commercial bolt action rifle.  I've got several like it already and don't "need" another.  But I'd be more than willing to pay fair market value for it and give it a good and loving home and use it in honor of him.  It's just a thought and no big deal if they're not interested.  I just wanted to throw that out there.  PM me if you want.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/17/2020 at 10:19 AM, Greever said:

I have noticed that age seems to have a lot to do with whether you wear a mask or not. The youngsters think they are bulletproof, but don’t seem to grasp how easy it would be for them to kill Grandma...

Yep

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Burning Man said:

Hey Greever - I've been pondering on this for a few days and wanted to run this by you.  Matt and I corresponded quite a bit over the years and our first real conversation was him contacting me on PM to ask some questions about getting into long range shooting.  He wanted to know what to get, how to use it, setup, scope, etc.  Without going into details, he ended up buying a Rem 700 5R rifle that he later said he loved to shoot when he had the time and he appreciated the recommendations.  He seemed to truly enjoy it and I always felt good about it whenever the subject came up that a recommendation helped someone out and brought some happiness.  We obviously chatted about other stuff..... politics and economics mostly.  But I'll remember him the most related to his interest in long range target shooting, which is a passion of mine as well.  I doubt it was ever a passion for him, but he seemed to enjoy it just the same.  

So I was thinking if the family estate was going to sell that rifle anyway (assuming he even still has it), I would be interested in buying it to keep and use as a tribute to him.  It would be a way to remember him on a regular basis.  There's nothing special about the rifle, it's a fairly common commercial bolt action rifle.  I've got several like it already and don't "need" another.  But I'd be more than willing to pay fair market value for it and give it a good and loving home and use it in honor of him.  It's just a thought and no big deal if they're not interested.  I just wanted to throw that out there.  PM me if you want.

I have already requested it for myself. I have a .30-06 that is decent, but to have one of Matt’s guns would be priceless for me. He has shotguns that are worth way more than the Rem 700.

He did mention that you gave him the recommendation, and he followed it to the T. He even got 200 rounds of the match grade ammo. I know it’s not fancy, but it is a nice gun. I blew up a pumpkin with it.

His SO is registered here now, and is following this thread. I will be sure to let the family know about your offer. 

Hell, I would be happy to have his Ruger 10-22 just knowing it was his.

I will send you a PM this weekend. Out of town right now for work.......

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Greever said:

Hell, I would be happy to have his Ruger 10-22 just knowing it was his.

You seem too nice to be tarred with the scourge of owning an assault weapon like that. My reputation couldn't get much worse, so I'll take the hit and take it off your hands if you want.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, inneedofadvice said:

It never ceases to surprise me how much impact losing one of the people that I respect here, but have never met, has on me. He came across as a thoughtful and truly nice person. Fair winds and my consolations to family and friends.

Odd isn't it. I suppose it's because they are like a friendly workmate, we get to know their little quirks and somehow glean their personality over time just as if they were friends in the real world.

I didn't know him nor exchange much, but his kindness and gentleness  just shone through to make him memorable.

Just a thought. Everyone loved his photo's and recipes  (especially cow pictures) but they are scattered all over the forum posts, (even in PA).

Perhaps someone  could start a thread where y'all could keep them all together as they turn up with the relevant post and add other cow related stuff as one wishes (Larson anyone). Just call it "Cows"  or something. Just a thought. :)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Quotidian Tom said:
10 hours ago, Greever said:

Hell, I would be happy to have his Ruger 10-22 just knowing it was his.

You seem too nice to be tarred with the scourge of owning an assault weapon like that. My reputation couldn't get much worse, so I'll take the hit and take it off your hands if you want.

you our a realle teame playere...........                            :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Quotidian Tom said:

You seem too nice to be tarred with the scourge of owning an assault weapon like that. My reputation couldn't get much worse, so I'll take the hit and take it off your hands if you want.

Hah! I have a 10-22 that is very modified.

Still don’t have a bull barrel that’s threaded though. I guess I should get on that...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Greever,  What will happen to his cows?  Sold to another farmer, I imagine?  

Makes me think of the old saying, "The more people I meet, the more I like my dog."  Just substitute cows for dog...

Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

Greever,  What will happen to his cows?  Sold to another farmer, I imagine?  

Makes me think of the old saying, "The more people I meet, the more I like my dog."  Just substitute cows for dog...

There is a full time farm hand that gets an extremely generous pay package. Not sure what he will do when the farm is sold, but I am sure he will take care of everything in the meantime...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't been on SA for a bit and read this. Several  exchanges over the years but never met him. A thoughtful gentleman,  admired and appreciated.

Carry on Sir, wherever you are, I'm sure you will.

Genuine Respect from this quarter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/18/2020 at 2:29 PM, Greever said:

I have already requested it for myself. I have a .30-06 that is decent, but to have one of Matt’s guns would be priceless for me. He has shotguns that are worth way more than the Rem 700.

He did mention that you gave him the recommendation, and he followed it to the T. He even got 200 rounds of the match grade ammo. I know it’s not fancy, but it is a nice gun. I blew up a pumpkin with it.

His SO is registered here now, and is following this thread. I will be sure to let the family know about your offer. 

Hell, I would be happy to have his Ruger 10-22 just knowing it was his.

I will send you a PM this weekend. Out of town right now for work.......

That's all good.  As long as it's going to someone who will appreciate it - that makes me happy.  Enjoy the Rem 700.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Burning Man said:

That's all good.  As long as it's going to someone who will appreciate it - that makes me happy.  Enjoy the Rem 700.

Not so fast.

His brother in law is a gun guy.

That is probably where his guns will go.

I am grateful to have been able to call him a friend...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read this and as said above i'm inordinately gutted for never having met the man.  We used to talk cows as I'm a country kid gone to boats.  I will very much miss his level headed courteous manner and quick sense of humor.

 

Deepest condolences to his family and all who knew him.  Go well my friend.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Greever said:

Not so fast.

His brother in law is a gun guy.

That is probably where his guns will go.

I am grateful to have been able to call him a friend...

You definitely seemed like a good friend.  Again, so sorry for your loss.  However, I am a firm believer that those who are loved will live on in our hearts - so they're never truly gone.  If we keep their memory alive, even in some small way, they are never truly dead.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Burning Man said:

However, I am a firm believer that those who are loved will live on in our hearts - so they're never truly gone.  If we keep their memory alive, even in some small way, they are never truly dead.  

You wached Disneys 'Coco' diddente you?  It changed my life, and my undestandeng............                   :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

You wached Disneys 'Coco' diddente you?  It changed my life, and my undestandeng............                   :)

Coco?  No, I didn't.  What's it about?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the fields he sees now are as green as the ones he tended to here, it warms my heart to think so. I don't post here much, but I loved looking at his photos. What I can't stop thinking about is how he was found, I think because my mom passed away without us there- we didn't expect it. 2020 sucks bigly. Condolences to all. 

 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/15/2020 at 4:45 PM, Sail4beer said:

Sorry he’s gone. Never a nasty word or thought from that gentleman. I always admired him

I'm late to the thread, adding my condolences to family and friends. 

And Sail4Beer captured my thoughts. Gentleman.

Rest in peace, Matt.  You left too soon.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's tough losing a good guy like Matt. We'd communicated a bit privately since meeting on SA, but didn't get to really know him well till 2014, when Kim Bottles recommended me as the photographer for Launch Digital Media for a redo of the PNW School of Wooden Boatbuilding website. We finally met in person at the Spike Perry Rendezvous at Bob's in June of 2014. Hard to find a more personable and caring guy then Matt. We exchanged gifts and specialty meats. We even have a few frozen packages of his last wonderful gift of bacon wrapped chicken breasts. I'm still trying to figure out why a cattle rancher who raised a few hogs, would send bacon wrapped chicken breasts - I presumed it to be the bacon. But Matt said,  "The reason it's chicken is because it's flexible if you have family or company coming by as a meal or appetizer...And they taste good! Next time I get out your way, we'll go sample some of your local seafood and craft beer. I like all seafood so anything goes." 

I replied, ''Your on. Showup in the summer, for an overnighter to Port Townsend, a hot English or American breakfast aboard, eats and finger food through the day, and a seafood dinner aboard or ashore in the evening and a selection of local brews.'' He replied, "Game on. Can I trim the main? That's my favorite...And making coffee. It always tastes good on a boat for some reason." I replied, "You can trim anything you want.  I like coffee on the water in the morning as well. We always make fresh strong coffee, grinding fresh dark espresso beans aboard, then using a cone and filter.'' He replied, " That'll do the trick."

The last I talked with him was about a month and a half before his passing in a video chat, when he told me about what he went through in the hospital, with the doctors finally beating the Edema skin condition, that was causing the skin loose. I still haven't heard from anyone exactly what took him down, if it was indeed Covid related or one of the underlying conditions that caused his Edema skin condition.

Fair winds and smooth sailing Matt. You deserve that much, you were one of the good guys.

A few words from his lifelong friends.

This from his girlfriend Jennifer: It was two weeks ago that I last spoke with Matt Middleton. I have been thinking of what to say that has been left unsaid. All I can say is that I greatly miss you. I have know you since we were young children. Our families have been connected since well before that, as his grandparents were good friends with my great-grandparents. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the last few years with you as "Your Girl". You were my best friend, and you were to be "partner for life/partner in crime", as we frequently said. I am so sorry our time was cut short, but I am glad you are no longer suffering. I will remember you forever and try to focus on all the fun times we did have together. I miss you and I love you.

This from his friend and coworker Jamie: This one is hard. Really hard. I’ve lost quite a few friends over the years but losing a best friend unexpectedly hurts the most.

Matt was one of the nicest and most friendly guys on the planet. He was humble, kind, thoughtful, loving, generous, so darn smart, loyal, fun, and funny. He was my best friend, my right hand man, my personal diary, and therapist.
When we started working together 9 years ago I never would have thought that we’d grow so close. One day I told him I had a house up in MI in the middle of nowhere and it turned out that he had a cottage nearby. That was it. We were friends for life. We talked everyday, most times for hours. I’d visit him up north a couple of times every summer with the kids. He was so good with them, especially Jessie. He adored her.
He was one in a million no, billion.
This is a huge loss for all of us that knew and loved him. My prayers go out to his family and friends.
 
This from his childhood friend Erik:  It's been a painful couple of days. For those that don't know, Matt died unexpectedly at his home earlier this week.
 
My oldest friend… I've known him since we were 3 feet high. He was one of the smartest guys I knew. Arguing with him was pointless as he would always pull some random knowledge from a seemingly endless mental file cabinet to prove me wrong.
 
We managed to get ourselves in our fair share of trouble over the years and it’s a wonder we survived as long as we did. Back in the 80’s, 2 kids on bikes with 10 hours until dark could find a staggering amount of things to do. Many of which landed in that small grey area between thrill-seeking and general stupidity.
He was Uncle Matt to my boys. I brought Evan up to Michigan for a visit when he was old enough and Matt spent the afternoon teaching him how to fish off the end of the dock…Evan still loves fishing.
 
Golfing at Meadowlark for $2, skiing at Wilmot on Saturdays, almost crashing his boat (Bob) into a sailboat because the steering wheel was hard to turn to the left, blowing up pumpkins with Tannerite and sniper rifle. I’ll remember and appreciate it all brother...
 
So as I sit here trying to compress 40+ years of memories, experiences and time well (and not so well) spent, I realize...I can't. It's too much and I can’t do it justice. Hopefully, on occasion, something will clear the cobwebs on a hidden gem of an old memory I’d long forgotten.
Fair winds and following seas my friend.

From one of his best friends Mike:  For those that have not heard this unfortunate news, I am sad you have to read this here. Earlier this week, Matt passed away. I cannot believe I am typing this, and it is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. For those of you that really knew Matt, know he as a selfless, kind person, and always friendly to everyone. This is probably why he has been one of my best friends for the past 32 years. I met this guy hanging out on the end of a dock when I was 15, and we instantly became best friends. I could write several novels on all the fun adventures we have had over that time, it is really just too bad and sad, that chapter has now ended. I certainly would not be who I am today, if I had never met Matt. When I received this news a few days ago, I was in complete shock, and I still am. Matt- you will truly be forever missed!

His girlfriend Jennifer posted this last week: This is the original obituary for Matt, the one that is the link is scaled down:

Matthew (Matt) Austin Middleton, age 48, passed away in his home on Monday November 9th, in Sandwich, IL. Matt was born June 2, 1972 in Western Springs IL, to the late Richard (Dick) Middleton and Betty Middleton. After graduating from Lynon’s Township High School in Western Springs, Matt went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Art History from Ripon College in Ripon WI.
 
Matt loved people, and people loved Matt. He would always greet you with a giant smile, an over the top handshake, or a big hug, then ask you how you are doing. Then when given the chance, he would bring up his favorite topic, his family farm in Sandwich, IL. He would always be quick to point out how many cattle he had and what the breed was. His favorite fact was that his farm was the largest beef producing farm in Kendall County.
 
When Matt was a kid, he loved spending his summers at Onekama, MI, where he would take his friends out waterskiing for hours every day in his boat named “Bob”. Everyone on the lake knew Matt and his boat. If you wanted to go out for a day on the lake, all you needed to do was ask. Matt was generous like that, and never said no. If you saw Matt in the evening, a typical conversation might start with, “are you going out in Bob tomorrow?” He would also never turn down the opportunity to go out sailing. As an adult, Matt continued to share his love of the water. Over the years, he taught many of his friends’ kids how to fish, and would sit on the dock with them, teaching them how to tie a knot, cast the bait, and, most of all, how to be patient.
 
Golf was another of Matt’s favorite hobbies. It was always an experience, going to the Bear Lake golf course with Matt and his parents. Be it Matt or his dad, somebody usually found a way to either bank their tee shot on #9 off the roof of the clubhouse, or miss the green bad enough that the ball was dodging cars on Hwy 31.
If you were ever invited to Matt’s for dinner, you were well aware of his love affair with cooking. It was actually a love affair the entire family shared. Matt and his parents would often debate on how to best cook ribs, which was the family specialty. Everything was timed, prepped, and temperatures precisely controlled. Then when it came time to enjoy the food, Matt would always critique it; saying things like, “maybe next time a little more garlic, or I think it needs a little more salt.” Meanwhile you are thinking, this is the best rack of ribs I’ve ever had in my life. That was Matt, never satisfied with the “Status Quo”, but always trying to do things better.
This attitude clearly poured over into his work. In 2011, Matt brought his knowledge from Experian over to Launch Digital Marketing/Dealer Inspire where he was employed until 2020. He was a founding member of the company and wore many hats during his tenure, including Project Manager and DMS Support Manager. Aside from his specific roles, he took on many other challenges and projects over the years. Matt played an important role in creating processes throughout each department, mentored many new employees, and brightened everyone’s day with his positive attitude and charm. He was well-liked by all for his happy-go-lucky personality and his willingness to help others. The selfless sacrifices that Matt made to ensure the success of his co-workers and friends will never be forgotten.
 
Matt had also reunited with his old childhood crush, Jennifer (Jiffy) Baker. Matt had known Jiffy since he was five years old, and loved her since he was a teen. Jiffy actually taught Matt how to drive a stick shift when he was fifteen. They had started planning their retirement and planned on moving to the Onekama cottage eventually, which was Matt’s favorite place. Matt and Jiffy had started a bucket list of destinations they wanted to travel to, including Japan, Korea, and Croatia, to enjoy the local cuisines.
 
Matt leaves behind his mother Betty Middleton, sister Beth (Bill) Voigt, three nieces Tess, Abby and Zoe, his significant other Jiffy, his beloved dog Bella, and a very, very long list of friends. The world is a better place having had Matthew Middleton in it. He left a lasting mark on many people throughout his life, and he will be dearly missed by all who knew him. A gathering at the Michigan cottage is in the works for summer 2021. Matt felt strongly about providing safe and loving homes for animal companions. Any donations in Matt’s name to no kill shelters and rescues would be welcome and appreciated. — Q3AUGu17-bA.pngfeeling heartbroken.  
 

matt1.jpg

matt3.jpg

matt5.jpg

matt8.jpg

 

matt2.jpg

  • Like 27
Link to post
Share on other sites