ForeverMissed
Tributes
Posted by Nika Johnson on June 5, 2021
Case and our son have know each other and have been friends since kindergarten, starting with an after school lunch bunch that was held at each others’ homes. When “little boy behavior” started to occur between the two boys, I was at a loss. Matt came to pick up Case one day and we talked about it...he handled it with such grace and humor, all while making sure the boys knew how to handle things going forward. I owed him for that one for sure!

When we’d gather with friends, Matt was quick with a joke, definitely bringing together the room. And while we knew him through our sons’ friendship, there was a no doubt how great of a guy he was.

I know one thing for certain: Matt’s humor and wit is alive and well with Case, who made us all chuckle recently. May Matt’s memories, humble influence, and ability to make people smile live on in the great stories people tell of him. We all will miss Matt greatly.
Posted by brad borgman on May 17, 2021
Brad: Matt was a great person and a valued teammate and friend. The thing I think I’ll remember most about him is how well he could work a room, without doing any work. In such situations very different people would approach and engage him in a way that showed how well he understood and related to them as a person and a friend – something only a truly genuine person could do. I’ll miss him.

Sandi: My favorite story about Matt comes from a mission trip to Cuba in 2019. Watching Matt’s gift for working humbly with and for others was never more apparent than when we were distributing clothing to some members of a local church. It was during this experience that a young man approached us, tentative and clearly nervous. He was the tallest Cuban any of us had seen and was clearly ready to walk away empty handed given his size and lack of fit what we’d brought... until Matt approached him and engaged him. It didn’t take long before Matt removed and handed this young man his own shoes, both of them smiling at the size 14-15(?) sneakers through shared tears. I’m attaching a photo and video of that and other experiences from that trip here... I loved working and engaging with Matt and Case in Cuba, watching Matt’s strong relationship with God grow even greater even during his ongoing cancer struggle. My heart breaks for Jessica and the kids, but I take comfort in Matt’s strong faith and the prayers, love and support that we and many others will continue to provide wherever we can.
Posted by Chad Alcorn on May 13, 2021
The Butler vs NU game feels like yesterday. We talked about our egos, family, and life. A few years later you were on your cancer journey and few years after that I was on mine. This was our new life together...our tribulation. We were soul brothers on this trip but you were the spiritual director. With clarity, you told me about how you talked to your tumor, about immunotherapy, the best way to get to U of C. When the winds of change shifted, you had courage while I desired comfort. Your faith was real and you had a holistic vision for healing. I could see Christ living in you and dying in you. The nurses wept when they heard the news. Of course, you had an impact on them. I will feel your presence as I continue my walk my brother.
Posted by Melissa Manna on May 11, 2021
We met the McCollums through their son Case, the summer before kindergarten started at Park District tball. Matt went out of his way to make us feel welcome in Glen Ellyn, and he continued to check in on us well after the summer ended. He would go on to coach our son's basketball team through their early elementary school years, and my son was in awe of his height and dunking skills :) Matt had a fiery and competitive spirit but was also fun. Our son looked up to him as a coach, mentor and family friend. After a sleepover at their house, Matt took the boys out to breakfast and sent us a picture. Their smiles said it all: being with Matt meant having fun! We will miss seeing you, cheering for your battle against this awful disease, and rooting for you to come out on the other side of it all. Your life was cut too short. Know the impact you left won't be forgotten. We pray you have found peace on the other side, and we will continue to support your dear family as they navigate life without you.
Posted by Gary Barcus on May 7, 2021
I knew Matt as a student athlete at DePauw University. My wife and I were and are avid basketball fans and came to know most of the players and even their parents. After Matt graduated in 1996 Coach Fenlon arranged a summer European trip to play 4 club teams in various cities. 
Matt was the dominant center in all 4 games. It was our first trip to Europe and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
In Paris the whole team walked to Sacre Cour one evening on Montematre to sit on the church steps, drink a Heineken, and listen to students sing folk songs in many languages. We sat with Matt and Jason Craig while we soaked up the beautiful view of the Paris lights. 25 years later, it's still magical.
These memories have prodded me to begin converting about 2 hours of VHS video to digital format. I'll reach out to his family to share those video memories when the conversion is finished.
RIP Matt. Thanks for the memories.
Posted by Renie Atchison on May 7, 2021
Jack, Erin and Case, your dad was an amazing man and friend so many will miss dearly. He always had the time to talk, listen and help others. He loved his family fiercely and had a strong faith. Our many conversations centered around God's will. I'm so grateful for those talks. Your dad was the best! May he rest in peace! Pax
Posted by Kevin Phillips on May 6, 2021
Matt and Jessica were in my Bible study in Chicago when they were dating. After Jessica and Matt got married, he continued in our men's groups until they moved west. Matt took his faith in Christ seriously. It was important to him to grow in Christ and serve others in obedience. I would find it impossible not to like Matt. He was never mean spirited, petty or selfish. A true gentle giant. Jessica and the kids are in my prayers.
Posted by Frances McCollum on May 6, 2021
Matt was a wonderful nephew and a special person who was loved by everyone who knew him. My heart goes out to Jessica, the kids, and the family. They are in my thoughts and prayers.
"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26
Posted by Christina Chappell on May 6, 2021
Matt is my dearest friend from high school and I cannot imagine a world without him. I find comfort knowing the hoosier boy planted strong roots in Glen Ellyn and his amazingly strong and loving wife Jessica and children can be surrounded by continued love and support. The world was a better place for having Matt in it-even though it was all too short.
Posted by Joe Voet on May 6, 2021
Such an amazing guy. Blessed to have spent time with Matt, and his legacy lives on. 
Posted by JP Anderson on May 6, 2021
Matt was a Solid and Good Man. He was respected in his community as well as his industry. I had a great deal of respect for Matt and I called him a friend. His family should be proud, Matt left this earth fighting, he went down swinging and for that he will always be remembered. May God Bless him and his family. Forever remembered with fondness!

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