Memories about Matthew

Shared by Brent Stockwell on August 28, 2019
I knew Matthew as a doctoral student in my lab at Columbia. I remember the day he came to ask if he could do his thesis work in my lab--he said wanted to do important things and solve big, challenging problems. The first thing I asked him to do was to co-author a review on privileged scaffolds--chemicals the may be good candidates for creating drugs. He wrote a wonderfully scholarly and detailed review that has been cited over 900 times by other scientists since then. He later confessed that he didn't know anything about this topic, but wanted to do a good job as a new student, so learned everything he could about the topic quickly. 
Matthew was a kind and generous person, and had many friends who admired and respected him. He was passionate and excited about science and discovery. He was also creative and energetic, generating new ideas and diving into the lab to test them. What really got him excited was the idea of coming up with new medicines that might help treat currently incurable diseases to make a positive impact on people’s lives, and solving puzzles that no one else could solve. He was a pioneer and loved a great challenge.
I appreciated so much my time with Matthew, and know that he enriched our lives with the time we had with him. So many of us throughout the communities he touched cared about him, wanted to help him heal, and are deeply saddened by losing him. He was a unique person, and I  feel fortunate to have spent  time with him on his short journey in this world. 
Shared by Jennifer Chambers on August 20, 2019
I worked with Matt at Columbia and was immediately struck by his curiosity, outgoing personality, and wide-ranging intellect. Even with all those amazing traits, the aspect of Matt that helped me the most was his care for people around him. I had just done an international move to NYC with a 6 month old baby who my spouse was staying home to care for. To call that isolating is an understatement. Matt made me feel welcomed and showed genuine interest in my daughter. He would always ask about her and told me stories of growing up with his younger brothers. I certainly don't remember being at all interested in other people's babies when I was in my mid-20s, so that really stood out. Matt came over to our apartment several times for dinner with us or games nights with other lab colleagues. We had many great conversations, his honesty and stories made him very easy to talk with. It was always nice to have him around and he formed the basis of our new community in NYC. We will miss you, Matt.
Shared by Esther Yoon on August 20, 2019
Matt always had a knack for bringing people together. Whether it was a game night at his apartment or his epic birthday gatherings, he was always surrounded by friends. We all know how gifted Matt was in academics and research, but I will remember him for his genuine kindness, open heart, sense of humor, and smile. Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Mr. and Mrs. Welsch for being amazing parents and for always showing up for your kids. Rest In Peace Matty. We love you and will miss you so very much.
Shared by Charles Welsch on August 19, 2019
About seven years ago, Matthew and I had the opportunity to meet up down at the shore - no small feat, given that he was inundated with work at Columbia. I still vividly recall every moment of that day because Matthew was simply that memorable a person. Every minute truly was a joy; even something as simple as us going to pick up sandals for him was entertaining thanks to his quick wit and warm company.
We spent the entire day at the shore front, between swimming, walking and talking on the beach, and getting food, and what struck me most about what he had to say was just how *impressive* he was. Not merely in his chosen field, which was a given - he was in pursuit of a doctorate from Columbia, for goodness sakes - but as a person. He was as compassionate and kind, honest and forthright that day as he had always been, but the opportunity to share that time one-on-one with him is why that remains a day I have always cherished.
Matthew: your tenacious drive in, unparalleled dedication to, and erudite understanding of your field are examples the world will sorely miss. However, it’s you the person with whom I will always wish for one more day at the beach.

Shared by Henry Welsch on August 19, 2019
My best memories of my cousin Matthew are on the diamond. It's right to say that those aren't my only memories of him - but come on, when we were together as kids, it was all about baseball. It was a unifying force for us.   Baseball is the way I best remember the time in my youth spent with my cousins. We didn't have Jardel, but we had Strasburg - and one year, we had the All-Star game when they were in Cleveland.
I only had one year on Matt, and it's safe to say that one year wasn't enough to make up for the out-and-out dedication & athleticism that boy had on any field. He was born with it. My strategy was to try to be on his team every time. I figured if the two oldest cousins managed to get drafted onto the same team, I'd have a good shot at sharing in the win. I know Matt carried that dedication and ability not in sport but in all aspects of his life.  He set an incredible example of application and achievement.
There was that one photo, upstairs in Oma & Opa's house - top of the stairs, straight back, on the shelf under the window to the right, just before you turned to enter their bedroom; it was of Oma & Opa and their at-that-time five grandsons (sorry, Mark!). To this day, that's my mental picture of us as a family, as kids. 
I've not talked to you in years, Matt. I'm gutted you're gone. I'm proud of the smart, compassionate, accomplished man you were. There is less joy in this world now that you're no longer here - but the fantastic work you did in your life will help many people in the future. My heart is broken for Anthony & Joseph, and Uncle Ernie & Aunt Jane. 

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