woodridge pic
Matthew Scott McAdams
  • 45 years old
  • Date of birth: Mar 25, 1970
  • Place of birth:
    Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Date of passing: Apr 26, 2015
  • Place of passing:
    Lakewood, Colorado, United States

On Sunday April 26, Matt died suddenly of a cardiac incident (some sort of unexplained dysrhythmia) while biking on the C470 trail southwest of Golden. The kids and I are obviously devastated and will miss him terribly. If you could take the time to leave a picture, tribute or story of a special memory you have with Matt, I know it would mean a lot to me and the kids.

~ Jen 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by chris basham on 26th April 2017

"Matt was loyal, fearless and funny. In the early days of Trackvia, we got invited to go to Silicon Valley to meet with Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz and pitch them on investing. For some reason Matt got it in his head that we should insert a random picture of a badger during our presentation, like in between slides on the market opportunity and our marketing approach. Despite my attempts to remove it, it stayed, and turned out to be a funny moment with a tough audience. Also at Trackvia, as our number of employees grew, he would occasionally call everyone into the developers office, count how many there were, and then write it in black marker on the glass wall. He kept wanting it to go up faster. Now that I'm doing a new startup, I have daily moments when I wish I could bring something up with Matt to get his take on it, and even get into a good argument about it, which Matt always considered good sport. Miss you Matt."

This tribute was added by Susie Love on 26th April 2017

"It’s so hard to believe that two years have passed.  I am so sorry for your and the children’s loss.  It is good to know that you have the love and support of family and friends.  Matt always spoke so highly of you and the children.  A very proud father!  I read your post and know that every day, and today especially, can be painful times.  I’m currently writing a book on Grief and Loss, and your point of view and epiphany were very thought provoking.  I also liked the McAdams Factor!  May your memories of him forever keep you close and bring you comfort."

This tribute was added by Jen McAdams on 25th April 2017

"Last year, I wrote a post about the McAdams Factor and living life as though everything is rigged in your favor. This year, as the two-year anniversary of Matt’s death approaches, I’ve been writing more and a lot of what I’ve been writing has been focused on me and the kids and what we lost when we lost Matt. I wrote about being mad because I wasn’t able to share what was happening with Matt, about being mad because I was having to parent alone, and about being mad because I felt lonely. Generally, I was writing a lot about being mad. Then, a few days ago, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized that I shouldn’t only be mad for what the kids and I are missing by Matt being gone, I should also be mad on his behalf for what he’s missing. Tonight, on a chilly night down at Green Mountain High School, Abbie’s JV Soccer Team played a great game that Matt would have loved watching. For the second night in a row, the team played so well that the game was called early because of the CHSAA 10 goal mercy rule. Tonight, Abbie actually scored 4 of the team’s 10 goals (not typical, she’s not even a starter, but she played tough and was in the right place at the right time more often than not). Matt had coached Abbie (and two of her current teammates) from 1st - 4th grade and he loved watching them play and helping them get better. He would have loved watching them play tonight.
Matt would have loved being a part of so many good things that have happened lately. He would have loved seeing Woodridge Software, the company we worked so hard to start, recognized as a finalist for the 2017 Colorado Companies to Watch competition (we didn’t win, but we’re so proud to have been recognized as one of the finalists in our first year applying). He would have loved seeing eBags, the company where I worked when we first came to Colorado, finally getting a great exit for the founders and investors after 19 years. He would have lovetd being a part of the process of looking for new office space for Woodridge because we’re growing so fast we’re outgrowing our current space. He would have loved all the crazy, amazing things the kids are doing and everything else great in our lives. He also would have loved being a part of the tough times. He was the type of person who reveled in the tougher challenges and would have risen to the occasion when the kids needed something extra because they’d screwed up (I promise it happens) or would have been there when friends experienced a loss or tragedy themselves. He was the person who would be there to help everyone else. He wanted to be a part of everything in life, good and bad, and I’m most mad that he was taken away before he could do all of these things.
It’s not fair that I waited and he never came back from that bike ride two years ago. It’s not fair that Luke had a pit in his stomach as he was leaving on his first Chorale tour on Sunday because two years ago when Abbie was on her tour in Europe, the unthinkable happened. It’s not fair that Abbie doesn’t have a second parent to go to when the teenage years get tough. None of that is fair, but what’s even more unfair is that Matt isn’t here to experience it all for himself. He approached all of life, the good and bad, with such fervor. He would have loved it all and I’m mad for him that he doesn’t get the chance. When I’m feeling angry or feeling sorry for myself and my situation, I’m going to try to remember that at least I’m getting the chance to experience life and that chance wasn’t taken away from me. If you get a chance, think of Matt tomorrow and remember that we’re all lucky that we’re still here getting the chance to experience all the good and bad that life offers. If you want to share a story or memory of Matt, we love to read them. Thanks to everyone who continues to stick by us and continues to help us as we make our way without Matt. We’re so grateful to all of you."

This tribute was added by Matteo McCarthy on 7th December 2016

"I was riding home today and Young MC's 'Bust a Move' came on. It triggered a memory of Matt blaring it in the dorm room at Mudd. And then pulling out a Vanilla Ice inspired white boy hip hop dancing diisplay: overbite and all.  The irrepressible joy, self knowledge, and the willingness to just throw it out there- he really danced like no one was watching.  I still have yet to find anyone who is that authentic. Miss you, man."

This tribute was added by John Benner on 10th May 2016

"I was just thinking of my former neighbor, looking up Trackvia to see about him and discovered I needed to look further.  I am saddened to learn of his passing.  I greatly enjoyed his creativity and watching this in play with Abbie and Luke.  I know few with a personal ice rink, fewer still as neighbors.  My condolences to Jen, Abbie and Luke and apologies for losing touch with all of you after our move."

This tribute was added by Tom Huntington on 26th April 2016

"Thinking of you all today."

This tribute was added by Derek Wood on 26th April 2016

"I did not have the pleasure of knowing Matt, but Jen's story today of the McAdams Factor was pretty telling, and powerful for me.  It's clearly living on in your family."

This tribute was added by Jen McAdams on 26th April 2016

""Live life as though everything is rigged in your favor"

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day Matt passed away and I thought I’d mark today with a few thoughts. One of Matt’s greatest traits was that he was an eternal optimist. He always believed everything would work out and this optimism fueled everything from his determination to become a competitive college runner to his pursuit of his PhD at Caltech to his entrepreneurial drive to start multiple companies to everything else he did in his life. He truly believed he would succeed at whatever he tried. Matt even had a name for this personal inability to fail - he called it the McAdams Factor. When I would express doubt or worry about something (e.g. him leaving his SVP position at a large company to start a consulting firm a month before our second child was born), he would remind me of the McAdams Factor ☺ It wasn’t that his (or our) life was particularly charmed - we were married young and had plenty of stresses in our 20s that many people would see as bad luck (e.g. three years after we were married, his mom passed away in her 50s from a rare blood disease). Matt just didn’t dwell on the negative and he really believed there wasn’t any way he could fail. A few weeks ago, I came across this quote and I know it’s something Matt would have embraced because it’s basically his McAdams Factor. He really lived life believing that everything was rigged in his favor and that optimistic approach to life allowed him to have a marvelous journey in his 45 years here. I’m trying to impart this same sense of optimism in our kids and trying to embrace this philosophy in my own life (sometimes hard for my overly-analytical self). I think the most successful people are those who believe they have their own personal version of the McAdams Factor - whether it’s their faith or just their personal philosophy, those who approach life and its challenges with optimism are happier and have more success. If you get a chance today, please share a story or memory of Matt. The kids and I love reading these and knowing that other people are thinking about him too. Thanks to everyone who has helped us so much over the last year - we’re so grateful for all of you."

This tribute was added by Rob Painter on 10th April 2016

"Jen & Family,
I was at the DI tournament downtown yesterday and was having a coffee and thinking about Matt.  Last year at the tournament was the last time I saw him.  I remember having a random and of course entertaining conversation with him.  As I was sitting there thinking about him I looked up and saw you and Luke and your team in orange t'shirts in the distance.  Hope yesterday went well.  Thinking of all of you!
-Rob Painter"

This tribute was added by Adria Ellerbrock on 7th April 2016

"Today, Matt's sweet wife shared the news of his passing with me.  I can't believe I didn't know and it's been almost a year.  I was both shocked and saddened by the news.  I worked with Matt in a couple of different capacities and always admired his kindness and brilliance.  He was just one of those guys that you liked and trusted right away.  I'm sure the ripple effect of his passing was huge given the person he was...  My deepest condolences to his friends and family."

This tribute was added by Francesca Painter on 27th March 2016

"Thinking of all of you around Matt's birthday and DI.  I remember seeing Matt at DI State last year and getting a big bear hug from him.  I was running around doing things and didn't get a chance to have a real conversation with him, obviously having no idea it would be the last time I would see him.  When I picture him from that day his smile stands out to me more than anything else.  I think it was his "I am happy to be here with my family" smile.  

I love you all.

Love, Francesca"

This tribute was added by David Summers on 26th March 2016

"I was reading through the comments here on Matt's birthday and just saw the spoof video that Jen posted on May 7.  OMG, that is classic.  Thanks for sharing, Jen."

This tribute was added by Khan Lorn on 13th February 2016

"Today, I opened the HMC alumni magazine to learn that Matt died almost a year ago. I met Matt in a theoretical mechanics course. Every time Matt said something in class, our soft-spoken professor, Tom Helliwell, made his “I’m impressed” face. Later that year, Matt and I acted in a Shakespeare play together. He was Ferdinand, the young hunky love interest of Miranda, in “The Tempest.” I got to know Matt a little bit better when I tried to run track and cross-country.  Matt mildly frightened me in those days. He was confident, funny, and gregarious, very much the sharp-tongued wit of the runner community. And as an athlete, I was an embarrassment. (If I recall correctly, Matt’s father was in the stands on the day I was lapped in the 1500 meters.) Fortunately, Matt’s personality was one of relentless encouragement. My fondest memories of college are of the camaraderie after early morning training. Matt did once convince me that the USCD track on which was I was about to run was 500 meters, rather than the standard 400. The last time I saw Matt, I was working at a cell phone outfit, but thinking of quitting and going to graduate school. I was worried about graduate course work after a year away from school. Matt gave me a short pep-talk. He told me that Harvey Mudd had trained us well, passing his qualifier at Illinois was no big deal, and he was confident that things would turn out OK for me in graduate school. And so they did. I wish I could thank him for that.

Konrad Lehnert"

This tribute was added by Heather Farnsworth on 26th June 2015

"Reading the responses it's clear that Matt touched so many lives.  I am struck by how deeply involved he was with his kids from Scouts to swim team to coaching soccer.  A sign of a very good family man. What a loss.

I knew Matt in college.  He was always a ham making us laugh at five-college parties with his goofy dance moves. I remember he did great impressions.  Matt and his Mudd buddies along with my friends at Scripps had a crazy time in Mexico one year.

My heart goes out to Jen, Abbie, and Luke. Know that you will be in my prayers."

This tribute was added by Pete Khanna on 17th June 2015

"Matt was a great person.  Smart, funny and energetic.  He will certainly be missed."

This tribute was added by Jim Woodman on 29th May 2015

"Just heard the very sad news today about Matt's passing. I met Matt in Miami just after he had founded League Link.  I loved his energy and bold statements about how big League Link was going to be. He was truly a very gifted communicator and salesman. Matt helped me persuade a profitable software company to merge with our non-profit Internet company AFTER the dot com bubble had burst at the end of 2000.

I always remember leaving that first merger discussion in a snowy Chicago, in a taxi, and there was a huge question on whether our company, Active.com, would make it through the winter. While most people would be worried, Matt just looked over at me and said "the cool thing is no matter what happens, we're always going to be able to say we were right in the middle of all the dot com craziness negotiating multi-million dollar investments and mergers."

He always saw the positive in everything and was one of the smartest and funniest guys I've ever worked with. Matt could always fire back the most hilarious comments at a moment's notice. I never got to meet Matt's kids, but they should grow up knowing their dad was a very special person who touched a lot of people's lives and will live forever in all our memories."

This tribute was added by Joel Kanvik on 17th May 2015

"I have known Matt since junior high, and became better friends with him over the course of high school.  It was a lovely, moving, at times funny, memorial service on Saturday.  I appreciate those who addressed those assembled with their memories of Matt.  Everything that was said was so true, and I would have been surprised if the comments were anything other than what was said.  I experienced so much of what was remarked on - Matt's massive intelligence, his competitiveness, his goofy (and contagious) sense of humor, but also his immense compassion.  The only problem I can see is that we had to hear those words decades too early!  The world is definitely worse for his having departed it.  Jen, Abbie, & Luke, your husband/dad was a tremendous guy, and you have my deepest sympathies."

This tribute was added by Danielle Yanskey on 16th May 2015

"Dear McAdams Family,

We are terribly sorry for your loss.  Although we only knew Matt for the past several months, he was always a pleasure to work with.  Prior to meeting Matt and Woodridge software, we were ready to begin work with another company.  Matt reached out and asked for the chance to earn our business.  It was clear from that phone call that Matt cared deeply for his employees and was committed to our success.  A week later we signed with Woodridge.  We immediately knew we were in good hands.  

In honor of Matt, we have made a contribution to his children’s college fund.  We will keep you in our thoughts.

Tom, Danielle, Sam, Kay, Carol, and Lance
The ROIC analytics Team"

This tribute was added by chris basham on 16th May 2015

"Matt and I started working together in July 2006; my daughter Ella had been born in June. In December, Ella needed surgery. That’s the first time I really got to see what a caring and solid friend Matt was. When Annie and I got home from the hospital with Ella, we had a care package from Matt on our front porch, including a gift card to the restaurant 2 blocks away, so we wouldn’t have to worry about dinner that night. I have a hard time typing this out or even thinking about how kind he was, trying to come to grips that he’s gone. That was just the beginning of his acts of kindness. When I told him a couple of years later that Ella had 2 friends who were imaginary elephants, he bought her the book Emma and Kate. I’ve always remembered to pull that book off the shelf every few months and read it with Ella and her sister Jane, and I always give full credit to Matt. I have too many stories of Matt’s kindness and patience, like the time we went to Silicon Valley to pitch an investor on December 21st, only to realize that I had accidentally booked our return flight for the correct date but a year away… Matt calmly went into scramble mode, as we kept running into airlines telling us that there were no available tickets to get us home that day, or the next. We ended up finding a flight home, and barely made it. But Matt never complained or criticized. Fast forward to 2015, we had scheduled a happy hour get together on Monday, April 27th. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever been through to watch that calendar event come and go. But I’m also really glad that we had that scheduled, and I’ll never forget Matt on that date and time each year. He was the best dad, husband and cofounder, and I can’t come close to describing how much I learned from him."

This tribute was added by Donna Walker on 15th May 2015

"Jen, Abbie, and Luke, we are so sorry for your loss.  I will always remember Matt at the swim meets with timer around his neck, collecting and organizing times all with a warm smile and encouraging eyes.  You were all the love of his life!

The Lundeen Family:  John, Donna, Lauren, Natalie, and Abby"

This tribute was added by Robert Daubenspeck on 15th May 2015

"I only met Matt on four or five occasions but he had a way of making me feel as though we had been friends for a long time. He was kind and gentle and I will never forget his child like sense of wonder and amazement when he created something new.He had a gigantic intellect and an even bigger heart. The team at Veritas will really miss him."

This tribute was added by Christopher Vesta on 15th May 2015

"I first met Matt about 2 years ago when my company was looking for a software firm to create a data intensive website for a new healthcare startup we were planning on launching.  I loved working with Matt not only for his professionalism, but for his ability to understand what it was we were trying to accomplish.  It's not very often that you run into a programmer who also understands the reality of the business world, but this was Matt and he was amazing.

I remember many times posing an idea to Matt and he would say, "That's great, but what if we tried to do it this way, that way the customer could have an easier experience accessing the data."  He always posed new ideas in a way that was never offensive and I always felt he wanted what was in our best interest 100% of the time.

Matt was also a man of his word.  If there was a dispute on something in regard to billing or a misunderstanding on a concept, he was very willing to patiently work through the issue and always put us as the customer first.

I didn't know Matt on a spiritual level, but I could tell there was something special about Matt from the first day I met him.  He always treated us and his employees with dignity and respect, and loved collaborating  with people.  Even though I only worked with him for two years, I considered him a person that I could deeply trust.  He was an incredible man and will be deeply missed by the entire Veritas Healthcare Management team.  I know that without a doubt we would never have been able to get the website to be what it is today without his business savvy, his quick wit, and his great dedication to us as the customer.  We miss you, Matt!"

This tribute was added by Jessica Schulze on 14th May 2015

"I have been in forum with Matt for about 4 years and will miss him greatly!  He could always make us laugh with his witty jokes and stories.  His intellect and complete sense of delight in who he was were inspirational.  Abbie and Luke, I hope that pride in being yourself is something he passed on to you."

This tribute was added by Steven Ziegler on 14th May 2015

"I was stunned to hear this news...unbelievable to think he is gone.  I met Matt in 2000 or 2001 through EO (YEO at the time).  We went through forum training together which involved an entire day of sharing and getting to know each other intimately.  Over the years we would periodically get together for lunches, see each other at EO events etc.  He was such a smart person who was incredibly down to earth with an unbelievable entrepreneurial mind and one of the friendliest people I've ever met.  Layered on top of all his great qualities was a clever sense of dry humor many people wouldn't get.  Loved that about him as well as the fact he always seemed to be wearing tennis shoes!  +Steve"

This tribute was added by Tom Huntington on 13th May 2015

"Matt was a rare breed.  With the quickest quip, he could dispel the mundane to reveal the warmth, humor and inner workings of the world.  I will never forget our physics test on the steps of your first Denver home.  I lost $1 to him betting that his five-gallon jug of water wouldn't break as he heaved it off the porch . . . ."

This tribute was added by Chris Koeppen on 13th May 2015

"I met Matt during our first year of grad school at the Univ of Illinois and we immediately hit it off as we had a couple of things in common.  For one, we liked to make fun of the physics geeks in our first year class (of course we were the super cool physics grad students). More importantly, we had girlfriends for whom we quickly realized we wanted to transfer from Illinois after our first year - he back to the West Coast and me to the East Coast.  In particular, Matt was always bragging about this awesome girl named Jen that he knew he would someday marry :) .

I have so many memories of Matt from Illinois, but some of the main images that come to mind are:  Runner’s World, Minnesota Vikings, phone calls with girlfriends, Newsweek, sugar cookies, running/swimming, last minute homework, Republicans, stories about Harvey Mudd and Claremont McKenna, him passing the Qual Exam as a 1st year (unheard of), dreams about starting businesses, and dressing up as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World for Halloween (he was hysterical as Garth).  We developed a lifelong friendship in that one year at Illinois.  

We stayed in close touch thereafter and a few years later ended up marrying our girlfriends (Matt was right – both about Jen being awesome and him marrying her!) .  Despite being poor grad students we flew across country to attend each others weddings – memories of him sleeping in the tiny closet of our apartment and us staying in a Cal Tech dorm room (still not sure how he arranged that).  Then came finishing up our theses, sharing ideas for inventions/businesses (his were always better), swapping BCG and McKinsey case interviews, and exchanging stories and details about our startups and how we just missed the bubble.

One conversation we had about our ventures that has always stuck with me is that after I said I was hoping mine would be successful enough so that I could retire a bit early he said he wanted an exit that enabled him to buy an island!  In other words, why think small when you can think big.

A consummate entrepreneur, a dedicated husband, and a loving and proud father,
Matt was one of the most unique, impressive, and special people I have known – outgoing, brilliant, goofy, genuine, confident, caring, brutally honest, principled, inspiring, and funny.  

Abbie and Luke, please know that your dad will always be with you as he has certainly passed along many of his incredible gifts to you.

With prayers and deepest sympathies,

Chris Koeppen"

This tribute was added by Steve Beebe on 12th May 2015

"I ran cross country and track with Matt for two years at CMS, we put in a lot of miles together on group runs. Among his comedic talents was the ability to imitate the form of anyone on the team. I specifically remember Matt (then a freshman) doing a spot-on running impression of one of our senior runners that left the rest of us in stitches. Always the joker, and never afraid to step on toes in a humorous way.

Jen, I am so sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you and your children. May your memory of Matt and his aspirations be a source of strength as you continue raising the family you created together."

This tribute was added by Susie Love on 11th May 2015

"Jen, Abby & Luke,
I was so shocked to hear of Matt's passing.  The community has lost one of its very best.  During the times we worked together, he spoke about you, Jen, and the children.  You could tell he loved all of you very much and spoke with such pride and admiration for his family.  He was so intelligent, and challenged my mind.  His personality made you feel at ease and his quick wit kept you laughing.  Everyone whose life he touched was blessed to have known him.  Your children are such shining examples of the great job that both of you did in raising them. They will always be a constant reminder of his love and influence on them.

No one can prepare you for a loss; it comes like a swift wind.  My deepest sympathy is with you and your family at this very sad and difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

I have always found solace in poetry, when I have lost those dear to me.  Perhaps, this poem will provide some type of peace.  In sympathy, Susie Love

If tears could build a stairway,
and memories a lane.
I would walk right up to Heaven
and bring you back again.

No farewell words were spoken,
No time to say "Goodbye".
You were gone before I knew it,
and only God knows why.

My heart still aches with sadness,
and secret tears still flow.
What it meant to love you -
No one can ever know.

But now I know you want me
to mourn for you no more;
To remember all the happy times
life still has much in store.

Since you'll never be forgotten,
I pledge to you today~
A hollowed place within my heart
is where you'll always stay.

Author: Unknown"

This tribute was added by Ernie Vesta on 11th May 2015

"Jen and family,
Matt seemed to transmit a contagious zest for life. He always showed a desire to make a difference by getting it right, even to the smallest detail.  He took the saying "a pleasure to do business with you" to a new level.  We loved the privilege of partnering with Woodridge!  In the months ahead, be assured the Veritas team's prayers and thoughts will be with you.
Sincerely, ernie"

This tribute was added by Moon Lee on 10th May 2015

"This is devastating news, and a true loss."

This tribute was added by Scott Caruso on 10th May 2015

"Jen, Abbie, Luke: I am so sadden by Matt's passing. I absolutely admire Matt's love of life, his wit and intellectual curiosity.  He's a real rocket scientist with a keen gift for expressing the complex in simple terms.  He is also an engaged, loving family man. I enjoyed working with Matt and recall the visits to your home with fondness. He touched my life and I treasure the memories."

This tribute was added by Peter Murane on 10th May 2015

"Jen, Abbie and Luke. I knew Matt through "Forum 7" from Entrepreneur's Organization". I absolutely loved his wit, intelligence and the boldness of thinking. Our group actually named a concept after Matt called "The McAdams Factor". Simply put it meant that you could do whatever you set your mind to." Matt was a shining example of that. We share our deepest condolences to your family. - Peter Murane"

This tribute was added by Jim, Suzanne & Jessi Foster on 9th May 2015

"Jen, Abbie and Luke,
We are so sorry to hear about Matt's passing.  Please accept our sincerest condolences.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

The Foster's
Jim, Suzanne & Jessi"

This tribute was added by Chris Girgenti on 8th May 2015

"To Matt's Family - This news was heart-wrenching.  We pray for you as you deal with this loss.  We knew Matt for many years dating back to one of his early start-ups, LeagueLink.  Over the years, we stayed in touch and ALWAYS enjoyed connecting with him.  He was a hard-working, direct, honest and funny person.  A tremendous combination that left a mark on this world.  He will be greatly missed.  God bless, Pritzker Group Venture Capital (JB Pritzker, Chris Girgenti)"

This tribute was added by Lew Moorman on 8th May 2015

"I was an early investor in Trackvia and only spent a few evenings with Matt and had some phone/email with him.  But, I am just heartbroken by this news.  Matt was why I invested in Trackvia and I loved his enthusiasm and humor.  It was clear he was an incredible person and I always hoped to work more closely with him in the future.  My thoughts go out to his family.  You had a great husband/dad who touched people even with just an interaction or two."

This tribute was added by Jen McAdams on 7th May 2015

"One of our friends below mentioned the video Matt did with his BCG colleagues back in 1997. I couldn't get the video to upload to this site, but I put it up on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD0CRKAw6Nw). Matt's portion of the video runs from about 9:50 - 15:10"

This tribute was added by John Budd on 7th May 2015

"Jen, Abbie, and Luke--
I am terribly sorry for your loss.  I was in Matt's starting class at BCG 18 years ago, and I have a number of fond memories of him.  I will most remember how tremendously witty he was--lightning quick with a joke, and always a step ahead of everyone.  All who were at BCG Chicago at the time will remember Matt as "Matt Farley" in a class follies video, and I think we'd unanimously cite that as one of the funniest things we'd ever seen.  That was just one of many times that Matt made us laugh.

My life is better for having known Matt, and my thoughts are with you in this very challenging time."

This tribute was added by Kathryn Wardell on 7th May 2015

"Matt: Your indomitable spirit will be missed.  
Abbie and Luke: I knew your Mom and Dad way before you were born.  They were a beautiful, smart, happy couple who looked forward to having kids and you both were the answers to their dreams.  

Your Dad will be remembered as an amazing, intelligent, resourceful entrepreneur who had no end of ideas but the smarts to chose one and stick with it.  He was a great friend and resource to me in the digital world and when I needed good advice and direction I called upon him.  Your Mom set some of her business efforts aside to raise you but she was his equal partner in all things.  They were a great match and very supportive of each other.  

Matt will be missed and remembered for his energy, enthusiasm and intellect that set him apart.  You were blessed to be his and your Mom's offspring.  Love  and hugs in your time of offs.  Kathryn"

This tribute was added by Lisa Kingston on 7th May 2015

"Jen, Abbie and Luke -
Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys.  We all remember Matt cheering on both kiddos at the pool!

Our sincerest condolences.
The Kingston Family
Dean, Lisa, Addie & Liana"

This tribute was added by Rodney Brown on 7th May 2015


It was a shock to hear about Matt. I was just telling a Senware story to a friend a few days ago and thought I should look up some of the old names to see where they were. Matt was a rare person who lead with passion and pushed people to do more than they thought they could.   My sincerest condolences.

-- Rod Brown"

This tribute was added by Kristin Wood on 7th May 2015

"I only met Matt once: at the wedding of his dad, Nile, to Tara Koch. As his father's Best Man, Matt delivered the most humorous, yet touching toast to the new bride and groom I'd ever heard. In a matter of two minutes he made my friend, Tara, feel 100% welcomed into the McAdams clan. He also captured the hearts of the entire room with his remarks - and we all wished WE could have a son/stepson that cool!"

This tribute was added by Bill Friend on 7th May 2015

"Dear Jen -- Matt truly was a visionary with great intellect and passion.  We first met in Chicago, mid 1990s, when he was at BCG and I was at Pittway Corp.  My fledgling VC interests were immediately drawn to Matt's brilliance and his ability to succinctly and convincingly communicate ideas, both complex and simple.  He was also a really good guy, the kind of guy I wanted to back...and did as his initial angel/seed investor in LeagueLink.   I hope your children will know that their father was someone who earned my respect, both as a businessperson and as a human being.   He followed his dreams and clearly they will live on both in his memory and in his loved ones.  All of my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."

This tribute was added by Collin Starkweather on 7th May 2015

"This was such a shock.  My deepest condolences to Jen and Matt's family.  I admired his enthusiasm and intelligence and he was always so full of energy and life, it's hard to believe he's gone.  He will be dearly missed."

This tribute was added by Begoña Ruiz on 5th May 2015

"Jen, our most sincere condolences. We are deeply saddened for your loss. We will keep your family in our thoughts during this difficult time."

This tribute was added by Michelle Applegate on 4th May 2015

"We first met Matt through Cub Scout Pack 613 Executive Committee.  His dedication to the boys in the Den and the Pack really impressed us.  We are so thankful that he welcomed us into the Pack and got us involved.  We had a blast putting together a booth at the Scout Show with him.  

Jen, we are so sorry for your loss and please know that the entire Pack sends love and support to you and the kids.

- Rob, Michelle and Christopher Applegate"

This tribute was added by Audrey Walters on 4th May 2015

"Jen, my heart goes out to you, Luke and Abby. You are such a special family, full of laughter, joy and smiles. That is exactly how we remember Matt... smiling, laughing and encouraging. His warmth and generosity has forever made a mark on so many lives in this community. I will never forget the time, Matt and Luke found Mojo when he was lost. They got Mojo to chase them, so they could get him back to our house. When I saw them running up my street with Mojo, they were laughing and having the best time...it was so sweet. I pray you are able to reflect on all the joyful moments you have shared and that you, Luke and Abby are able to heal from this heartache. My love, thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love always, Audrey"

This tribute was added by Matt Bell on 4th May 2015

"As a teammate for CMS Track & Field, I always used to admire the goofiness and positive spirit of the distance runners, and Matt was right in the middle of all of that, if not leading the charge.  Twenty-five years later, the thing that I remember about Matt is his smile; he always had a smile or a joke, and was always cheering on his teammates.  I knew he was a good man, and was so glad that you two found each other.  Jen, I will hold you and your kids in prayer.  May God bless you, watch over you, and bring you peace."

This tribute was added by Jason Rhodes on 4th May 2015

"I met Matt my first day at college.  He took me under his wing a bit, giving me a hard time for being a farm boy from Iowa.  I am from Iowa but not from a farm.  I found out a few weeks later that Matt was from Wayzata, MN and his grandparents were from Dows, IA (population 500).  That was Matt.  We ran a lot together.  We ran places we shouldn’t.  I followed because Matt was a leader.  Run through the aquaducts in Laverne? OK.  Run along the runway at Cable airport?  OK. Matt took me to In N Out and camping for my first time.  He sent me my first instant message online.  We went prospecting for gold once but didn’t find any.  He gave me advice, friendship, and hours of interesting discussions. Matt was probably smarter than me and I can only say that about a handful of people.  Matt knew he was smarter than me and everybody else around him.  He didn’t brag; he recognized the truth.  Matt got married, moved away, had kids.  I visited him once in Colorado. We lost touch.  I meant to visit again, some day.  Rime ran out.  I’ll miss you Matt."

This tribute was added by Forbes Cone on 3rd May 2015

"To the McAdams Family,

My only interactions with Matt were during parent/teacher conferences at CA, but his appreciation for my role as Abbey's teacher was palpable and made an immediate impression on me. More than anything, Matt's legacy as the father of two incredible kids will live on. Abbey is one of the most thoughtful and kind kids I have taught. She is a resilient and shares her fathers, quirky and infectious sense of humor. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

-Forbes Cone-"

This tribute was added by David Maurice on 3rd May 2015

"I'm shocked and saddened to hear of Matt's passing. He was a good friend, and a better guy. He made the years we spent together at  Mudd more fun, and more challenging. I'll you."

This tribute was added by heidi rivkin on 3rd May 2015

"Matt was one of the caring, brilliant, wonderful, and let's face it, kinda goofy, guys I've known. I mean, who picks his wife up at a baggage claim...literally? His sense of humor left us moaning or scratching our heads most of the time, but always with a smile no matter. We shared many good times together in Claremont, on cross country and track, and even on all to rare visits over the past number of years. He always tried to give me love advice and I took it to heart from someone who was such a great boyfriend and husband to my dear friend Jen. I couldn't wait to introduce him to Ben to show that I took at least some of the advice! Of course, one of those times Matt and Jen showed up an hour late from brunch in NYC because they forgot about the time change, but hey... What can we say, the world is a lesser place without Matt's presence. But his legacy lives on in the kids and wife he loved so, and in all of us who loved him, and love them, too. With sympathy, Heidi Rivkin"

This tribute was added by Eric Blum on 3rd May 2015

"Matt was a terrific friend and co-runner at CMS.  We ran together for a couple of years. He was certainly a larger-than-life character with an infectious, quirky sense of humor.  I can vividly hear his quick-witted snarky jokes.  What a treasure that will surely be missed.  My prayers are with you guys during this difficult time.  Blessings- Eric Blum"

This tribute was added by Guadalupe Torres on 3rd May 2015

"Our most sincere condolences,

I think Matt's greatest joy and accomplishment (and he had many) was his relationship with you, Abbie and Luke.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.  The Armintrouts"

This tribute was added by Gianna Ficco on 2nd May 2015

"Jen, my sincere condolences to you and your family.  

Gianna Ficco"

This tribute was added by Polly Traylor on 2nd May 2015

"We didn't know Matt well, but Jen invited Shelby to be on the girls soccer team in 2nd grade when we had just moved here from CA. Soon after, I got to know Jen through some other 2nd grade Moms and we got to know the family from there. Soccer was not Shelby's thing but Matt was a great coach and team leader and definitely helped Shelby integrate into her new community. As well, as a runner, I felt a special affinity for Matt and Jen knowing they both did XC in college..so cool! My singular impression of Matt is that he was a devoted family man, with supreme intelligence and compassion for not only his own children but the community. Most sincere condolences Jen to you and the kids and your extended family for losing a wonderful father and husband. Peace and love, Polly, Dave, Shelby and Campbell."

This tribute was added by Scott Orr on 1st May 2015

"We didn't work together for long, but Matt made a lasting impression on me.  So witty, so accomplished, so quirky, so very bright and so full of ideas.  I recall getting into a discussion with him where I immediately realized I was over my head.  He knew it, I knew it, and he stopped and backed it down and explained it to me so that I could get to his level, not so that I felt bad being at mine.  He inspired me to move on in action and I was blessed to have had him consult with me even after we worked together. I will always remember Matt for being a positive influence, a good friend, and someone I truly admire.  He taught me that it is better to keep asking questions than to pretend to know the answer.  If someone that smart can ask me so many questions, why can't I do the same?  Jen, kids, there are no words to make this go away or pass easier, but there is also nothing that will take away the memories and shared joys.  I am so sorry for this loss.  With love, Scott Orr"

This tribute was added by Kristi Kennedy on 1st May 2015

"I am so sorry for your loss.  I had the privilege of working with Matt  over the years.  It goes without saying that he was one of the brightest people I have ever worked with,  but even more importantly he was so funny and kind.  I will never forget how encouraging he was when I ran my first triathlon.  I still can hear his voice cheering me on.  

He was one of the good guys and he will be truly missed."

This tribute was added by Bruce Schmidt on 1st May 2015

"This is a tough one to write not only because of the situation, but because I have so many things that I would like to say. Top five memories that I feel epitomize Matt (at least to me):
1. The Chris Farley sketch he produced for BCG (I think).
2. Fishing with Matt and my father-in-law Gary off the Mendocino coast and seeing him boat a huge red snapper, then watching my father-in-law limit out an abolone bag, and then seeing Matt kissing that fish in a photo. Classic.
3. Watching Matt have so much fun with the kids (my two boys and Abbie and Luke) in an inflatable pool. First he was having everyone run in a circle to create a "whirlpool", then it was keeping everyone perfectly still to make it "as smooth as glass". Sorry Matt, Gavin can't do that.
4. The summer of 2013 when we went to Water World with my two boys and Abbie and Luke. Not only was it great to see him tackle the slides, but it was even better when we got hit by a summer thunderstorm. They were closing the place down, Luke's face was covered in funnel cake, we were all irritated because we wanted to go on more slides, but they were making everyone leave. Matt says, "Hey, let's go on one more slide. What are they going to do, kick us out?"
5. Talking about fabricating a zamboni out of a push broom and pvc pipe to smooth the ice in his backyard rink. Who does that? Too funny!

Abbie and Luke, know your dad was a quality man. He was driven, willing to take risks to chase his passions, and he loved you two very much. I always loved to brag about him to people I work with because he was by far a one of a kind. Jen, I am pretty sure you know all of that, but it never hurts to hear it again. While I am so very sad, I can't help but smile when I think of the fun times I spent with Matt. I love you all."

This tribute was added by Wilson Kesha on 1st May 2015


I am so sorry for your loss.

Kesha (Wilson) Robinson CMC '98"

This tribute was added by Kelly Beck on 30th April 2015

"I had the privilege of being Matt's teammate for two years and the even bigger privilege of coaching him for two years.  I have so many great memories of him.  From being nationals super-fans together, receiving the baton from him as we helped break the school 4x16 record, coaching him and his teammates as they re-broke the record the next year and being the reason he lost a bet I didn't know he had made.  My favorite memory, though, is him recounting how he met Jen for the first time.  Jen, I am so very sorry for your loss.  Abbie and Luke, I hope to be able to tell you what a great man your dad was in person someday.  Matt, I am going to miss you buddy.
-Kelly Beck"

This tribute was added by Wanda Henderson on 30th April 2015

"Jen, Abby and Luke
There is nothing I can say that will lesson the hurt you are feeling, just
know I love you all and will treasure Matt's memory.  Our family was
blessed to have had Matt.  Wish I could be with you all, but will plan a
visit when you least expect it and until then know you are in my heart
and prayers.
Auntie Wanda"

This tribute was added by Beth Vermeulen on 30th April 2015

"Matt was such a happy, helpful person and so engaged in supporting the kids at the pool.  He will be missed and I am so sorry for everyone's loss of such a wonderful man.  His short time was blessed with an amazing family and the memories will live forever."

This tribute was added by Jeff Reberry on 30th April 2015


Matt was a wonderful man and I’m so incredibly sorry to hear the news.  Your family is in our thoughts and prayers and we are we are sending lots of lots of love your way.  - Jeff"

This tribute was added by Sean Tonner on 30th April 2015

"Matt and I met through EO, he always had a smile, was humble, and secure in who he was as a leader, father, and husband. He strived to become a better human being and in my opinion made it. I will miss the opportunity to have another Cervesa with him but will hold dear our meetings. One helluva guy."

This tribute was added by Rosie Downs on 30th April 2015

"Dear Jen, Abbie and Luke.   Our love and prayers are for you.  In your loss we hope good memories will comfort you.  Fondly remembering  a loving and caring man who always knew life was for enjoying and living to the full.  Who else builds an ice rink in their back yard? Peace to you.  Love Rosie and family x"

This tribute was added by sandra hammer on 30th April 2015

"Jen, Abbie and Luke,
The summer swim season will never be the same without Matt.  So many hours spent laughing and joking with Matt as he kept us and especially the kids entertained during the swim meets.  Ma'kena loved hanging with Matt and Luke and always had a smile on her face when I looked over at them. I appreciate his patience, kindness and incredible sense of humor.  
Also, Matt and his wicked smart 'invention ideas' will always make me smile.  He had the best ideas!
Sending you all love and prayers,
Sandra Hammer"

This tribute was added by Jim Cafarella on 30th April 2015

"Matt was one of THE MOST IMPRESSIVE PERSONS I've ever met in my entire life. He was a loving husband & father, a genius in many ways, a comedian, an athlete, and a friend.

Some of my favorite memories:
Matt talking our way out of a traffic ticket from shady cops in Mexico.
Matt hopping the fence at Folsom prison during a jog.
Matt getting out of a Michigan hot tub & jumping right into the snow.
Matt inventing "the Ranker" computer program to figure out who the best football teams are.
Matt teaching me how to use Napster to get "free" music.
Matt building an ice rink in his back yard for his kids.
Matt renting Beverly Hills Ninja in Illinois.

Love you Matt. -Jim"

This tribute was added by David Summers on 29th April 2015

"I will remember Matt as a jokester with a great heart.  He was always making us laugh and was the life of the group.  He also was as smart and hard working as anyone I know, and I am not surprised that he has been so successful.  He will be missed and my thoughts go out to Jen and the kids.

--David Summers, HMC"

This tribute was added by Nicole Aulik on 29th April 2015

"While I sadly never had a chance to get to know Matt well, I do recall seeing a bright smile on his face every time I saw him at the grocery store, school or a neighborhood gathering.  Jen, Abbie and Luke, I'm saddened by your loss and the loss to our community.  My heart and prayers are with you all...we are here to help and will reach out.  - Nicole Aulik"

This tribute was added by Sybil Strimbu on 29th April 2015


One of my fondest memories of Matt is from the day that you two met. His face was absolutely beaming with joy as he described the details of your first "date."

With love and sympathy,
Sybil Anne (Duncan) Strimbu"

This tribute was added by Amy Ward on 29th April 2015

"Jen, I have fond memories of visiting Matt with you when he was in grad school at Cal Tech and we were both in college at Claremont.  He was funny and super-smart and very kind, and so obviously loved you very much.  Your X-C friend, Amy"

This tribute was added by Dave Haucke on 29th April 2015

"Jen, we want to let Abbie and Luke know the lasting impression their dad made on us in the handful of opportunities we had the pleasure of hanging with him.  First and foremost, we have always admired his ambition.  No goal was ever too big, and he was the first real example of a "high performer" that we encountered when we were still early in our careers back at eBags (well, quite honestly, the two of you fit that bill).  It's clear to us that he had true courage and wasn't going to let grass grow under his feet.  We're certain he has passed those admirable traits onto both of his children.  Love and prayers to you all. - The Hauckes (Dave, Glory, Marley and Ocean)"

This tribute was added by Francesca Painter on 29th April 2015

"So many of my memories of Matt have to do with what it was like being in a conversation with him (wow, it is so hard putting that in past tense).  Talking to Matt was so fun, stimulating, intellectually taxing, and lively.  On one hand, Matt seemed clear and consistent in his beliefs and outlooks - that is inspiring to me.  On the other hand, sometimes I had no idea what he would say next and I loved that, too.  Just when I thought he was being serious he would turn silly.  And vice versa.

When he got one of the first iphones, I was not yet a believer.  The way that he patiently explained to me and demonstrated why I would love it was both compelling and sweet.  It was like he was pretending to leave room for me to make a different choice while knowing all along he would convince me.  He always seemed to be 12 steps ahead and with me and I think with his loved ones most of the time was willing to come back for us.

Speaking of which, I will always remember a late night conversation we had about what it was like to generally be one of the smarter people in the room (I am softening the wording - those of you who knew Matt well  know what I mean :).  The way he intellectually understood his intellect was fascinating to me.  It was funny because he was teaching me this standard deviation theory of understanding other people's intelligence - and the whole time I was wondering where mine fell on that curve.  Am I smart enough to really know how smart he was?  Probably not and he was so wonderful to be with that I was always ok with that.

And there was a night by a campfire where he explained this whole complex vision he had for something he wanted to build - it was so detailed and thought through it amazed me.  And, like the iphone, he painted a picture of a place that I wanted to exist and I wanted to go to.  The way he could see things that weren't yet there was incredible.

I saw so many dimensions of his intelligence and I remember him telling me that the intellectual world was more logical and easier for him to navigate.   But we knew that his ability to love, connect, support and be with people was just as huge as his intellect.  I don't know if he fully knew that about himself.  And the way he loved Jen, Abbie and Luke was so deep, pure and complete - you could see it in his eyes when he looked at them and spoke of them.  And even when he shifted the conversation back to business, you could still see that sparkle of love in his eyes.

I am so heartbroken for all of you and all of Matt's family.  Know that we are sending you love and healing and whatever you need..."

This tribute was added by sarah holdeman on 29th April 2015

"The first time we had Jen and Matt over for dinner the conversation somehow turned to linguistics.  Matt told me that he knew a little about it because one of his relatives was a linguist.  He tried to impress us with the use of the word, "schwa".  I pointed at him, unintentionally flinging potatoes in his direction and yelled, "Shut your schwa".  He laughed super hard.  That will always make me smile!"

This tribute was added by Amanda Pouliot on 29th April 2015

"Jen, Abbie and Luke,
When I think about Matt I think about walking around your neighborhood trick-or-treating and talking about creating a new app to map out the types of candy and number that different houses give out.   I thought he was funny, kind and generous.  He made us feel comfortable and welcome in your home as I'm sure he did for all of your guests.  It was obvious how very much he loved each of you and how proud he was of you for being the people you are.  Our love to each of you.
Amanda Pouliot"

This tribute was added by Kristina Scala on 29th April 2015

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the children.  Matt made a tremendous impact on many over his life.  
Love and sympathy to you all.
Kristina Scala"

This tribute was added by Holly Stout on 29th April 2015

I am so sorry for your loss.  I met Matt my freshman year of college when we both took Intro French.  He was funny and kind and helpful, and even all those years ago, was falling head over heels for you.  I can't express how sorry and shocked I am to hear this.

-- Holly (Biggs) Stout"

This tribute was added by Christina Lawrence on 29th April 2015

"Jen, I am so so sorry for your loss. You two were one of my early examples of a great partnership, and I remember being amazed at how you could get by in LA with only one car (THAT is commitment and love). My heart goes out to you and the kids. Sending love and healing from Northern California. - Christina Romero"

Leave a Tribute:
Invite your family and friends
to visit this memorial:

Subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when others contribute to this memorial.

This memorial is administered by:

Jen McAdams
Tara McAdams
Joan Farrow


Have a suggestion for us?

We are waiting for your feedback!