Your Stories and Thoughts

Please enjoy stories and thoughts shared about Matthew on this page. 

62 Comments

  1. Matthew was a highly competitive young man who excelled in math, loved strategic games and the Mavericks, got his pilot’s license before his driver’s license, and was one of my son’s best friends. We loved him and will miss him.
    Heather Dickie, mother of Jeremy Dickie, friend at Franklin Middle School who shared basketball and hanging out through college.

  2. I will never forget how much I was tickled and amazed with Matthew’s unforgettable portrayal of “Rooster” Harrigan in the “Annie” musical! I have never laughed harder, nor been prouder of a young person than to see how he blossomed in the role, and captured the entire audience. Matthew was a wonderful young man… and my heart is just broken now.
    Bob Lewis, father of Tom Lewis, friend at Franklin Middle School and through college.

  3. I didn’t know Matthew very well, but I remember him coming around 311. He seemed like such a fun guy.

  4. Matthew always gave the best hugs. I liked it because he was taller than I am and we always enjoyed being tall together. He really was so sweet and kind. Our church Sunday school class was mostly girls and Matthew. We always knew that he’d be at the holiday gatherings dressed up in his uniform… He always looked so dashing. We’ll all miss you Matthew. We’ll miss the love and the laughs you brought to us all. PHPC won’t be the same without you.
    Avery Centala, friend at Franklin Middle School and Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church.

  5. I cannot remember a time when Matthew was not part of our world. I even had to be reminded that the family moved away for a bit during elementary years! Although Jeff and Matthew didn’t “hang” regularly, throughout Kramer and Franklin they were part of an awesome team of kids. They pushed each other, they applauded each other and they brought home some major hardware. Without MatthewtheScience guy, the team would have been so much weaker … cause we all know he dominated in the science world!!! When the other boys were loud and braggadocious, Matthew went quietly about his work and many times wiped up the floor with each and every one of them!

    Matthew followed his passion and left us for his high school years, but he wasn’t gone. He was still part of the group for Homecoming Dinners and other HHS events. And I was always so pleasantly surprised and appreciative that Matthew made time to attend the Subterranean Aviator performances … when every $10 admission counted!

    My heart breaks with the loss of this amazing young man. But God is happy to have this son home with Him.
    Patti Wilke, mother of Jeff Wilke, friend at Kramer Elementary, Franklin Middle School, and through college.

  6. Matthew’s IQ was off the chart. Two of his brainy elementary school friends, Jeff & Mattia, made careers out of trying to top him in the academic competitions. Having to compete with this kid was a humbling experience. When the school’s teams went to Regionals and State, we were glad he was on our side. Those memories of him will last forever.
    Bruce Wilke, father of Jeff Wilke, friend at Kramer Elementary, Franklin Middle School, and through college.

  7. I didn’t know Matthew very well, other than the fact that he was brilliant and about a foot and a half taller than me. He was always very kind to everyone and I wish I would’ve taken the time to get to know him better. I know that he is in a much better place although he did leave us way to soon. Rest in peace Matthew, you will be greatly missed and never forgotten!
    Avery Bul, friend at Franklin Middle School.

  8. I knew him because he sat with me and a couple of people on the bus in high school, he was a great guy and from what I knew a genius. My greatest memory of him was when he did a physics hw due that day on the bus like it was as simple as 1+1=2 to him. I always admired his genius.

  9. Dear Sweet Patrick Family,
    Matthew John was an amazing young man. He was brilliant, smart, and we were so proud of him when he got into the Air Force Academy (even though he chose it over UT). We loved him and we love you.

  10. Matthew and I met at PHPC and got to be close friends during our time in the youth group. Some of my best memories of Matt are from the many summer trips we both went on, including Mo Ranch, Montreat, and mission trips. I loved to talk to him about movies, books and politics because we had quite different interests and ideas. Knowing Matt was a member of the U.S. armed services gave me hope for the future of the military. Yesterday I told a friend “Matthew was the kind of person who was going to change the world.” But that was silly of me – he already has changed the world with his incredible kindness to others and brilliant mind. I’ll never forget the last time I saw Matthew – in June, the two of us got dinner with Avery. We laughed, caught up, and told stories about school. He didn’t eat his vegetables. I’ll always cherish that memory, and many more. One of the best weeks of my life was our trip to Montreat the summer after junior year of high school. Here is a photo of our great group.

  11. Sweet – sweet –sweet

    Smart – smart – smart

    The Mavericks – the mavericks – the mavericks!

    Loyal- loyal – loyal

    Matthew would show up to anything his friends were doing. He was always there to support them. I can not tell you how many times Matthew would show up to one of Brandon and Jeff’s shows just to be there! Always was so kind to us.

    Quirky like Brandon! He and Brandon played Warhammer several nights this summer! My kitchen table was consumed by little figures – the calendars turned into scoreboards. Brandon and Matthew would “discuss” the rules over and over again. Only Matthew would have the patience to listen to Brandon discuss London rules of Warhammer.

    Matthew will be missed but never forgotten. He meant so much to all of us. Even though we didn’t see him very often it was like we had seen him yesterday when he would show up and smile and shake a hand or give a hug.

    Matthew will be missed so much –

  12. I’m never going to forget the occasional, “damn, whatever foo” that Matthew would interject in the midst of a group discussion. I have been called both “dog” and “foo” by Matthew before and every time he did it at the house I would look over at the cabinet full of math and science trophies and ponder the paradox of Matthew Patrick.

    I remember watching him get pissed off at wii sports because his arms were too damn long for the motion controller, and I remember his dad loving every second of it. It was always hard to find that common ground with Matthew, I mean conversationally. I think he and I both knew that if we talked about the things he was really interested in, it would be over my head. He was so close with his dad. Matthew would jump into talking about football with him and it was like watching one mind with two mouths. It was in moments like that I would wonder whether that was why Matthew had gone through the trouble to learn it in the first place. Between the two of them was an iron bond, one founded on unconditional love. I have only seen that kind of bond in one other place in my life.

    I’ll add some more stories soon. I didn’t realize how long I’ve missed Matthew.

  13. Matthew was not just a nice guy with a sharp mind. He was a good person; curious, interested, and hard working, very hard working. He was and always will be the kind of C.A.P. cadet that makes it a pleasure to be part of that organization. He was a leader who never talked down to the new kids. He was a follower who genuinely wanted to help and contribute. I appreciated him very much for how he made a difference at Dallas Squadron by taking his cadets and mentoring, and occasionally herding them, toward the job that needed to be done. Thank you Matthew for your kind and considerate example of how to be a good person and never losing the curiousity that made you special to all of us.

  14. My son and I met Matthew through the Civil Air Patrol. Matthew was Collin’s mentor and Collin followed him into the Science and Engineering Magnet High School, where, because of Matthew’s involvement, Collin also got involved in the UIL teams as a freshman. I remember watching Matthew progress through the Civil Air Patrol Cadet program and earn his Mitchell award, his ambition of attending the Air Force Academy (for which I KNEW he was a shoe-in!), and then getting that appointment. I remember Matthew recounting how he was told of his Academy appointment by being called to the principal’s office and finding his parents there. And I remember Matthew coming back to CAP to visit and talk about being at the Academy to the younger Cadets. He was always a leader! The world has suffered a tragic loss.

    Matthew, may you rest in peace. My prayers go out for your family and friends.

    I’ll post CAP photos once I’ve returned to my home this evening – he was always so dashing in his uniform!

  15. I had the honor of teaching Matthew’s senior year Sunday School class with Judy Burnett and also going on Montreat with him as a sponsor. Matthew was the nicest, most caring, loyal, sweet and intelligent guy you’ll ever meet. He, like me, loved the Dallas Mavericks; so there was never a lacking of things for us to discuss regarding the team. I loved talking with Matthew about anything and everything as his intelligence allowed him to pontificate on a wide-range of topics. Playing Risk with Matthew was one of my favorite memories. I’ll miss his random drop-ins on Facebook, running into him at the Youth House and talking sports. I think the thing I’ll miss the most is his laugh. Matthew had a very infectious laugh that would just lift your mood, regardless of how you were feeling that day.

    I miss ya, Matthew. My heart goes out to your family.

  16. Although it’s been many years since Math Team and Pentathalon at Franklin Middle School, we fondly remember the genius of Matthew Patrick – everyone upped their game and improved in his presence. We are saddened for the Patrick family and the community who knew Matthew in the loss of such a brilliant young man with amazing potential. We send our love & prayers for all of you – please take care of yourselves and each other – and know that you are the thoughts and prayers of many, near & far…

  17. I got to know Matthew while competing with him for SEM at UIL meets. He was a whiz kid among his peers at SEM, but you wouldn’t know it because he was so unassuming and humble. While most of his rivals in math and science were cramming right before the meet, he would be playing video games or soccer outside. He would still beat them, pick up his awards, and go back to playing with his friends. I don’t think there was ever a competition I went to in 3 years where he did not at least medal. I was a year older than him, but he could still definitely school me in pretty much anything math or science related. I was happy to be on his team rather than his competitor. More importantly, he was just a really down to earth person who was approachable and easy to talk to. This is certainly a gut-wrenching loss, and I will be praying for the peace of the Patrick family and friends.

    God Bless,
    Blesson John
    SEM ’08

  18. I didn’t know Matthew as well as I would have liked, but I love him for loving my dearest friends. I always considered him a friend, and I even remember how excited I was the day he requested me on Facebook! I was always in awe of how brilliant he was. Middle school is a blur in my memory, but I remember Matt… he towered over everyone else in more ways than just the one. I will remember him as one of the smartest and kindest people I ever met, always surrounded by friends, always in the center of the group on the soccer field at lunch. He is truly missed, but he is home now.

  19. Matt, Pat and I recently went to watch the US Pro Cycling Challenge up in Denver and I got this picture of him with 2011 Tour de France Champion Cadel Evans, signing a program for us. I submitted this picture because I thought it totally fit the cliche of “A picture’s worth a thousand words”. This was the Matt I knew and loved.
    Alex Beveridge

  20. Alex, you may not know how excited he was about that trip and picture–he called me that day-which was a rare thing!– to tell me he had met Cadel. And I don’t know how far the planning actually got, but he told his mom and me over Parent’s Weekend this year that the two of you were going to use part of your 60 days to go to France and follow the tour. (don’t know if you knew that’s what you were going to do after graduation or not, but there ya go…..) It’s just one of the things I appreciated as a parent about the Academy–my son’s sometimes quirky interests like pro cycling and war games–were met with enthusiastic embrace by like minded people with the perspacacity to get it.

  21. Every time I would hug Matthew, he would always chuckle. It was absolutely adorable and HILARIOUS. In high school, I was a few inches shorter than I am now and I’m just barely at five feet. I would go to wrap my arms around him and he would wrap his arms around me with his huge arms practically engulfing my body. This amused me and it definitely amused Matthew. I have had the opportunity to know him over the last 10 or so years (wow it’s been that long?) and he has always been somebody that I admired. He is brilliant, fun, loving, and devoted. There are a lot of memories, as Feysel stated above, of us on the bus together or waiting at the bus stop. I remember him at Math competitions and he always expected a lot of himself and was good at what he did because of it. Matthew, I love you dearly and we all miss you so much. I know you’re looking down on us and I can’t wait to give you another hug some day! Hugs.

  22. I first heard of Matthew’s passing from Lam’s message early Sunday morning. I am in mourning as if I have lost my own child because that is how I feel. I have always gotten close to my students as if they are my own children. I wrote the following on my SEM facebook wall Sunday :

    ” RIP Matthew Patrick…words cannot describe the loss I feel. I will greatly miss you. Thank you for all the time you spent on Mr. White’s Computer SciencE Team, on my Math Teams of Number Sense, Calculator and Math. You were among the first students on Ms Aday’s And My Super Fast Track Class ..having Ms Aday on one day and me on the next…you were among the fist students in my ATTAM class. I will never understand the WHY’S as to being taken away from this Earth so young…but I can say the time that you were on this Earth …you made a difference! God Bless You Matthew!
    Love You For Eternity Ms Hines”

    I called all the teachers that Matthew had had Sunday afternoon. Yesterday when I got to school , Mr. Taylor and Dr. Tuttle came to my room and we were grieving together about you Matthew. Then Ms. Dove, Mr. Hackett, and Mr. Samford were grieving too. You touched all of our lives deeply Matthew and are greatly missed. I have heard from some of your classmates and each and everyone are shocked and saddened that you have left this Earth. Again, what a difference you have made in everyone’s lives. You made us all SMILE when you were around us. Peace be with you.

  23. On our first trip to Montreat, after Matthew’s Sophomore year, they had Karaoke night. Matthew really wanted to sing, but didn’t want to go up by himself. So I sucked it up and went up there with him. We sang “Jailhouse Rock”. And sucked it up. Well, I sucked. He was okay. But he was so pumped afterwards, it was worth it. After that, he sang a lot. Some weeks he was the only male in the youth choir. He had a lead role in our youth musical, which, 4 years earlier, you would have bet your house would never happen. And most every Sunday morning, Matthew and I sat next to each other in the balcony and sang hymns. We sang a little louder than we needed to, but I don’t think God minded. I’ll cherish those memories and take solace in the fact that I know they brought him joy. I’ll remember many a discussion of the Mavericks, many games of Risk, trying to teach him how to crow like a Rooster, and much, much bacon. And I will remember a kind, enthusiastic, brilliant soul, who I will sorely miss.

  24. Dear Patrick family and friends,
    Although I didn’t know Matthew, as the mom of two AFA grads, I feel we have lost one of the ‘family’. Matthew sounds like such an amazing young man, and offered so much to those around him. May you all cherish your memories of him. My prayer for you is for God’s peace and amazing grace and comfort, carrying you through this sad journey. May He wrap His loving arms around you and hold you close.

    Godspeed, Matthew.

    Fonda Davies
    Sarasota, FL

  25. Matt Pat

    He was so kind and sweet, but had the sense of a genius. He knew exactly how to make me giggle and when I first heard of his plans for the Air Force Academy – I was so proud of him.
    We rarely spoke after he graduated from SEM, and I wish I could have kept that one contact point in my life.
    Now that he’s gone, all we have are memories, but fond ones at that. He’s flying with angels now.
    I was completely shocked when I was told, and didn’t want to believe it at all. So I looked deeper into the situation, and I still wasn’t convinced. It is just so saddening to know someone to be so young and to have left so soon.
    I know you’re watching over us – and probably asking us all to calm down.
    Too sweet & too soon.
    RIP

  26. Matt was in my choir class his senior year of high school. We were the only two from the Science and Engineering magnet, so we bonded instantly. Matt was so pumped to be turning 18 and even more excited to vote. He was sure to tell us all how important it was. Even at the start of the year, he was excited and convinced that he’d be attending the Air Force Academy (even though his vision prevented him from flying a plane!) and we all knew he could do it!

    Matt was just a sweet, kind spirited guy. He was always willing to help, offer tutoring, and absolutely loved singing in choir with us.

    I’ll never forget him and I’m incredibly thankful for the time I got to spend with him.

  27. i did not know Matthew but as the mother of a C3C i feel like you are part of my extended family. Your son sounds like he was a very special person. Having lost a child myself when she was 13 years old; i wanted you to know there is a light at the end of the journey you now find yourselves on. You will look at the world differently but know that eventually you will get to a place of peace again. Wishing you, your family and friends prayers, hope and love. Hold onto all of the wonderful memories, love and laughter – may God hold you all in his loving arms just as he is holding your son right now.

    God’s Blessings –
    Kim Hermance

  28. To the family and friends of Matthew,

    I didn’t know Matthew personally, but after reading all of these posts, I can tell that he touched a lot of lives. He left a part of himself in everyone that he came in contact with. Competitive, highly motivated, sweet and kind, brilliant, great guy, amazing, loyal, nice, fun, spirited, and devoted are just a few of the words used to describe this young man. Cherish those moments that you spent with Matthew and let them find a way to heal you. The laughter, the love, the joy that you all shared will give you comfort. You were all blessed to have such a precious gift of love in your life,

    May you rest in peace, Matthew.

    Adrian
    Father of a USAFA Preppy

  29. I am the mother of a C3C in Matt’s squadron, CS-23. While I did not know your son, nor did my son know Matt other than to pass him by in the hallway, my heart goes out to you. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. May he live on in your hearts and your many wonderful memories.

  30. Matt worked on my staff during 1st BCT this past summer. It was really by chance that he ended up there, but I’m glad he did. It was his shift team that helped me streamline some vital accountability processes to BCT. He was always incredibly professional and provided some really helpful input. I am in debt to him for his patience and understanding in dealing with me as a first-time Group level leader. I don’t know what he might have said or thought about the job, but I know he took it seriously, and I appreciate the heck out of him for it. He did a fantastic job.

    I just want to say how much of an honor and a privilege it is to have served with him, and that he will be sorely missed.

  31. Good ‘ol MatPat.
    Matt was my roommate for 2nd semester 4 dig year. We went through recognition and the end of 4 dig year together which meant a lot.
    Matt was always a hard worker and a hard player. He had no trouble staying up late into the night to accomplish some ridiculously smart homework that I had yet to comprehend, but he also had no problem staying up late into the night to accomplish more fun objectives. I remember when I introduced him to Halo: Combat Evolved. It was about 2000 on a school night. I went to bed at about 2200, and he was still playing. When we woke the next morning for minutes I asked him what he thought of the first few levels. He responded with, “The ending was awesome!! When does the next one come out!?” When Matt was focused on a goal, nothing could keep him from it.
    This nature of Matt’s to stay up late did not always treat him well. I remember how exhausted we all were during recognition, but Matt especially. He was so exhausted that he started falling asleep while standing at attention! In order to keep him from falling asleep and smacking his head, the upperclassmen had to make him walk laps around the squadron.
    Matt was a great roommate. He was always cheerful and lighthearted. Regardless of the kind of day I was having, as soon as we were in the room together we were having fun. He often introduced me to small flash games which would take about an hour to beat. It was always a competition, and Matt always won. He was always good sport about it though, helping me finally beat it later. Last week I finally found a game he had not, but he quickly mastered it and crushed my high score. He was a great friend to have who always made a situation comfortable and fun.
    Matt did a lot of internet browsing late at night, and he always found some interesting things. Every now and then he would compile an email of some of the funnier things so that those of us who aren’t as internet savvy could enjoy them. He gave up his time just to brighten our day. The best part of the emails, though, were his narrations. He often pretended to be an announcer narrating the emails like a sporting event; I always got a kick out of them.
    There are so many more stories I could share of MatPat as we affectionately called him 4 dig year, but I will save them for another time. Matt was one of the best people I ever had the privilege to know, and he will be sorely missed. However, his spirit lives on and continues to inspire me every single day to live a better and happier life while making other people smile. If Matt were here, I think he’d challenge us all to be strong and continue to push forward.

    “We toast our faithful comrades To dwell among the soaring clouds And as we fly among them there
    Now fallen from the sky They knew so well before We’re sure to hear their plea
    And gently caught by God’s own hand From dawn patrol and victory roll “Take care, my friend; watch your six,
    To be with Him on high. At heaven’s very door. And do one more roll. . . just for me.”

    MatPat,
    I’ll do my very best to live every day to its fullest.
    I miss you buddy. Godspeed.

  32. Good ‘ol MatPat.
    Matt was my roommate for 2nd semester 4 dig year. We went through recognition and the end of 4 dig year together which meant a lot.
    Matt was always a hard worker and a hard player. He had no trouble staying up late into the night to accomplish some ridiculously smart homework that I had yet to comprehend, but he also had no problem staying up late into the night to accomplish more fun objectives. I remember when I introduced him to Halo: Combat Evolved. It was about 2000 on a school night. I went to bed at about 2200, and he was still playing. When we woke the next morning for minutes I asked him what he thought of the first few levels. He responded with, “The ending was awesome!! When does the next one come out!?” When Matt was focused on a goal, nothing could keep him from it.

    This nature of Matt’s to stay up late did not always treat him well. I remember how exhausted we all were during recognition, but Matt especially. He was so exhausted that he started falling asleep while standing at attention! In order to keep him from falling asleep and smacking his head, the upperclassmen had to make him walk laps around the squadron.

    Matt was a great roommate. He was always cheerful and lighthearted. Regardless of the kind of day I was having, as soon as we were in the room together we were having fun. He often introduced me to small flash games which would take about an hour to beat. It was always a competition, and Matt always won. He was always good sport about it though, helping me finally beat it later. Last week I finally found a game he had not, but he quickly mastered it and crushed my high score. He was a great friend to have who always made a situation comfortable and fun.

    Matt did a lot of internet browsing late at night, and he always found some interesting things. Every now and then he would compile an email of some of the funnier things so that those of us who aren’t as internet savvy could enjoy them. He gave up his time just to brighten our day. The best part of the emails, though, were his narrations. He often pretended to be an announcer narrating the emails like a sporting event; I always got a kick out of them.

    There are so many more stories I could share of MatPat as we affectionately called him 4 dig year, but I will save them for another time. Matt was one of the best people I ever had the privilege to know, and he will be sorely missed. However, his spirit lives on and continues to inspire me every single day to live a better and happier life while making other people smile. If Matt were here, I think he’d challenge us all to be strong and continue to push forward.

    “We toast our faithful comrades
    Now fallen from the sky
    And gently caught by God’s own hand
    To be with Him on high.

    To dwell among the soaring clouds
    They knew so well before
    From dawn patrol and victory roll
    At heaven’s very door.

    And as we fly among them there
    We’re sure to hear their plea
    “Take care, my friend; watch your six,
    And do one more roll. . . just for me.”

    MatPat,
    I’ll do my very best to live every day to its fullest.
    I miss you buddy. Godspeed.

  33. As the parents of an AFA cadet, and even more as parents who have lost a son ourselves, we want you to know how we’re holding you in our prayers. We know that all these wonderful stories can’t even begin to capture the fullness of who Matt was and we wish we had known him. We couldn’t tell from the stories whether or not Matt had siblings, but if so, we want them to know that we feel for them and understand. We’re so sorry to have to “welcome” you to the small “club” of bereaved parents. We really liked what one of Matt’s friends said about living each day in a way to make him proud. We believe that our son, Kitt, and all the others are waiting for us at the the finish line and rooting us on. Hang on to each other during this horrible, dizzying time and know that others are thinking of you and sending you “hugs”!!
    Love and care,
    Scott & Deirdre Schirmer

  34. There are no words to express my thoughts and feelings for you and your family. Please know that my love, thoughts, and prayers are with you. May God wrap his arms around you during this difficult and painful time.

  35. We are another cadet family and we are so sorry for your loss. While we have never met Matthew, we mourn for him as one of the many good young people who are part of the academy family.

  36. ‎Embedded video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyKapBQy51M&feature=youtu.be is courtesy of Sal, who, selflessly and without personal gain. captures key and significant events in our cadet’s lives to share with the Falcon Family. This recent homecoming memorial service honoring those cadets/graduates who have passed in the past year, will formally honor Matthew next September, but I hope that this will provide a fitting tribute to Matt and solace to his family and friends at this time. Our sincere condolences.

    COL (R) and Mrs EK McDaniel
    parents of C3C Mason
    Rolla, Missouri

  37. From Tom Lewis, via facebook:

    We don’t always get a chance to tell our friends how valuable they are before they are gone. When we lose someone that we are close to, we have a right to regret the tragedy of the thing, but then is the time for focus. Matthew Thescienceguy Patrick was a valuable man. He deserved to have that shown from me far more than he did. I hope that our friends and I can honor Matthew for who he was, and if there is anything his family needs, they should not hesitate to ask, whether that’s now or ten years from now. It’s going to take all of us time to say goodbye.

  38. As parents of a C1C classmate of Matthew’s (Matt Cosmo), we are deeply saddened by Matthew’s passing. To Matthew’s parents, sister and many, many friends of this wonderfully accomplished young man, please accept our heartfelt prayers and sincerest condolences. We all greive as a family of fellow cadets today as we all share that special bond as parents of USAFA cadets. May his many accomplishments and the many great stories of all the people he touched and inspired in his life be his lasting legacy. May God bless him at his side and may God bless each of his parents, sister and many other family and friends.

    Sincerely,
    Larry and Mariann Cosmo
    Parents-C1C Matt Cosmo, CS-37
    Hopkinton, MA

  39. Dear Patrick Family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and I am truely sorry for your loss. I did not have the pleasure of knowing Matthew (nor did my son) but after reading about him I wish that I had. What an amazing, wonderful young man! As a parent new to the Academy this year, I have already come to realize what a close-knit family I am now a part of. You have a huge “extended family” that is keeping you in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.
    Sincerely,
    Taryl

  40. My roommate and I barely knew Matthew at all. We are sophomores here and a couple of weeks ago, during Jacks Valley training, after a long day of being out in the field, the buses were running late. Matthew was working a course that day and had a car down there. He offered my roommate, a couple of my squadmates, and myself a ride back up to the Academy. We barely got to know him at all, but this small act of kindness and the few minutes we got to spend with him showed us how friendly of a young man he was. We are deeply sorry for your loss and everyones loss who had the pleasure of meeting Matthew. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with your family.
    Sincerely,
    Ethan Glover
    Jarvis Trotter

  41. Dear Patrick Family,

    While I do not know your son personally, I do know his memory will endure. The cadets at USAFA are a united family and do not take the loss of one of their own lightly. My daughter, a C2, called me in tears at the loss of Matthew. All of the cadets are mourning the loss of Matthew, along with their parents. I applaud Matthew in his accomplishment of being accepted to the Academy. I realize all the hard work and effort he put in during high school to get an appointment to USAFA. Thank you for this site and for the pictures, as I feel I have spent time with Matthew. In closing, I would like to send you a song. It might sound silly, but if you have time to look up a song on itunes, listen to ” The Angel of Your Presence” by Jason Gray. May God comfort you in your sorrow.

    Lynn Ellison

  42. Where to start,
    I was in CS 07 with MatPat freshmen year. I can honestly say I never saw him upset or down in the dumps. He always seemed to have a smile hiding just below the surface when we were at attention in the hallway. I knew it was probably from some funny connection his huge brain made or something similar. I remember during basic in Jacks Valley when we all were finding out what classes we placed into, he placed into Calculus III. No one does that. I also remember him wrapping the seniors stuff in layers and layers saran wrap during 100s weekend. These random memories are all well and good but they cannot begin to do his life justice. He was a classmate, a fellow soldier, but most of all a friend. A friend who will be greatly missed.
    Rest in peace buddy.

  43. Matt was in CS-23 with me at USAFA. He was a vital member of a group of friends that I always hung out with. I have so many fond memories of him. I don’t think I can count the number of times he made me laugh so hard I had tears rolling down my face. One of the greatest memories I have of him was one night in the tv room when four of us were watching a movie and because it was really late and we were all tired, of course we were laughing our butts off at pretty much everything anyone said. We took fifty or so pictures that night of us just laying around making funny faces. I laughed so hard my head hurt. Last year Matt and I got pretty close. We sat at the same table every day at lunch and loved playing movie trivia with the freshmen. The funniest part about eating lunch with him was that whenever there was bacon you had to make sure Matt got it last because he’d take the rest of the pan. The night before his birthday about a month ago I got him a Baconator while I was out and brought it to his room and he was SO happy. The weekend of Ring Dance also bring great memories of Matt Pat. He put the oven mitts on at the house and was walking around pinching everyone saying “I’m a lobster!” He definitely knew how to make people laugh. When I was sick that weekend I remember him coming in and asking me if I was okay or if there was anything he could get me. When I finally came out of the room to try and eat something I sat next to him on the couch and he put his arm around me and gave me a big hug to make me feel better. When I told him he would get my stomach flu he said he didn’t care because he just wanted me to feel better and if he had to get sick to do that then he would. I’m gonna miss the random nights when he would come over and ask if I want to get Godfather’s pizza for dinner because Mitch’s was something gross that day. Even though I know he hated the show, he’d sit and watch Buffy with me until we finished our last slice (with bacon of course) while he made fun of all the cheesy lines. Those times with him are moments I’ll never let go of. The reality that Matt is gone is sometimes too much to bear. We’ve lost a great friend, squadmate, and fellow cadet but most of all I’ve lost one of my brothers. Saying goodbye to him is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I know he’s up there looking down on us and helping us get through this difficult time without him. We’ll meet again someday and I’ll give him that high five and giant hug that I’ve been longing for since the day he left us. Miss you Matt Pat.

  44. Beverly and Matt . . . there simply are no words at this point . . . just memories . . .

    Our sons’ journey began many years ago in the hallowed halls of Kramer Elementary . . .

    I remember Saturday mornings, sitting around in cold cafeterias waiting for our boys to finish number sense, calculator, general math and science exams, week after week, year after year . . . comparing notes over lunch, waiting for awards ceremonies, and all the boys flocking to Matthew to see what he put down for question number 14. When Matthew would announce that the correct answer was (c), those that got it right would erupt in a triumphant cheer; those that didn’t would saunter off to finish their Happy Meal. There was no debating whether or not the answer was (c) . . . it just WAS cause Matthew said it was!!!!!

    I remember Indian Guides, the boys putting on their vests, grabbing their Spirit Sticks and heading off to their monthly meeting. I still have Mattia’s (Swift Red Fox) Spirit Stick, complete with pelts, feathers, bells, etc . . . and Tia reminded me of their tribal chant:

    “Occoneechee, that’s who we be
    Big and strong, but not too itchy”

    Oh, the innocence and enthusiasm of youth!!!!

    I remember Cub Scouts, with Patti and me as their Cub Scout leaders (Ha!), trying our best every Thursday afternoon to corral the 30-plus boys as they would come crashing through the cafeteria doors, clamoring for something to eat and getting mad at us when they would find out that “today’s activity” required them to actually sit down and work . . . camp-outs under the stars, watching Big Matt teach the boys how to cook a meal in a “foil wrap” laid over coals, building and sitting by the camp fires, laughing, talking, roasting marshmallows . . . Pinewood Derby . . . Tiger, Wolf , Webelos and at long last, the Arrow of Light and attendant bridge ceremony . . . Matthew, of course, was the only one that forged on and achieved the ultimate Eagle Scout designation . . . looking back, I’m not at all surprised.

    I remember Texas/OU games when Matthew would invite Tia over to watch the game and Tia not wanting to go because “I HATE Texas . . . why would I want to go watch them play football???” He’d go anyway and would come back with a big grin on his face saying, “That Matthew, he totally cracks me up, Mom”. Never really understood what he meant, but it was obvious from the beginning that there was a unique bond between those two . . .

    Last Saturday, after receiving the heart stopping news of Matthew’s death, Mike and I talked to Tia a number of times over the course of the day . . . we cried, we laughed, we remembered . . .

    I think the world of my son and as such, think the world of the people he chooses to befriend . . . Matthew was one of those people and there will always always be a special place in our hearts for your exceptional son.

    Be strong, be patient and know that in time, with God’s help, you will smile again.

  45. My heart is still heavy and I know there are no words… may you find some peace within the wonderful words written by those who knew your son and many of us who didn’t but have been touched by him anyways. My daughter is a C4C in Matt’s squadron 23… she is deeply saddened by his passing. And, yes, she did know Matt… she was lucky to have sat across from him at the breakfast table every day. And, she smiled and laughed… starting each day with a little breath of sunshine because of Matt. As her mom, I will be forever grateful. And, as a mom, I can’t imagine your loss but hope there is some strength for you and your family knowing the joy that your son brought to so many… God bless…

  46. What an unimaginable loss of such a loving, energetic and brilliant young man. When I first really got to know Matthew he had just completed 7th grade, and we were on a mission trip to New Mexico. Matt was one of my co-sponsors, and we had such a wonderful trip, camping at Ghost Ranch and hiking up to Chimney Rock and working with many organizations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. I’m not sure that Matthew knew quite what to do with all those other 7th and 8th graders. I remember that he just got put out with the rest of us at a homeless mission and took it upon himself to go organize his own corner of the warehouse. On my next mission trip two years later to Appalachia, he was a different child. I remember telling Beverly what a pleasure it had been to worship and work with him on the trip. He participated fully and enjoyed our PHPC group, even though we worked like crazy on that trip.

    Like many others, I got to watch Matthew blossom during those senior high years in the youth group at PHPC. His performance in Annie was such a surprise and such a joy to watch. But I have to agree with Avery that Matthew gave the very best hugs. It is always a joy to see graduated youth come back to church during visits home, and seeing Matthew was a special joy. Sometimes we adults are kind of invisible to the kids, but Matthew always found me to give me that coveted hug and a smile that just lit up his whole being. I will miss that boy who became a man as we watched. I know he has been embraced by a loving God, but I wish we could have had him here with us for a whole lot longer.

  47. From Lam Phan, Matthew’s date for Ring Dance:

    It’s such a bittersweet thought to know that the last time I saw you was during one of your happiest moment- receiving your class ring from the Air Force Academy. You were a very sweet date and accommodated for everything I needed during my trip to Colorado. I had a great time with everyone in Breckinridge after the dance. You were a great sport that weekend and I’m glad to see the party animal inside of you once you let loose. You will be missed. My sympathies go out to all your friends and family.

  48. From Angie Cruz-Villamil, a high school classmate:

    Received, perhaps, one of the worst calls. A little piece of goodness left the world, it left with the smartest man I knew, the kindest of the hearts and noblest of the Air Force. He is with the Lord again, but his act of kindness and memories stay with me. I Miss You, Matthew Thescienceguy Patrick ♥.

    You don’t always get a chance to tell someone, to tell your friends & family how much you love them. You don’t get a second chance in life, I’ll have to live with it knowing that you never asked the girl from high school out, but that girl from high school remembers you. I always knew you were an incredible person, I always knew in my heart you were a wonderful man. A piece of goodness left the world, it left with you. I can barely hold myself together but Matt know that I am thinking of you and kind heart smiling at me across the Townview halls. I think that in this life we live to grow into loving, noble and wise people, & perhaps that’s why the Lord has chosen to take you so soon. He knew that you were all those things & more, you’ve always been one step ahead of us. It was truly my honor to know you, I always knew your were just too wonderful for me, & now I can only think about the times you helped me in class, the messages you sent in college keeping me motivated and sharing just a piece of your wisdom and life with me. Most of all I will always cherish your Valentine gift to me so many years ago, I still have the bear, It was just a tiny jester on your part but with that valentine you made my day with your sincere heart. My heart goes out to your family.

  49. From Alex Beveridge, one of his closest friends at the Air Force Academy:

    Matt Pat, I remember on my 21st, you helped me stumble back up to my room, and they say drunk men tell no lies. I said that night that you were my “Mavs Connection” many, many times, and at the time, that was just about the highest compliment anybody could have possibly received from me.

    Going up to Denver last month to see the Pro Cycling Challenge was ridiculous amounts of fun and my only regret is that I failed to take you up on that same offer the year before. Not too many people are as crazy about professional cycling as we are, and to be able to crack jokes about Alberto Contador was something I could do with no one else. I’m going to France this summer like we planned, and I’m going to follow around the Tour like we were going to. I’m still going to make a total ass of myself and run up some climb after Tejay or some other American, using a flag as a cape. I figure you’d approve.

    As Phil already said earlier, whenever something made no sense and one of us would ask “Why?”, you would reply with the only thing that could possibly explain the situation: “Basketball reasons”. I’m going to have to find a way to have faith in the Little Mavericks this season because you were my anchor–a real fan–when I’d cursed them and abandoned all hope (which happened pretty much every time they were losing).

    Then there were your emails. Every time I got one of those gems, my day was instantly better, and I guarantee anybody else who got them feels the same way.

    You were a fantastic friend to all of us and we all miss you more than you can possibly imagine. I’m going to miss it when you’d crane your neck and literally look down at me, tilt your head to the side, and give me that incredulous look when I was being especially dumb. Your keen sense of humor was and is unmatched and it just won’t be the same without you. A toast to a great friend, and to my “Mavs Connection”.

    PS: You know I totally regret what I said about Dirk on my 21st, right?

  50. This Saturday celebrate the life of Matthew. How proud any of us would be to have such a son. How blessed Matthew was to have such a family.
    Our time together is limited. God is faithful and will take you home. We conquer death in faith. We love you Patrick family.

    “I laugh to see your tiny world
    Your toys of ships, your cars
    I rove an endless road unfurled
    Where the mile stones are the stars
    And far below, men wait and peer
    For what my coming brings
    I fill their quaking hearts with fear
    For death . . . is in my wings.”

    (Gordon Boshell, inspired by Battle of Britain dogfights)

  51. I’m not really sure what there is to say. Matthew and I were never best friends by any stretch of the imagination, but I knew him since kindergarten. i remember eating grilled cheeses with him one Saturday, or sitting at the table right next to the door in Mrs. Weatherford’s class. Then, of course, all the time spent in Ms. Scott’s room preparing for Math Team, or sitting in cars driving down to Austin for MATHCOUNTS or San Antonio for State. For some reason the Azle tournament always sticks in my head – maybe because it was so random. And I guess Matthew would have been one of those five or six of us making the trek across Lakehurst to the Hillcrest portables for 7th period Geometry with Mrs. Alverson.

    I’m trying to think exactly when I last saw Matthew – I know it was at one of my band’s shows, but I can’t remember when. It’s one of those details that’s escaping me and I can’t force myself to remember it no matter how much I try. I don’t really have anything I can say about Matthew, because I honestly don’t know what I’m thinking. It’s not really possible to wrap my head around it. So here are my memories of him, and someday maybe I’ll figure out what it all means.

  52. Our entire family was so sorry to hear about your loss. Our love, thoughts are prayers are with you all. May your time and grief pass swiftly, as your memories last forever. I don’t know if anyone will be able to go to Dallas this weekend, but many of us will be watching the memorial service on the website and our hearts will be with you. Much much love and prayers – Carole Stewart and Harold and Jayne Stewart.

  53. To Matthew: Today we gather in Dallas to celebrate your life, share stories, and express our monumental sadness. Although it took a while to break through your reserved veneer when we first met, once we did we discovered your wonderful quirky wit – sometimes over my head! We witnessed your dominance in math and science competitions, shared your enthusiasm for the UT Longhorns and the Mavericks, and were honored to have been with you when you received the Mitchell Award and your Cadet Lt. rank in the Civil Air Patrol. We teased you about getting your pilot’s license before your driver’s license and were so proud when you drove your brand new car to show us. You were a generous soul and a strong friend. We will miss you so much and never forget the tall, lanky young man with a brilliant brain, passion for strategic games, and wicked sense of humor. Be with the angels and keep your vigil.

  54. If you would like to share your grief with a family who knows what you are going through, we are here for you. It has been two years since we lost our son at the Academy, C1C Marc Henning. We are so very sorry for the loss of your son. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We understand.

  55. Thanks Linda. We have your contact info. I am so sorry for your loss too, and for the other Cadet that died in the motorcycle accident last week.

  56. Matthew was the sweetest guy in our grade at PHPC. He was SO smart and talented. He played “Rooster” in PHPC’s musical “Annie” in 2009. I played Annie and I remember working with him. He was hilarious and played Rooster so well!! When I heard the news my heart was saddened. Matthew will always be remembered; he was so special. He and his family are in my prayers.

  57. Christmas has come and gone and it’s now been three months. Another year is almost here, yet I continue to think of you and your family. Sleep in heavenly peace.

  58. I have never met Patrick in person, but I did meet him through some odd events on the internet and him and I shared a different bond. We would talk often about random things, sharing links and discussing news. Just by the way he talked, the things he was interested in and the passion he had for these things screamed intelligence. He always had something to share, and he always shared it with such enthusiasm. When I heard the news, I was saddened deepyly. I dearly miss our conversations and I will for a very long time. Him and his family are in my thoughts.

  59. I’m an administrator of a Facebook group Matthew frequented, dedicated to funny pictures and internet jokes. We recently found out about this terrible loss and it hit us pretty hard. The guy was awesome, consistently posting funny comments and pictures, and laughing along with us. We all liked him and miss him greatly. On behalf of the 300+ members of NC – Name Copyrighted, I extend our heartfelt condolences to his friends and family and wish to express our sadness at this tragedy.

  60. Matt was a funny dude. I never met him in person, but we video chatted on quite a few occasions. He was educated and really sweet. He shared great jokes and was a good person. He made me laugh on more than one occasion. His charm reached me all the way in Canada. If there is a heaven I hope he’s kicking it with the big guy in the sky. I hope the family is doing well now. <3

  61. I never met Matt in person, but he seemed like a good kid. Of course only the good die young. He had a great head on his shoulders though. Whenever he would join a Google hangout, it ended up being a fun one. Real sweet guy, smart too. He will surely be missed. I feel like we just talked the other day. May God bless him and his family.