Post your favourite stories of Matthew

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Jen (Wisness) Beck - -4146 days ago
First of all, my condolences, go out to those of you who loved Matt the most. He was an amazing guy. Truly, if my son grows up to be a guy like Matt, I would be brimming with pride.

I knew Mattie from my time at UND. I met him through a group of friends that lived in my dorm, and we became fast friends. Since he had stuck around for Summer School, along with a few other crazy kids--Lisa, Bama, Mikey, Bob-o, Johnny-- we had all spent a lot of time together stirring up trouble and having LOTS of fun.

Without a doubt, Mattie was one of the nicest, most caring, most genuine people I have ever come across in my life. It was obvious what things mattered most to him in life-- his family, who he talked about all the time, his pride of being a Canadian (we tried to convince him otherwise, but never successfully), his love of flying airplanes, and of course, his love of Molson's Canadian beer. (Which, he successfully passed on to me! I know he'd be proud.) :)

Mattie was the kind of guy that lit up a room, with his sincerity, sense of humor, and kindness. I can remember one specific night while we were all having a few drinks in their dorms, and I had to get home. Of course, Mattie wouldn't even think of letting me walk home by myself, even though it was close. It was raining outside, and with a bit of an argument about how I would be safe on my own (and no success on my part), Mattie made sure I got home alright. He walked me all the way home, made sure I got in my apartment safely, and then walked himself all the way back to the dorms in the pouring rain. That's the kind of guy he was... always making sure that others were alright, even if it would cause an imposition on him.

The world definitely lost a great person, and I know how much you must all still miss him. I was shocked when I heard of his passing and I hope you will take comfort in knowing that people all over still think of and remember Matt, even though much time has gone by. May you take comfort in knowing that his memory lives on in so many people's lives.

Bob-o - -4279 days ago
This time of year will always remind me of the first time I met Matt and Jon. September of 1999 is when I first came across these two rambunctious redheads on the campus of the University of North Dakota. They were both awesomely ignorant of the uptight ways of the USA and the University of North Dakota. At one point Jonny walked about the campus with beer in hand (which was a big no-no), but he did not care. When I witnessed this, I knew that I should make these strangers my life-long friends. And I hope that I accomplished this feat.

Jenny - -4454 days ago
Looking at Laurie and Matt's wedding pictures today made me reminisce about that day, a day I was so honored to be a part of. I remember how calm and yet exhilarated Matt was, he had on the usual gigantic smile and as I came down the aisle he gave me a wink. His mouth must have hurt by the end of the night because I don't think I ever saw him stop smiling. That day is by far one of the most cherished memories I will never forget. Matt and I used to joke that he was my "brother from another mother" and that day solidified that bond. I am so proud to be able to say that you are my brother, Matt.

Wade - -4598 days ago
Well I have so many great stories of Matt, I don't know where to begin. I made a short list and I have come up with around 20 or so that are worthy of telling. I guess I could start off when we met, our first flight together at college where Matt proved, in a matter of an hour, that he was a skilled pilot, and outstanding person. Throughout college we had great times studying together, working out, playing hockey with the "tail draggers", and sitting in class making jokes yet somehow getting good grades. We would get together after an exam for a beer and discuss the test, which would later lead into a night of fun, a little boxing, and of course making Abby howl! Or we would carve up the slopes at Sunshine on our snowboards. When college was finished we always made a point to get together, whether it was in Calgary, Hawaii or North Dakota we could always find a good time. I think my most memorable times were after the dust settled, the boxing and wrestling stopped, we would sit out on the deck and talk. We would talk about everything under the sun, school, flying, family and the future. I will really miss those conversations. Matt you were wise beyond your years, and every goal and dream from those conversations you met or exceeded.

Cara - -4600 days ago
One of the best times we had with Matt was when my children and I went to visit Laurie and Matt in Nanaimo for a week this past July. Fortunately, Matt was flying later in the day most days we were there, so the three of us got to spend some wonderful times with Matt and Laurie together. Matt was so proud to point out the float planes taking off and landing...he told Benjamin exactly what kind of planes they were and Ben was obviously impressed! Matt and Laurie set up a treasure hunt for Ben--pirates are his favourite thing in the world--at a beach by their home. They ran ahead and buried a box of plastic coins, necklaces and pirate loot in the sand and marked it with an 'x' made of sticks. Benjamin proudly carried his map they had given him with his birthday present to the beach for the highly anticipated dig. As he dug, Matt and Laurie and I looked on and I felt so special that the two of them had planned and executed this wonderful day for Benjamin, knowing how special it would be for him. I think that Matt was as excited as Ben when Ben pulled that treasure out of the sand, with so much love in his eyes. On the last day we were there, we had packed everything up, including all of Benjamin's pirate toys. Ben wanted to play pirates one last time with Matt...a game where they throw the treasure around and sword fight...but everything was put away. Rather than tell Ben that they couldn't play, Matt said 'let's throw this around!', referring to the carpet fuzz from the rug. Perhaps you had to be there, but to see the two them laughing and playing with nothing more than lint off the carpet was heartwarming because Matt just made it so fun. Like everyone close to Matt, we will cherish these times that much more now and keep them in a special place in our hearts. Thankyou for all of the great times Matt.

Jenny - -4601 days ago
I remember the first time that Laurie brought Matt home. He was so nice and polite, typical Matt. The part that stuck out for me was when they were leaving. I probably said something like, "it was nice to meet you", and he reaches out and gives me a hug and of course a big smile. I was blown away and so touched by this gesture. It became apparent, as I spent more time with him that Matt wanted you to know that you were special to him. There was never a time when I felt I wasn't being listened to, or he wasn't interested in what I had to say. I just knew that he would always be there for me and that hug said it all.

Tina - -4601 days ago
I know that everyone feels awkward and shy growing up, but I was pretty quiet up until high school. Boys made me blush and I'd loose my words. Then Matt and the other Heritage Woods boys started coming around to use my pool. I slowly started opening up to these funny, cool boys and started coming into my own person. One day at school, another boy who was known to with his words, asked Matt what he was doing on the weekend and I overheard. Matt said that they were coming over to my house, much to the annoyance of the other boy. "Why are you hanging out with her? She's such a loser," said the other boy. Matt totally came to my defense, saying a lot of really nice things about that quiet, shy girl. He's had a soft spot in my heart ever since.
I think that's how we all remember Matt, as the boy who was kind, warm, and fun, who would never hurt your feelings.

Christie - -4602 days ago
My very favourite of many favourite stories of Matt was the time when my Husband and I told my family we found out we were expecting our first child (our daughter Tessa). We were all sitting at the dinner table when we announced it and everyone jumped up in excitment and came to give us hugs. Although I knew Matt from him being a much cooler, older student in high school I was just getting to know him as Laurie's Matt while this happened. I was utterly blown away when Matt came up to me, gave me a huge hug, looked me in the eyes with such happiness on his face and excitment in his eyes, and said congratulations Chris that is so awesome, I am so happy for you. His words were so sincere and so impressive for having only met him as Laurie's Matt a few other previous times. When Tessa was born he was one of the first persons to come meet her in the hospital. Uncle Matt holds a very special part of Tessa's heart. Any time she would hear an airplane in the sky she would say " Uncle Matt fly airplanes and Aunty Yory too." Then she finally decided to believe me when I would tell her that only Uncle Matt flew airplanes, not Aunty Yory. She will always know that flying airplanes was something very special that only Uncle Matt could do.

Craig Listwin - -4602 days ago
Hey Matt.

From throwing you and Jonathan into snowbanks, to shinny at the farm (I will concede that you, Jonathan and Murray won over Brad and I) to 'out fishing' Garry and Uncle Bob at Fishing Lake were all memorable.

However, fishing on the Bow River with you and Corbin was for me, the best fishing experience and time we spent together. Though I have snagged a few before, catching that one brook trout (2.37464523lbs) on Uncle Neils' well kept and highly mantained equipment added greatly to the fun. It was when you told Corbin to "back off" as I raced ahead to the spot where I had previously missed one, and hit it that time, it only re-confirmed to me the truly unselflishness and kindness that you brought to me, and to everyone around you.

Just want to say 'thanks man'.

Craig Listwin

Trika Nelson-Kalmes - -4602 days ago
Matt and I traveled to Luther College in Decorah Iowa to go to the Ben Harper/Jack Johnson concert in 2001. We went to a local pub the night before the concert for some frosty beverages, and as we walked out the door to leave...Matt noticed a severly intoxicated older (70+ yrs) man. He could not stand, and was throwing up on himself. Bean went over and picked the man up, asked me to go get the car, and we took him home. It only took us an hour to find out the man's address because we couldn't understand him, but we got him home safe and sound. That was Bean....the gentle caring person he was. Always willing to help anyone....even a stranger!

Boyce Muirhead - -4602 days ago
So many stories, but these few come to mind.

As you know Matt was the fastest shadowboxer in the world. He always loved to play-fight and wrestle when we were young. One day he and I were having our daily shadow-spar, when he actually connected with a Knee to my nose. It bled for hours, and he felt soooo bad. He even skipped his next class, yep, thats right, Matthew Bienert skipped his class to chill with me to make sure I was ok.
Next, when we were in Grade 8, him and I were some exceptional trumpet players for our age. (Yea that's right) The high school had invited us on a trip to Edmonton with their band, and off we went. The funny thing was, every girl in that band had a crush on Matt, and we were still in Junior High. All the guys were jealous of him. Well, he was invited to go hang with the High School girls, while I wasn't. Instead, Matt hung out with me. We sat in our room and talked about girls. Which brings me to my final story also in Grade 8. He won almost every award there was for grade 8'ers. There I was next to him and his parents. He was covered in medals and plauques, and tropheys. The band award was next to be announced. I looked over at his loot, and said "Matt, I think your gonna win another one" He didn't. I did. He looked at me and said "I already knew you won it, you deserve it"

I'll never forget that. I'll never forget the fact that he was so happy that I won. These are just a few of many memories I have of him. These stories once again demonstrate the kindness, whole hearted person he was, even at such a young age. Even in recent years these stories were fresh in his mind. He even remember the shirt he ruined of mine with my blood.

I can't believe how distant we were for the many recent years, yet how much this loss really hurts.

Jenny - -4602 days ago
One winter my family and I, including Matt and Laurie were at the Banff Film Festival. A few of us were walking back from the building to our car and on the way Matt stuck his tongue out at my little nephew Benjamin. Ben thought this was awesome. He kept sticking his tongue out at Matt, making us all giggle.

The other day when I was flying home from Victoria it was really hard and for some reason I decided to stick my tongue out at my other little nephew Joshua (who is also Matt's Godson). Joshua thought this was awesome. He kept trying to stick out his tongue and my other two sisters, Cara and Christie and I laughed a little. I'd like to think that Matt was there laughing along with us.