Matthew James Mitchell (Matt) was called to Heaven on Sunday evening.
February 12th, 2023.
His death was unexpected and followed a morning at church with dad, a
big hug with Pastor Paul and a superbowl game visit from his long term best
Matthew will be missed by family, dad Jim, stepmom Brenda, grandma
Joan Mitchell, stepsisters and brothers, Chelsea Thorne, Dylan Kelly and partner
Sarah Haskell, Eldon Kelly, Frances Kelly and fiancé Sam Pennington, and his
uncle David Mitchell and his wife aunt Lanette. Matthew is also survived by a
host of extended family members who were important in his life.
Matthew was born one of a kind, survived as one in a million and lived
like no other. Born October 22, 1980, Matt’s life challenges started early with
infant spinal meningitis resulting in lifelong cerebral palsy and brain injury.
Matthew’s self determination allowed him to fully participate in life. YMCA
t-ball, flag football, soccer, Cub scouts, ARC activities, special olympics (softball,
skiing, swimming, soccer, track and field, cycling and golf). He enjoyed the
symphony and the Cheyenne Little Theater with an actor’s role in One Flew Over
the Cuckoo’s Nest. Matthew was a big Broncos fan and his Elway jersey was a
favorite. Mathew attended Wyoming football and both men's and women’s
basketball games with his grandparents. He spent several summers attending
Easter Seal speech and language camps meeting new friends with similar
challenges. It was at one of these camps where Matt built his own putter with the
“Get a Grip” event.
Another challenge for Matt was finding employment opportunities through
the state vocation program. Matt worked at F.E. Warren, a couple of motels,
Goodwill and his favorite, the Botanic Gardens.
Grandma and grandpa Mitchell enjoyed many weekends camping with
Matt and he was blessed to take special trips with them including Disneyland,
Phoenix, and Good Sam’s Club RV rallies to New Mexico, Kansas and Montana.
Matthew loved the spotlight - pantomime performance as the band “Kiss”
with his ARC buddies, his solo Garth Brooks impersonation before his East High
classmates, and his name flashing on the U.W. football scoreboard for his
birthday brought out that infectious smile. Medal ceremonies at special olympics
were always a time for celebration.
Matthew took great pride in having a new family of brothers and sisters
when dad remarried following Lynnann’s passing. Every activity they participated
in while in school and every phone call and family gathering were special for
Matt had a special relationship with God. He could tell you about his visits
to heaven and his visits from angels, especially with his mom and grandpa. Matt
had a bond with Father Skip, Pastor Mike and Pastor Paul. His participation
in church, especially that of the cross crucifer, was a matter of great pride for
The family wished to thank all his caregivers, doctors, service
professionals and educators who contributed to Matt’s successful journey
through life. Thank you Sam Eliopoulos, Rebecca Huey, Laureen Huey, Audra
O’Conner and the Allies in Advocacy staff.
Matthew embraced being unique, he beat the odds and would tell you God
and an infectious smile are your best friends.
There is no way to express the love Matt shared with his mom. Her
passing was devastating to him. His frustration and anger resulted in multiple
hospital stays and many requests that he join his mom in Heaven. God has now
granted his request and while we miss you with all our hearts, you are now
embraced in Heaven by her loving arms.
If you wish to honor Matthew, please consider contributions to ARC of
Laramie County, Wyoming Special Olympics, and the Comea Shelter.