Matthew J. Widman, 26, of Highland, Ill., born Aug. 7, 1980, in Belleville, Ill., died at 1:57 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, 2007, at his residence.
Matt grew up in Highland, Ill., and graduated from Highland High School in 1998, earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at University of Missouri-Rolla in 2003. He worked for the State of Missouri for 11/2 years and then started with Madison County, Illinois Highway Department as a field engineer. He was an avid, passionate outdoorsman who started deer hunting with a bow at an early , enjoyed fishing and the last three years had been learning elk hunting form his cousin Larry Welchlen in Colorado. He had played baseball from Khoury League through high school. He played Junior League/High School and College Football (three years at the university of Missouri-Rolla). This past year he helped coach the Quarterback Club football for his nephew's team in Highland. He enjoyed float trips, his neighbor and friends on Deck's Prairie, the Sigma Phi Epsilon Social Fraternity activities at Rolla (Greek week and St. Patrick's Day) big chicken fries and group events - helping his dad and brother fry chicken for K of C (hall events, Kirchenfest, Madison County Fair). Matt enjoyed his dog, "Willy," a dalmatian mix, four wheeling, riding his custom "Big Dog" Chopper, and had a goal of becoming the County Engineer for Madison County.
From the time he was a small child, Matt always carried a U.S. flag, he always had one with him. He would look for flags and flagpoles, he helped his brother obtain and erect a 40 foot pole in Mike's front yard and had his own flag and pole at his home.
He attended St. Paul Catholic Church, Highland, Ill., Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Pierron, Ill., and St. Boniface Catholic Church, Edwardsville, Ill. Matthew was a member of Masonic Lodge 583, AF & AM, Highland, Ill., Ainad Temple, AAONOMS (Shriners), East St. Louis, Ill., a MaCliBo Circus Unit 3rd Degree Knights of Columbus, Council 1580, Highland, Ill., for seven years, 4th Degree Assembly 0231, Knights of Columbus, Highland, Ill., for two years.
He was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents, John and Virginia Horn, and Donald and Laurene, nee Heim, Widman; an aunt and uncle, Jane Horn, who died at three weeks, and Dale Widman.
Surviving are his parents, Larry A. and Janet A., nee Horn, Widman of Highland, Ill.; his brother and sister, Michael A. (Mary A.) Widman of Highland, Ill., and Lana M. (Stephen) Hawkins of Kalamazoo, Mich.; a niece and nephew, Megan A. Widman and Mitchel A. Widman both of Highland, Ill.; and two aunts, Sandy (Gage) Herington of Alabama and Jean Widman of Highland, Ill.
Memorials may be made to Phi Epsilon Social Fraternity, Knights of Columbus Hall or MaCliBo Circus Unit. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family by visiting www.spengel-boulanger.com or by e-mail at condolences@ spengel-boulanger.com
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007, and from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 19, 2007, at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home, Highland, Ill.
Funeral: Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 19, 2007, at St. Paul Catholic Church, Highland, Ill., with the Rev. David L. Peters officiating. Interment will be in Highland City Cemetery, Highland, Ill.
SPENGEL-BOULANGER FUNERAL HOME, Highland, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Jan. 17 to Jan. 18, 2007