Adam Coerper’s tribute to his brother, Mat


Mat Coerper

Read Mat's obituary at http://www.hoodri... and a News article on his life, death and impact at http://www.hoodri...

My name is Adam Coerper and I’m Mat’s brother — also his childhood partner in crime. Today, I have the honor and privilege in paying tribute to my big brother, who was extraordinary in so many ways.

It’s said that every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details on how he lived that distinguish one man from another.

It is the details that Mat lived his life. He was thorough and deliberate in everything he did. Nothing was done half-ass. If he was going to do something, it was well thought-out and measured.

He was always eager to observe and engage and unafraid to question, even at the most inappropriate times. When asked about Mat, I would always describe him as the intellectual of the family, Even as a little kid it was evident. My Mom says that when Mat was 3, he could recited his favorite book she read to him every night, word for word (“The Easter Bunny that Overs Slept.”) At age 7, he had a sketch book full of art you would think a teenager had drawn.

He was intelligent and articulate, and we all found ourselves learning something new after each time we spoke with him. Whether it was the origin of a word, author of a book, or an obscure recipe from some far-away place, Mat was a wealth of knowledge. He was always happy to share his expertise with anyone who would listen.

Not only would you learn something each time you visited Mat, but you just felt better afterward. He had the ability to hold court without intending to. There was just something captivating and therapeutic in the way he spoke and the way he moved.

Even his hugs were legendary. His embrace left you feeling like a million bucks.

He loved his family and we loved him dearly with all our hearts. He was a devoted brother, son, uncle and friend.

As a child, I always tried to copy everything he did. I wanted to be just like my big brother. He was my hero. When I was in diapers, I’d follow him around the house trying to walk and talk just like him. I remember wishing I had thick cool big glasses like him too. I’d try to dress just like him and style my hair the same way. Even today I’m copying his boots and beard.

Mat was always attentive and loving to all his brothers growing up. Whether it was changing diapers, helping with baths, or trying to cheer us up when we were feeling down, Mat was always a caring and affectionate big brother.

I can think back to the up-all-nights playing video games in the living room, pickup basketball games in the driveway or riding motorcycles up at the old dump all day.

Together we experienced the glee of childhood, the highs and lows of adolescence — first girlfriends, break-ups, pimples and all — and as adults, we were both on paths very much alike. Both trying to navigate this crazy thing we call life.

Mat was a comfort to my Mom and Dad. He was always a phone call or text away and he’d be there in a flash. Whether it was building them a fence, helping with the chickens, or sitting in front of the fire pit for hours with my Mom just talking. Mat was happy to spend his time with them.

He was an unbiased and loyal friend. He let people be who they were, void of judgment. Mat was someone you could depend and count on. He was honest and forthright. When he told you he was gonna be there, he would be. If you needed someone to talk to, he was your guy. Needed someone to paint the town with? Look no further than my brother, Mat.

He was quick to forgive and forget. He would give you the shirt off his back without hesitation. Mat was always willing to lend a helping hand, but never asking anything in return. His passion was evident by his exceptionally strong work ethic and attention to detail. His well-honed artistry often left patrons in awe. He was a true master of his craft.

Mat took pride in everything he did. From the way he dressed all to the way he signed his name. He operated with purpose and intent.

Mat lived in the moment and he liked the unexpected. He marched contentedly and unapologetically to his own drum.

His uncanny optimism is what made each day an d adventure. He was always a glass-half-full kind of guy who would find positivity even in the most unfavorable circumstances.

He will always be remembered with respect, admiration and love and for who he was, our Mat, our beautiful Mat. We all love you so much.

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