Matthew Dixon, age 64, our much beloved son, brother, father, husband, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, nephew, cousin and a friend to so many passed away peacefully on the evening of Wednesday, November 23, 2022 after a valiant six-month battle with Multiple Myeloma. Matt died at the University of Michigan Hospital where he had been supported by numerous family members and treated by excellent medical staff for the last six weeks.
Matt was welcomed into this world at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo on June 5, 1958 to loving and proud parents Sally Ryskamp-Dixon and Al Dixon. After attending Portage Schools, Matt headed out West and enjoyed an adventurous life both in Denver and Golden, Colorado and also Tempe, Arizona before moving back to Kalamazoo in the early 1990’s. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. He was a kind, gentle soul and generous in his time and help to others. He was a devoted brother to his special needs sister Cynthia, and looked out for her his entire life. He was also a loving companion to his younger brother, Paul.
For the past 21 years, Matt worked for Consumer Concrete driving humongous trucks with skill and proficiency. He recently took an early retirement because of his illness. He took pride in his home and property in Mattawan, turning his many acres into a beautiful park-like setting by building patios and retaining and rock walls all by hand. Matt’s love of the outdoors and nature is what drove him to create his “sanctuary” for himself and his wife Tracy. A serene bubbling fountain, wind chimes, flowers and foliage completed this relaxing oasis. Matt met his beloved wife Tracy in 1999 and married in 2007. Their shared passion of working outdoors, nature and their pets allowed them an amazing 15 years of marriage.
Matt’s only child, Shawna, was born in Denver, Colorado in 1980. She was his pride and joy and gifted him with two precious grandchildren, and earlier this year a great-granddaughter. Shawna remained a devoted daughter throughout his life and will treasure their coffee dates forever. Shawna along with Tracy were by Matt’s bedside when he passed.
Matt was a wonderful son to his mother, with whom he shared many adventures. They worked together to make life better for both his sister and daughter. His brother benefited from lessons he learned from Matt. They had a connection that was both fun loving with much joking and shared humor combined on occasion with a seriousness about life’s difficulties.
Matt deeply cared for all of his family. He was a man of strong personal faith and knew Jesus as his savior which allowed him at the end to pass away in peace. He will be remembered with love and affection and a life well lived.
Matt was predeceased by his grandparents, Peter J. and Ruth Ryskamp and Lloyd and Laura Dixon.
He leaves his dad, Allen (Karen) Dixon, mother, Sally Dixon-Birch (second dad, Bill Birch), wife, Tracy Dixon, daughter, Shawna (Brooks Bohn) Johnson, brother, Paul (fiancé Donna VanDyken) Dixon, sister, Cynthia Dixon, two grandchildren, Melissa (Ben) Mayoras, Tyler (Jazmin Phillips) Johnson, great-grandchild Augustine Ro Johnson, father and mother-in-law, Jim and Laraine Vesel, niece, Haley Dixon, nephew, Jacob Dixon, aunt Marguerite (Chuck Miller) Clay, uncle John (Janet) Ryskamp, aunt Marion Day, aunt Joyce (Walt) Weissbach. Step siblings and their families, Bill (Tammy) Birch, Susan (Frank) Dame, Nancy (Derek) Voskuil and Sarah (Kirk) Krahn. Other relatives, including special cousins and dear friends. A memorial gathering will be held from 1:00-4:00pm Saturday, December 3 at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, 3926 South 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Private interment will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Avenue, 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851 or to the charity of your choice. To view Matt’s personalized webpage please visit https://www.langelands.com