Matthew J. Summers, 64, passed away peacefully on June 16, 2023, at The Mayo Clinic hospital in Phoenix, AZ. Matt lived a bold, adventurous, and happy life with his wife, family, and friends. His adventures and hobbies took him most often to the mountains, lakes, and almost always outdoors.
Matt was born in Minneapolis, MN on May 16, 1959. He spent much of his childhood in the Minneapolis area, where weekends were filled with outdoor family adventures as well as visits to the family farmhouse in Dassel, MN. Park Rapids, MN was also a special place for Matt as he spent long weekends with his grandparents and extended family, fishing, swimming, and boating at their family-owned resort, Summers Pine Point. Sizzling summer afternoons were often cooled down with ice cream cones from Driscolls, now known as the Minnesoda Fountain shop, which coincidentally was where his parents met in the 1950’s. Today the Minnesoda Fountain shop is still open, and Matt made it a priority to recreate these memories with his own children by enjoying sweet treats in the very same shop he did as a child. Matt held these pastimes of his childhood and adulthood, close to his heart and often referred to them as the time he truly experienced the “Minnesota Nice” lifestyle.
Matt was employed at Heraeus Materials Technology Division for over 30 years. He began his career with the company in 1987 as a Tool & Die Maker/Wire EDM operator. While excelling in his career he went back to school and earned an engineering degree, which propelled him into his role as a Tooling Design Engineer. During the last decade of employment with the company, he led numerous Research & Development efforts that challenged the status quo and made room for innovation in the manufacturing processes of implantable medical devices. His efforts paid off and paved the way for the advancement of many present day lightweight and complex Pacemakers and Defibrillators.
Matt and Fran met and fell in love while working at Heraeus Materials Technology Division in Chandler, Arizona. 2 years later, they both decided to jump in headfirst and tied the knot on October 9, 1993. On this day, they not only vowed to love each other fiercely, but also to love and care for one another’s children as their own. They parented, built memories, and created a safe and loving home for their family, together. Over the years, Matt not only talked the talk, but consistently walked the walk in making his family life a priority. The years were filled with camping trips, pool parties, and memorable vacations that have left a significant impression on his family. Matt was an extraordinary example of what a man can and should be to his children and grandchildren. He loved hard and showed his affection through loving nicknames for his kids, a firm hug, a tender kiss on the cheek, or a double thumbs up coupled with his own version of a Tim “The Toolman” Taylor grunt as he prepared to rev up any type of engine. Additionally, Matt made it a point to always show up for those he loved, doing his best to never miss a big party, or any opportunity to celebrate those closest to him.
Matt had a huge heart and made sure so many in his personal and professional life knew it. He lived boldly and intentional, showing up in our lives to help even after a long
day at work. He put others first, reached out to keep relationships fostered, held on tight to love, and made a point to always tell his kids that he was “just tickled to death” by how proud he was of them. He made a point to protect their hearts, even in the end with his health.
It’s no secret that nature was truly a place of solace and peace for him, and his family prays that he can rest peacefully and listen from above to the soft evening calls of the Minnesota Loons as a gentle breeze moves the trees.
Matt was preceded by his father, John, sister Terri Lynne Huffaker and grandmother, Cora Dow. Those of us who remain, find peace in the fact that he won’t be alone in Heaven.
Matt is survived by his loving wife, Francine; children, Jennifer, Melissa, Matthew (Sarah), and Megan. 5 grandchildren, Alexia, Desirae, Grace, Parker, and Kennedy. He is also survived by his mother, Violet, sister Cori (Barry), and niece Amanda (Corey).