MIDDLETON - Matthew J. Gray, age 59, died suddenly on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. He was born on Feb. 16, 1958, at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison, the son of John A. "Jack" Gray and Donna M. (nee Monson) Gray. Matt graduated from Middleton High School in 1976. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in rehab psychology and special education and later went on to receive his Master's degree in anthropology from the UW.
Matt was a special education teacher at Jefferson Middle School in Madison. He was always there to listen to, advocate for and care about the students and families he knew during his long career. In addition to teaching, he had a passion for all sports. For over 20 years Matt was the voice of the WIAA state wrestling tournament. He also did sports announcing for WIAA football and swimming tournaments, Memorial High School, Madison College and the UW. He was recognized with several teaching awards and was featured twice in the Wisconsin State Journal's "Know Your Madisonian" series. Matt also loved archaeology, spending 11 summers in Utah excavating for Native American remains.
Matt was a champion for the underdog and an outspoken critic of anything that he saw as unfair. He enjoyed cooking for others, time at the cabin, loved his dogs and worked hard to make the world a better place.
Matt is survived by his best friend and fiancée, Lori Mettel; his sisters, Lisa (Jim) Murphree, Heidi Louwaert and Kara Sailing; and his brother, Marc (Tracy) Gray. He is further survived by Lori's family; his aunts and an uncle, nieces and nephews and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Donna Gray.
A private funeral gathering will be held at a later date, but friends and family are invited to VINTAGE BREWING COMPANY, 674 S. Whitney Way, Madison, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, 2017, to reminisce about all the good times we had with Matt. Toasts to his life will be made at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Madison Memorial Youth Basketball or Underdog Pet Rescue. Please share your memories at www.CressFuneralService.com.
Cress Funeral and Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
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