Matthew Waldron Stahl
Matthew Waldron Stahl was born on June 15, 2004 in Scranton PA. Son of John and Rachel, he was a little brother to Michayla, and 5 years later, became a big brother to Jack. From the moment Matthew entered this world, he was a little ball of energy that smiled constantly. When he became a toddler, he loved to make people laugh. As he grew, so did his energy. His smile and giggle became undeniably infectious. Anyone who heard him couldn’t help but chuckle along with him. Matthew was extremely passionate in anything he did. Whether it was loving, laughing, crying, caring, worshiping, imagining, writing, he did it whole heartedly. An insatiable desire to learn and discover new things kept him very busy and always on the go. Whenever possible, he was outside playing with his siblings, his dog Montana, riding his bike, building a fort, playing pirates and many other things that he had stored up in his imagination. When his family started to raise their own beef steer, taking care of them was added to Matthew’s list of things he loved to do. Every year, he and his family would go to the Harford Fair where Matthew loved learning about different farm animals. With a local dairy farmer in their extended family, Matthew took a particular interest in dairy cattle. Matt and his dad would get up early Saturday mornings to tend to their own animals and then go to the dairy farm to help milk. On one occasion, Matthew and his sister Michayla assisted in delivering a calf. From that point on, they were hooked on farming.
Michayla joined 4-H in the summer of 2012 and showed a spring heifer. Matthew was too young to show, but still took care of the animals and learned as much as he could about them. At fairs and competitions, he took a lot of pride in telling others all about his cattle friends. He would lay with the heifers, talk to them, sing, and even fall asleep while cuddling with them.
Another one of Matthew’s passions was going to church and learning about our Gracious, Merciful God. The Stahl family attends Bridgewater Baptist Church where Matthew enjoyed Sunday school activities and another church activity for young children called Voyager. Every night, Matthew would read from his “Action Bible” and “Comic Book Bible”. Both tell stories in comic book fashion and have awesome illustrations that any young boy would love! One of the last pages that Matthew read was based on Matthew 9:9
“9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.” (NIV)
Young Matthew could not contain his excitement when he showed his parents the picture of Jesus saying “Matthew, come and follow me” in his Action Bible. Little did his family know that the Lord truly was calling Matt to follow Him. On October 29th 2012, Matthew’s beautiful life was ended abruptly and he was taken home to be with his Father in Heaven.
Family and friends were asked what they would like others to know about Matthew and here is what they said:
“(I) loved the jokes that Matthew always made up. Now, they were funny!” (said by a 7 year old friend)
“Like everyone, I saw Matthew's energy and fun side, but I also remember his quiet, kind, gentle side when we would talk. He was an intelligent kid...full of curiosity and very thoughtful!”
“Child of God... a reflection of God's love in his eyes.”
“His smile would light up a room. Fun and very friendly!!... He was so fun. Every time he saw me with my camera, he would fill the whole frame with his cute face and that bright smile and that twinkle in his eye!!”
“Matthew not only thought outside the box, he LIVED outside the box!!!! He was sooo full of life!”
“There is no way to sum up Matthew in a sentence or a page. He did everything with his whole heart. Everything.”
“Full of life and always a mischievous sparkle in his eye.”
“A tough exterior, but such a tender heart. Lived life to the very fullest, and was his very own person--kept those in his life always on their toes to keep up with him. A very special child, one I feel honored and blessed to have had touch my life!!”
“He always had the biggest smile, and that made everyone else smile. His sincerely sweet inside showed on his very expressive face....his eyes alone could just light up a room, but then when he smiled his whole face smiled too”
“Always full of life and I'll never forget that devilish grin.”
“Rambunctious, beautiful twinkling eyes and big beautiful smile.”
We chose to set up a perpetual fund in Matthew’s name to go to Susquehanna County’s 4-H Junior Dairy program every year. We believe this is a fantastic program that not only teaches children about dairy cattle, but how to properly care for animals and how important farming is to our society. Most importantly, it teaches compassion and respect towards all creatures, great and small.
Other donations have been made in Matthew’s memory to Bridgewater Baptist Church, Susquehanna County Library and Marywood University. We are giving “The Action Bible” and “The Action Bible Devotionals” to anyone who would like them in honor of Matthew.