Matt White, 52, of Cape Haze, Florida, passed away Friday, February 8th due to complications from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). But for those who knew and loved Matt, he would insist that he didn’t die from ALS, he chose to live with ALS for 19 years…with love and zest for life of which he never let go. It just so happens, he had ALS. The Celebration of Life service will be in Clowes Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 23rd at 2:00 pm. Doors open at 1:30 PMREAD MORE
Matt White, 52, of Cape Haze, Florida, passed away Friday, February 8th due to complications from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). But for those who knew and loved Matt, he would insist that he didn’t die from ALS, he chose to live with ALS for 19 years…with love and zest for life of which he never let go. It just so happens, he had ALS.
Matt was born in Valparaiso, Indiana, on December 22, 1966. He grew up in North Manchester, Indiana. After graduating from North Manchester High School in 1985, he attended Butler University, where he ran cross country and track for the Bulldogs on an athletic scholarship. Matt pledged the Delta Tau Delta fraternity his freshman year, and he carried a love for Butler and his Delt brothers for the rest of his life.
After graduation from Butler in 1989, Matt excelled professionally in the radio industry. Matt grew with Emmis Communications initially starting in sales at WENS, then Local Sales Manager at WNAP, and eventually became the General Sales manager of WKQX, Q101 Chicago at the age of 32.
After his diagnosis, Matt was stunned to learn there was no treatment for or much research on ALS. This prompted him to start the Matt White Cure ALS Foundation to fund the research that he found promising. The Matt White Cure ALS foundation has raised over $552,000 towards finding a cure for ALS. The Matt White Cure ALS Foundation is being recognized as a ‘Partner’s in Collaboration’ Honoree by the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at John Hopkins this year.
Matt traveled extensively seeing many parts of the world including the Great Wall of China. Matt and friends played 29 of the world’s top 30 golf courses, including The Old Course, Augusta National, Oakmont, Pebble Beach, and Pine Valley.
In 2003, Matt retired to Cape Haze, Florida. A year later, he reconnected with a high school sweetheart, Shartrina Rogers. They were married in May 2006 and leaned headfirst into life together facing the challenges and joys of each day. Matt vowed to Shartrina, “I can promise you a marriage that will be unique, challenging and even difficult. I can also promise you a marriage abundant in love and respect, And a marriage that will last for the rest of our lifetimes.” Matt and Shartrina celebrated their life together, not by annual anniversaries, but by month-iversaries. They redefined love. They celebrated every moment with joy. Matt and Shartrina were a formidable team.
After ALS took most of the use of his arms when playing golf, he dramatically improved his short game. When ALS robbed him of his voice he started communicating through a keyboard with his toes and then his eyes. When he could no longer communicate through assistive technology, he communicated through moving his eyes with Shartrina and his amazing caregivers to the final moments. He traded stocks with the help of his caregivers. Matt loved Young Living Essential Oils and what they did for him and his care. Matt’s entrepreneurial spirit and love for helping others led him to start his own Young Living business. He worked to the very end. He adapted and never accepted defeat. ALS didn’t take his life but rather Matt took his life and lived with ALS.
When Butler played Duke in the 2010 National Championship game, Matt traveled to Indianapolis on total life support to experience the tournament in person. By invitation from Butler’s coach Brad Stevens, Matt had the honor to share his message and inspiration with the team before the Final 4 tournament. Although he lived in Florida, Matt never missed watching a Butler game to cheer on his Dawgs.
Matt maintained a close connection with his fellow Delt brothers from Butler University his entire life. Every year, Matt and Shartrina looked forward to hosting an annual Super Bowl weekend gathering that was affectionately named “The Dallas Cowboys Haters Convention”. On the 16th annual gathering, the Delt brothers were able to say their final good-byes to Matt.
Matt had friends around the world whose lives he impacted forever. Matt’s legacy is well described in an article by David Woods in the Indianapolis Star written on February 10, 2019. https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/college/butler/2019/02/10/butler-grad-matt-white-fought-als-and-inspired-bulldogs-2010-final-four/2830028002/
He is survived by his beautiful wife, Shartrina, and their children, Myles and DeAndre Robinson. His parents, Howard and Connie White. Also surviving Matt is his brother Sam White (Elizabeth) and their children, Mason, Davis, Erienne Keefe (Joe), Brad Paradise, Alexandra Paradise, Abby Paradise, and Jamie Paradise. Matt is also survived by his sister Sara Key (Mark) and their son Jacob. He is also survived by his seven beloved caregivers: Brooke Coup, Elaine Hunter, Breanna Clements, Ashli Girolamo, Lindsay Carriera, Cassie Belmer, Maggie Rossip. He is also survived by his precious dog and soulmate, Abby. He was preceded in death by just two weeks by his beautiful dog, Winston. Surely Winston went ahead to find the best trails for that long-awaited run with Matt, free from the confinement of a wheelchair.
The Celebration of Life service will be in Indianapolis at Clowes Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 23rd at 2:00 pm.
Saturday March 232:00 PMClowes Memorial Hall