Matthew Jordan Bussey was born at Evanston Hospital on January 7, 2002. He left this world on March 7, 2021 surrounded by loving family members at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.
Matt leaves behind his grieving family: his parents, Brian Bussey and Victoria Braucher Bussey of Evanston, Ill.; his grandmother, Virginia Ford Braucher of Willowbrook, Illinois; his grandparents, Ronald and Linda Bussey of Traverse City, Michigan; his aunts and uncles, Steven Braucher, Elizabeth (Kenneth) Benjamin, Carolyn (Taylor) Atkins, Kevin (Pamela) Horan Bussey, Scott Bussey, Eric (Erin) Bussey and Thomas Scheele; his cousins, Ian, Heather, Jessica, Esther, Genevieve, Steven, Anna, Jessica, Nicholas, Luke, Riley, Jade, Isaac, and Genevieve; and his beloved dog, Rowdy. He was preceded in death by his grandfather Daniel Braucher and his uncle Paul Braucher.
Matt grew up among a doting extended family that included second cousins and step cousins and great aunts and uncles. He attended Cherry Preschool, Dewey Elementary School, Nichols Middle School, Baker Demonstration School, and Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Ill. Matt made friends every step along the way. He struggled in school due to dyslexia and would always say his favorite subjects were “lunch and gym.” In third grade he wrote a story called “The Chocolate Story” that was performed by two acting companies, Northwestern’s Griffin’s Tale and Evanston’s Mudlark Theater. He played basketball in Evanston’s FAAM and YMCA leagues. In high school, he filmed a James Bond spoof with three of his friends.
Matt was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma in January of 2020, three weeks after his 18th birthday and two weeks after learning he had been accepted to his top choice of schools, University of Colorado at Boulder. He went through harsh treatments with a steadfast focus on living his life as normally as possible.
During his illness he went on camping trips, played basketball with friends, hiked and walked his dog with friends and family, and spent as much time with all the people he loved as COVID-19 restrictions would allow. He loved with a wide open and generous heart, accepting and inclusive and nonjudgmental, and his friends spoke of his kindness and loyalty through thick and thin.
Matt was exuberant and playful, creative and funny. When he was younger he enjoyed doing theater. As a young man he was interested in filmmaking.
Before his illness, Matt was an expert skier and went on many ski trips with his father and friends. His favorite ski venues were Snowbird in Utah, Breckenridge in Colorado, and Mount Bohemia in Upper Peninsula Michigan.
Throughout his life, he loved the outdoors and went on numerous camping and backpacking trips and attended the YMCA camps of Camp Echo and Hayowentha. Over many summers, he participated in an ongoing archeology project in Beaver Island, Mich., with his father and his great aunt, Terri Bussey. He loved to play basketball and Frisbee with friends as well as board games and video games. He also enjoyed skateboarding, mountain biking and paddle-boarding, and he was a member of the ETHS Sailing Team at Sheridan Shores in Wilmette.
On the morning of Feb. 22, 2021, Matt was in a car accident and sustained serious injuries. He was taken to Loyola Medical Center. For two weeks his family and the dedicated doctors and nurses at Loyola watched over him. Many of his lifelong friends as well as his more recent friends called him and sent messages to him at the hospital to tell him goodbye.
He left us very peacefully to be with God on March 7, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. Matt’s friends created a memorial to him on Dempster Street Beach in Evanston – a heart around his name made of rocks, stones and twigs.