Matthew R. Bruce, 26
Matt was born in Framingham, on July 10, 1987, the first child of James R. and Natalie M. (McKinley) Bruce. He grew up in Northborough and graduated from Algonquin High School, class of 2005, where he played on the hockey team. After graduation, Matt enrolled in the Funeral Service program at Mount Ida College, earning his degree in 2007. He then went on to apprentice with the Hays Funeral Home in Northborough, and Rand-Harper-Pickering Funeral Home in Westborough. In 2011, Matt joined the staff of Mercadante Funeral Home in Worcester.
In May 2013, Matt was diagnosed with a rare form of ALS, not normally found in young adults. In the face of such a devastating diagnosis, this exceptional young man lived his life fully, actively and vibrantly. He continued to work, play, travel, drive, laugh and love until March 21 when his journey ended. Matt was an inspiration to all those fighting the disease that has no cure.
Matt was a fan of the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and most particularly the Bruins. During one of his last visits to the TD Garden, the Bruins organization saluted him. He loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting and off-roading. Music was a particular passion and was a frequent concert-goer. Most of all, Matt reveled in the company of family and friends at some of his favorite night-spots in Worcester, Westborough, and Northborough or just at home. This past fall, Matt realized a life-long dream to travel widely throughout Europe thanks to the generous contributions of many caring friends and family.
He was a member of Saint Luke the Evangelist Church in Westborough, the Westborough Knights of Columbus and the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association.
Matt is survived by the people he loved so much, his parents, James and Natalie; brother, Andrew “AJ,”; sister, Lauren; his paternal grandmother, Sybil C. (Bishop) Bruce; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family members, and friends. His maternal grandparents, James and Helen (Trank) McKinley, and paternal grandfather, Robert Bruce, predeceased him.
Friends and relatives are invited to visit with Matt's family Wednesday, March 26, from 3 – 8 p.m., in the Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel, 370 Plantation St., Worcester. His Celebration of Life funeral Mass will be held Thursday, March 27, at 10:30 a.m., in St. Luke the Evangelist Church, 70 West Main St., Westborough. (Please go directly to church). Burial in St Luke's Cemetery will follow.
The family requests that flowers be omitted and remembrances of Matt may be made in his name to the Compassionate Care ALS Foundation, P.O. Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574 (www.ccals.org) or the UMass ALS Champion Fund, UMass Medicine Development Office, 333 South St., Shrewsbury, MA 01545.
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