Matthew William Beard - Online Memorial Website

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Matthew Beard
Born in Pennsylvania
21 years
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I remember the day that Matthew got into the car crash. My brother and I slept over at Aunt Connie's and Matthew's house and in the morning I asked him if he really had to go. He went and sure enough something bad happened. I miss you so much Matthew.

Your cousin,


 Happy 23rd birthday Matthew, your 3rd in heaven.  We have so many memories shared and they are with us day and night and this will never change.

GOD HAS YOU IN HIS KEEPING, and we have you in our hearts always and forever.

Grandma and grandpa

Dearest Matt,


It has been a long hard two (2) years since you were struck down by a

DRUNK DRIVER.  The days go by, but missing you only changes by becoming more intense.


Daulton and Chandler are here with us, as is Aunt Carol.  They all miss you very much.  They brought their checker boards (Christmas presents) with them, and it brings back wonderful memories of the many games we played.


Grandma misses you so much it can't be put into words.  Her prayers are with you daily.


                                        With all our love,

                                        Grandma and Grandpa







Steve Paine

I remember you handling something new in stride. As Lucy's Dad, I looked forward to introducing you both to skiing and the frozen north where we lived at the time. Thought you might be a tiny bit tentative with unfamiliar equipment, unfamiliar cold and deep snow everywhere. But no, you had perhaps one spill (Lucy and I had more) and got on the intermediate slope that very first day. I observed you embracing the new and unfamiliar with confidence. A very good trait for a scientist - or for any man. I was impressed. Going to that little slope and later to Niagara Falls, anticipation was as much a pleasure as the actual event. You were good company on that trip and I thought, my daughter has hit a home run...  I know there are other worlds, including at least one or more where your journey continues and was not interrupted. I hope I'll get to meet you there. You are truly missed.

william beard


      DEAR MATT :  We love you and miss you more every day. Not a day goes by that we don't think of youand about all you could have accomplished with your Coral Reef research. I miss our checker games: even if you were beating me too much. And Grandma misses all those hugs and kisses she got when she made you her homemade vegetable and potato soup.Look down on us Matt and on your Mom.with that great infectious smile that would light up the room .         

chandler beard

I remember this one time when me my brother and matt were playing baseball me and my brother we were winning. He was about to pitch the ball.Then a dog came running out of no where that had flies we waited for a little bit to call the pound.

Aunt Ruth

I remember a trip to Dorney Park that we took when Connie and Matt came to Philly one summer.  I was coerced into going on the log flume despite my fear of heights.  Matt and Kyle were in front and Matt was purposely overreacting at each little dip in the ride that I didn't believe him when we reached the big drop - it was shear horror on my part when I realized he wasn't kidding.  Matt and Kyle made fun of me the rest of the day!  That was a special day!  I love you Matt and miss you more each day! 

I know how much you and Travis loved Woofer [AKA: Fergie] ~ well, I thought you like to know, we now have a Little Woofer [AKA: Savanah].  You know how Travis likes to give "his own" names.  Here is a picture of the new Little Woofer with her big sisiter, Woofer.
Miss you,
Matthew, I searched and searched my computer, and although I am sure that they exist, this is the only picture I could find of us together.  It was your high school graduation.  We we were all so very proud of you and still are!    Remember we went to Rain Forest Cafe that day for lunch.  Now that I think about it, perhaps we should have gone to Sea World and dined underwater!   I hope you know how much are you are loved and how many lives you touched and continue to touch!  We love you!  Keep sending us signs that you are about and watching over us - especially your mom! 

Hello foo-

It's hard to think of one specific memory to write on here, when I have nearly five years filled with so many amazing memories of you and us. I was going through a bunch of pictures and my notebook last night and one time frame that keeps popping in my head is our one year anniversary. It was during that great summer that we had our apartment in Tallahassee and spent so much time cooking dinner together and hanging out, watching TV and going to the beach- just so much time being with each other. The night before I stayed up all night long (though that wasn't the plan, but I procrastinated as usual!) making your gift, a calendar for the next year filled with pictures and old ticket stubs I had saved from all the things we had done together, then put them into some sort of monthly order and tried to add my own creative touches. I made you stay in the bedroom all night long because we had such a tiny apartment and my crafting was taking up the whole living room and I didn't want you to see what I was doing! I had no idea what you had planned for me, and the next day you made me stay in the room while you were working, which I soon found out was you packing up the car with all sorts of gear and food for my first camping trip up in the Georgia mountains. I was so excited and we ended up having such an amazing time- lots of hiking, paddleboating, looking in quaint little shops, we even got to watch a glassmaker sculpt! And then of course when you burnt your hands... You were trying to make a fire in our fire pit, had tried lighting the wood but it apparently wasn't working, so you decided it would be an excellent idea to just squirt some kerosene right on the wood! I was walking up the hill just in time to go "Noo-!" and then a huge flame erupted from the fire and into the bottle, consequently burning most of the hair off your arms and slightly singing your fingers. In the panic we threw not only our extra blanket but also our COOLER onto the fire to try and put it out, then realized as it was melting that -aha- there was a water pump right next to our site. We went to CVS and you let me take care of you and wrap up your fingers with medicine and gauze, but wouldn't let me tell your mom for months because you didn't want her to worry.... I miss you so much.


One more memory from that summer, ironically also including fire, was our last night in the apartment. We decided to make a big fancy dinner of crab stuffed salmon with rice and vegetables and this italian white bean soup. Everything was going ok until you went to cook the salmon- we usually broiled our fish, and you set it on a pan on some tin foil. But! You put a little oil in the bottom of the pan too, and once the broiler got hot enough, sure enough it sparked and the oil set on fire! I freaked out and wanted to use the fire extinguisher(since we were subleasing someone else's apartment, after all!), but you said that ovens are made for hot temperatures and if we just keep the door closed, the fire would burn up all the oxygen on it's own and go out. Well, I got my way and doused our dinner and the whole stove in all sorts of chemicals from the extinguisher! As soon as I calmed down I realized of course you were right, I don't know how you always think clearly in crazy situations. Anyway, you ended up going back to Albertson's for more salmon while I cleaned up the kitchen, and we had our dinner eventually, albeit an hour and a half late!


I could write an entire novel filled with the memories of you and me, some rough chapters but mostly bright and happy... I feel like we were a book where the author passed away suddenly, leaving an unfinished work but a classic work of art nonetheless. I love you and I miss you still, all the time...




Angela DeMaio
I remember those lunches of Campbell's Soup sirloin...and getting yelled at for eating all the little baby burgers out of the pot. But they were so good! I haven't thought of that in a while but yeah I guess that must've been really hard for you guys, to have your BF move so far away. I should call some BFs huh. Miss you ladies! and of course Matt too =) I'm going to start doing Surfrider beach clean ups...Matthew is very inspiring calling us all to action!! Get busy people!
Tarah Marsden-Bruno

I remember going ice skating with Matt, Travis, and Rhonda.  Matt and Travis were really good on the ice, but Rhonda and I were typical Florida girls in that we were terrible.  I will admit, though, I was the absolute worst; I can't even count how many times I must have fallen.  And, right before we were about to get off the ice I took one last spill, landing right on my knees.  I was in so much pain that I had to be carried off the ice.  After getting some ice for my knees we all got ready to leave.  I don't remember where we were going, but I was pretty bummed because my knees hurt so bad.  In and effort to cheer me up on the ride, Matt rolled down the windows of his truck and sang at the top of his lungs to the song "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid soundtrack.  Who could stay bummed after that???       

Tarah Marsden-Bruno

One of my best memories of Matt is the first time he rode a horse (or so he said) which was my Arab, Abby.  Matt had come along to help me feed her and my other horses a couple of times before; and each time, he'd beg me to let him ride her.  My response was always the same, "As long as you wear a helmet" (I didn't realize till now how much I sounded like a mom).  Matt thinking he was too cool to wear one of our "dorky" riding helmets, finally compromised by wearing his old hockey helmet.  The big day came and to my surprise he was a natural.  He looked very comfortable in the saddle, maybe a little too much so, because he then insited that he was ready to try some hard stuff.

I have so many, many memories of Matthew.  Every second I breathe I am thinking about a memory of Matthew.  One memory that I can't seem to get out of my mind, that keeps playing back to me over and over again, is when Matt and his friends went downtown to a club to see a band they all liked, Junkie Rush, and one of the moms drove them down and picked them up later that night because they would be drinking. They were all of legal age, however, they weren't worried about how it looked that a bunch of good looking 21 and 22 year old guys were having a mom drive them and pick them up from a bar downtown, they cared more about being responsible.  Cared more about their future and the safety of others.  I also think about Matt calling me from his friend Patrick's house when he was there celebrating Pat's 21st birthday.  Matt had been drinking beer and called to tell me that because he had been drinking he would be spending the night at Pat's house, he would not be driving.  Matthew and I have had so many discussions about drinking and driving starting before he even got his license.  That was my worst fear with him on the road -- drunk drivers.  That always scared me so much. 
A little over a month before Matt was killed by the drunk driver a Seminole County probation officer knocked on my door.  He came to tell me that my next door neighbor was a DUI offender and was on probation for DUI.  He wanted to make me aware of it, was letting the neighbors know, and also asked that I let him know if I saw my neighbor coming in carrying beer or any type of alcohol as it was against his probation.  I was so impressed with this probation officer, that he took the steps he did.  It also made me cringe to think of this older guy and the fact that he was convicted of DUI.  But, a lot also fell into place knowing that.  I also knew that he was still driving drunk - it was obvious by the way he parked his car many times.  I looked up MADD's website.  I read more about DUI.  And just a short month later a drunk driver took my son's life.  My worst fear came true. Matt's life ended and my world came to an end.  I'm still here but only going through the motions.  My son was too smart to get behind the wheel of vehicle after drinking.  Yes, there are pictures of him on this website with a beer in his hand.  He was 21, almost 22, a college student.  He spent most nights in the library but when he had some time off Matt liked to have a good time. For the most part having a good time for Matt meant scuba diving, surfing, or spending time with his girlfriend, Lucy, spending time with his family those all too few times he would get home from school; but he when he did go out with his friends and drink he knew how to do it responsibly.  Someone else who had nowhere near the life goals that my son had, who could care less about anyone other than himself, decided to kill my son because it was more important to him to have what he considered a good time.  While I have so many memories of Matt, I keep going back to the fact that my son would never have done to another human being what the drunk driver chose to do to him that night.  And that drunk driver will never pay for what he did.  Not that way he should.  Not with the way our legal system is set up now when it comes to DUI and DUI manslaughter -- the "oops crime". 
Cindi DeMaio
I remember that cold, wintry night in 1985. The phone call in the middle of the night that Matt was ready to finally meet us. The anticipation, the joy we all shared. Con, do you remember me driving through red lights just because we could? Who was going to give me a ticket for getting my best friend to the hospital! And of course I remember you yelling at me for leaving the labor room to go smoke, you kicking the doctor, and yes, having the doctor show me your internal organs. But most of all, seeing Matt be born. What an amazing and unforgettable experience (and of course pain free for me) it was. Joking with you how I got to see him before you : ) I remember how sad you were when you had to go back to work, but how lucky for me as I got to spend the next couple of years with Matt on a daily basis. We shared peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Campbell's Chunky sirlion soup, and poopy diapers. What a sweet disposition he always had. Even "Tease" didn't bother him! I remember when you told me you thought it would be best for you and Matt to move to Florida. I remember the day you both left me. That day was so hard...I didn't think I'd ever stop crying. My best friend and my Godson moving so far away. I knew then as I know now you did the right thing for Matt.  Having his grandparents around was one of the best gifts you gave him. But I missed you both terribly. Of course who could have known that day that I'd only see Matt for too few and too short visits before someone would decide to recklessly take his life? I don't think he ever got to see the snow in Philly. One of the things you were trying to escape, he wanted to experience! Like he wanted to experience everything, but cruelly his time on this earth was stolen from him. I can't make sense of what happened. But do not think people will ever forget him. It won't ever happen. And as proud of him as you are, I know he feels the same way about you.
Angela DeMaio
I also remember a story my mom told me about when Matt was born...but it was kind of gross. Something about Connie's internal organs being displayed for all to see...yikes!
Angela DeMaio
I remember Matt's first trip to Philly (well that he was old enough to remember) and my boyfriend at the time & I took him around the city. He loved South Street, and we wandered around downtown for awhile. We went to a movie, and cracked up because he was surprised to see the Boulevard (Connie knows what I mean~12 lanes, what?!)
Jenny Barker
Most of my memories are from Middle School. I remember going to the Skating Rink over by Big Tree when I was dating Pat Rauch in 7th grade... (funny how we are both engaged now..... middle school "romances" are always a joke!) we went there ALL THE TIME! You were always so mean to me!! But in a brother sister kinda way. Seeing you at LAX games when I'd come watch you and Travis/Pat/Tommy/Kyle and the rest of the gang! We were never really close once we went to High School, but we were always around each other cause your friends were great friends with my friends. OH and that slight tad detail that you were SOOO smart and in all the gifted/honors classes! MISS YOU!!!!!!!!
Total Memories: 20
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