The ODS Alumni Association is sad to announce to the passing of Matthew Stronach, a former student of the program. The Alumni Association would like to extend its greatest sympathies to Matthew’s friends and family.
Matthew’s memory is lives on through the generosity of all those who have contributed their support to the program. The Alumni Association would like to thank everyone who has lent their support to the program during this difficult time.
Some photos and memories of Matthew can be found below alongside his obituary.
In Outdoor School, students are in food groups, typically 4 people per group. When we are hiking we ask the students to split the kitchen gear between them, so one person doesn’t have to carry it all. We were mid hike in Grasslands National Park, and I noticed Matt had one of the biggest packs I had ever seen. Stuff hanging all over the place, and towering above his head. When we stopped for a break I wandered over to see what was going on with this backpack. We started unpacking, and I quickly realized that Matt had the entire groups kitchen in his pack. Other people didn’t have room, and he just said he would take care of it. In true Matt style, he didn’t complain, didn’t whine, just took care of his food group, ensuring they would have something to cook their supper in that night.
Students went on a solo experience in the Grasslands. We were in a beautiful location. Hoodoo hills all around, sunny day, really ideal. Once the students are out on the land, they reflect on the location and their journey so far. Matt returned from his solo looking refreshed and inspired. Not refreshed like he had slept all day, but refreshed like he had made a connection to the land and place he was. He had a smile on his face for the rest of the trip – he was just truly happy.
Matt had a daypack that was full of camp stuff – he was always prepared – even in the middle of the city he would have his fire starters and mess kit. Matt always listened intently, and asked for advice. He was a generous soul, and a unique young man.
2001 – 2019
Matthew, beloved son of Allison (Troy) Patterson and Ryan Stronach, passed away at the age of 17 years. He was the loving brother of Emma-Lee Stronach and Manning Patterson of Bradwell, SK; grandson of Rod and Bonnie Wright of Saskatoon, SK; great-grandson of Lena Wright of Saskatoon; and great- grandson of Ann Stronach of Vernon, BC. Matthew will also be dearly missed by his girlfriend, Bennet Lenz. He was predeceased by Baba Pat and Opa Joe Stronach. Matthew was born in Saskatoon to young parents and was the first grandson and great-grandson on all sides. He lived in Saskatoon and Bradwell all of his life. Matthew was always energetic. As a toddler, he’d climb the refrigerator, counters and walls. People were scared of the daredevil moves such a young child would make. He was 2 years old when he escaped his crib to play in the backyard! He loved his trips to White’s Pharmacy for ice cream which he’d been having since he was 6 months (sorry Baba). Matthew loved sounds and music. He took violin and drum lessons in elementary school and made instruments (harmonicas, kazoos, drums, flutes and too many more to name) out of everything. He was the absolute goofiest kid! Matthew was in his senior year at Bedford Road Collegiate. His plans were growing by the moment and he was excited for his future with Bennet. Matthew wanted everyone to love one another and be happy. He is now in a place where everything is as he dreamed. Our son is safe and at peace in Heaven. May God hold him for eternity. A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. from the Western Development Museum, 2610 Lorne Avenue, Saskatoon. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.hillcrestmemorial.ca Arrangements entrusted to Hillcrest Funeral Home.