Matthew W. Phillips, 22, of Wileytown Road, Middle Grove, died tragically on July 5, 2014, as the result of a motorcycle accident on Barkersville Road. Born on February 8, 1992, in Niskayuna, he was the son of Bruce and Susan (Gavrilcik) Phillips.
A 2011 graduate of Galway High School, Matt was also a 2010 graduate of WSWHE BOCES, where he studied conservation-environmental science. While in high school, Matt played soccer and was a member of the wrestling team. He proudly earned the rank of Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 55 in Galway, of which his father was Scoutmaster. At age 14, Matt joined the Perth Volunteer Fire Company Explorer Post 5012. He was currently captain of the Providence Volunteer Fire Company in Middle Grove. Along with his sister, he was a fourth generation volunteer fire fighter following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was also a member of the Red Bus Hunting Club, getting his first eight point buck on opening day when he was just 16. He was currently employed with Saratoga County Department of Public Works and he was working on earning his CDL license. He was known at the county and earned several nicknames such as Spiffy, Hollywood, McGyver and Hudini.
Matt had a passion for the outdoors and for helping others. He loved hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with his family and friends at the family camp and sitting around campfires with his friends. He loved four wheeling and hanging out with his friends any chance he could. The muddier he could get, the happier he would be. He enjoyed working on motors and engines as well. If it was broken, he could fix it and if it wasn't broken, he could break it. He had a kind and gentle heart, a true country boy. He was always there to lend a hand if a family member, neighbor or friend needed him.
Matthew W. Phillips
Matt is survived by his parents; his beloved sister and best friend, Kelly Phillips of Middle Grove; grandparents, Robert and Pinky Phillips of Providence and Joan and David Saltsman of Amsterdam; aunts and uncles, Christine and John Lesniewski of Amsterdam, Margie and Jim Carroll of Providence, Larry and Colleen Phillips of Malta and Christine and Guy Robataille of the town of Florida; cousins, Tim Carroll of Perth, Patti Carroll of Seattle, WA, Robert Carroll and fiancee, Andrea Nichols of Galway, Katie, Kimberly and Danielle Phillips of Malta and Cassandra and Keegan Robataille of the town of Florida.
He is also survived by extended family and friends, including the members of the Galway, Perth, Providence and other area volunteer fire companies. He was predeceased by his grandfather, Walter Gavrilcik of Amsterdam.
Matt's family would like to thank their family and friends for their love and support during this time and for the heartfelt tributes of love, messages and Facebook posts to him.
Funeral services will commence on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at 10 a.m. at the Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Family Funeral Home, 171 Guy Park Avenue, Amsterdam, with the Rev. O. Robert DeMartinis presiding. Burial will the follow in the Barkersville Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited and may call Tuesday evening from 4 until 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorial contribution can be made to the Perth Volunteer Fire Company, 4080 State Highway 30, Amsterdam, NY 12010 or to the Providence Volunteer Fire Company, 2183 State Highway 29, Galway, NY 12074. Please visit Matt's guestbook online at www.brbsfuneral.com.