Unexpectedly at University Hospital in London on Monday June 19, 2023 our family lost our beloved Matty in his 46th year.
He sadly leaves behind the two loves of his life, his children Brandon Ian, 21 and Madilyn Rayann,14. Matt’s face smiled ear to ear when he spoke of them and he was beyond proud of their accomplishments and the wonderful people they have grown to be. Grieving and heartbroken parents Ian Thornley and Anne Thornley Clark along with his sister Shelby Massa, her husband Andy and nephews Luke & Nathan. Matt was also Luke’s Godfather. He will be missed every minute by his best friend who didn’t leave Matt’s side, his beautiful, smart, compassionate and human like service dog Monty. Matty & Monty were two peas in a pod and did everything together for the last 5 years. He will be missed by many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Matt was born in Brantford, Ontario on October 20, 1977 and grew up in London, Ontario where he attended Arthur Ford Public School and Saunders Secondary School. He went on to achieve a Business Degree in Kingston at the Royal Military College and proudly served our Country for over 20 years in the Air Force with the Canadian Military. He made many lifelong friends as he was posted in various locations as well as serving multiple tours overseas. He was also very proud of the work he did as an Electrical Generating Systems Technician.
Matt was quiet and his circle was small but he loved those close to him deeply-he loved sharing stories to make you laugh and had determination as he continued to fight battles each day with PTSD and mental health obstacles. He spoke often of friends in the military and met regularly with his buddies in BC from Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs (VICD) and their service dogs on zoom which he always looked forward to. Being back in London for the last 4 years allowed him to spend an incredible amount of time with his Mom and he enjoyed his lunches out and time spent with his Dad. Any chance to check in with his nephews and share some funny stories will be forever cherished and the pride he had for Brandon and Madilyn was moving. They truly were his shining light.
Thank you to Tanner & Matthew who were first on the scene, the paramedics, police and fire dept that arrived onsite and the entire medical emergency team at University Hospital who tried so hard to save our Matty. We don’t know why you went to sleep and didn’t wake up but take comfort in knowing you had a great weekend and that you had worked to put so many positive plans in place for the summer. You were all set to attend Maddie’s 8th grade graduation the following week and to spend time with the kids in the summer. As we try to understand all of this we will look for your guidance and for you to watch over us. Special thanks to Tara, Angela, Deanna, Jennifer, Briar, Dr. Marlborough and his cousin Wayne-you made a difference!
A private celebration of life with his children, parents and sister’s family will be held. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to BC & Alberta Guide Dogs which focuses on training and matching service dogs with our veterans who return home and are forever changed and impacted by PTSD. Monty was a true life saver for Matt and helped Matt to live a life he could not have had without the support of VICD and BC & Alberta Guide Dogs. If you wish to support this life changing organization the link is provided here and you can select “contribute” and your donation will be made in Matt’s memory. https://everloved.com/life-of/matthew-thornley/