Saturday, January 30, 2016
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Charity of Choice
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Life Story / Obituary
Although he was taken from his loved ones much too soon, Matthew Jankowski was an extraordinary man to know and love. He was a hardworking person who was dedicated to everything he did, and his devotion to his family was unmatched. Matt was a loving husband and father whose greatest source of pride and joy was found in his family. He could be a bit cocky, but he loved nothing more than making his family and friends laugh. Always willing to help others in ways both great and small, Matt had a heart of gold. Life will never be the same without him here, but he leaves behind a timeless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever cherish.
The 1980s were an exciting time in America as technology was taking us new places. We met the mini-van and car phones as well as things like the camcorder and gaming systems that we could bring into our homes. This was a time to remember in the lives of Bryan and Michelle (Bowen) Jankowski for a much different reason as they were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as December held the city of Plainwell, Michigan, firmly in its grip in 1988. The big day finally arrived when the baby boy they named Matthew Dale drew his first breath on December 20, 1988. Born in Plainwell, Michigan, he was the middle of three children as he was raised in the family home alongside his older brother, David, and his younger sister, Brooke. To support their family, Matt’s father worked as a mechanic while his mother had more than enough to keep her busy with caring for their family and home.
In many ways, Matt was a young boy of his generation. He enjoyed horseback riding as a child. He attended local schools including Plainwell High School. Matt graduated in 2007, but prior to graduating he had already enlisted in Warrior training for the United States Marine Corps. This allowed him to go direct to boot camp as soon as he graduated.
Not to be forgotten during his years in school was Matt’s introduction to the woman who would change the course of his life forever. Her name is Katie, and they met in school in 2004. Although they didn’t date in high school, they were good friends. A new chapter was opened while Matt was serving in Iraq and called home to talk to Katie. His buddy Brendon Jones got on the phone and said, “You know you’re going to marry my buddy, don’t you?” The rest is history as they say. Matt and Katie began dating, but it was a year before they saw one another. When he flew home, he presented her with a ring right in the airport. On July 31, 2009, Matt and Katie were married in Matt’s uncle Gary and aunt Ginger's garden on Marsh Road. The newlyweds began their life together as husband and wife in Hawaii where he was stationed. Together they welcomed three children including Bryan, Vincent, and Mattilyn into their hearts and home.
After being honorably discharged from the Marines in 2011, Matt and his family returned to Plainwell where he worked in the shipping department at JBS. In 2013, he joined the Army and was stationed in Georgia, training for special forces. Matt was later moved to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and he also served abroad as he was sent to Iraq with the Marines in 2008 and also to Afghanistan in 2014 with the Army.
Throughout his life Matt was a man of many interests. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved things like hunting and fishing as well as having bonfires. While in Hawaii, Matt even went spear fishing. He loved to sing country music, and once he had a couple of drinks he was game to get out on the dance floor. Taking after his father, Matt loved meat of any kind and also was a master when it came to grilling. He was an excellent cook. He often would kick Katie out of the way so he could get to the stove and show her how it was suppose to be done. Although he was also known for having a few epic fails and losing bets trying to "show them how it's done" in the kitchen! Matt loved his dogs like they were his kids. He rode BXM bikes and knew many tricks. When he needed something a little faster, he rode dirt bikes. To blow off steam, he loved to work out. He was a grease monkey who loved working and building any and everything that had an engine. When he was stationed away from Plainwell, working on engines made him feel like he was back home with his father in the garage. His father taught him everything he knew about being a mechanic. His father was his mentor and best friend who served as a guide for Matt as he became a man. Matt strived to have the same relationship with his own children that he had with his dad. Matt also liked football, basketball, and baseball with his buddies.
With a contagious zest for life, Matthew Jankowski made the most of the moments he was given. He loved making people laugh and was willing to lend a helping hand, and he was the sort of person who accepted everyone for who they were without passing judgement. Matt was deeply devoted to his wife and children, and his greatest desire was to have a large family (softball team). He loved all of his extended family and held them dear. Although he will be deeply missed, he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will carry on in his memory.
Cpl Matthew Jankowski, of Plainwell, died on January 19, 2016, at his home in Ft Campbell Kentucky. Matt’s family includes his wife, Katie; children: Bryan (5), Vincent (3), Mattilyn (2); his parents, Bryan (Renee) Jankowski and Michelle (Tim) Schutte; siblings: David (Jessica) Jankowski, Brooke Jankowski; grandparents: Pixie Royston, Judy Campbell and Roger Bowen. A visitation will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2016, from 11:00-1:00 at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. (685-5881). A memorial service will follow at 1:00 p.m. at the same location. Please visit Matt’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign his memory book online.