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Matthew James Greyson, 27, of Madison, WI, formerly of Sturgeon Bay, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on Nov. 1, 2023, at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee surrounded by friends and family. Matthew was born on Sept. 21,1996, to Michael Virgin and Kathy (Virgin) Fairchild of Sturgeon Bay, WI. Matthew spent the majority of his life in Sturgeon Bay, graduating from Sturgeon Bay High School, and working locally until he moved to Madison, WI. to attend Madison Technical College in 2021. In 2023, he obtained his dream job by securing a position in Digital Advertising for Planet Propaganda in Madison.
His first friend was Paige Kramer. Paige’s mother, Kim Kramer, had been Kathy’s best friend from the age of 4 and as luck would have it the two mothers-to-be found out the kids were due to be born on the same day. Paige came a few days before Matthew, but they enjoyed many days swimming, playing on the playset, hide and seek and water balloon fights. Soon preschool came at St. Peters Lutheran School. Brady, Creston, Joseph and Parker amongst others were his buddies. This past month Matt mentioned St. Peters and how grateful he was for their teaching style which he ironically recognized helped him give presentations at work in his adult life.
As a little boy he loved trucks, dinosaurs from Jurassic Park and dressing up like Batman when he would go outside to play. His favorite toy was his K’nex. He could create anything from scratch, no directions required. Matt had a keen ability to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. At age 6, while in the drive-thru at McDonalds, he asked mom if he could design a toy for kids to put in the Happy Meals so kids had a more interactive toy to play with. His creativity started at a very young age but also was a whiz with math taking calculus early in high school. He started playing baseball for Cal Ripken league when he was 8 and was selected each year to play on the All-Stars team. Hours of “sock” tag were played with his brother and friends at the house.
At age 8, he was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, which is extremely rare in children. We later learned through genetic testing that he developed a mutated gene that was directly passed down from mom or dad. He spent his younger years at numerous doctor’s appointments, underwent uncountable lab draws and every test that was available but never once complained.
Each year on his birthday, Mom, Dad, and Eric, went out of their way to create the best time for all who attended Matt’s birthday parties! Kids and parents would comment on how much fun and creative his birthday parties were. Carnival themes (including pie in the face with dad, tug of war (parents against kids), Nerf-Gun War and capture the flag just to name a few.
Matt tragically lost his dad Mike at age 14. He and his dad were “two peas in a pod”. Mike taught him so many things that he carried with him. They loved to hunt and fish, anything that was outdoors. Mike taught him how to use tools and build things. Some of Matt’s great qualities came from his father. His confidence, intellect, quick wit, and infamous laugh. Mike’s nickname for Matt was “champ”.
Matt and mom spent hours doing arts and crafts as a young boy. Each afternoon, they would make the project they watched from one of his favorite TV shows while eating their favorite lunch. While shopping with mom, he would always want to stop at the jewelry counter and pick out a piece of jewelry for mom, usually a ring. In preschool, he would ask mom if he could bring his friend Azure a piece of mom’s jewelry so she could look “pretty” like mom. As he got older, shopping became their thing and Matt had a great sense of style. He wanted to be “ahead of the crowd” with his fashion sense. Matt and his mom had a very special bond. Mom lovingly referred to Matt as “my love”.
At age 14, charter fishing became his passion. He woke himself up, hopped on his bike and rode across the bridge at dawn to work double charters. When Matt was passionate about something, he put his heart and soul into it. With his newfound income, he never spent it frivolously. He spent hours sitting at the dining room table on his Dell Computer. Researching the best, top of the line item to buy that would last him a lifetime.
Middle School/High school was all about Call of Duty, Halo and Guitar Hero. His ability to design Player Maps on Halo lead to people paying him to use these amazing creations. Brother CJ, 6 years younger, followed suit and they enjoyed hours of gaming downstairs. His self-taught talent led him on his journey to his career path.
At age of 17, he underwent an LVAD placement, then a Heart Transplant when he developed heart failure. He spent 3 months at Children’s Hospital with mom by his side every second. Despite his health issues, Matthew attacked life to the best of his ability and personified a “never quit” attitude. This trait pulled him through many tough times and empowered him to create a light during the darkest of moments of his life. This bright light within him made him a remarkable son and a loyal friend. He had an incredible work ethic and tirelessly looked for ways to improve himself mentally, physically and in his work. His sense of humor, smile and laughter warmed the hearts of those around him and will be greatly missed by all those close to him.
Once in Madison, he met his true-love Tracey. He cherished her. Friends and family recently shared how happy he was with his life there and especially with Tracey.
There are no words to describe how much he will be missed by his family and friends. My love.
Survivors include Matthew’s mother Kathy and stepfather Eric Fairchild of Sturgeon Bay; his brother CJ Fairchild; stepsister Kendall Virgin; his girlfriend Tracey Nguyen; his grandfather Ray Challe; aunt and uncle Kevin and Lynn Challe; aunt and uncle Jim and Marit Virgin and their children Wolfgang, Gretta, and Sven; Aunt Kathy Virgin; aunt and uncle Sue and John Fritschler and their children Anna and Jacob; pets: Asher, Theo, Cooper and Finn.
He was preceded in death by his father Michael Virgin; maternal grandmother Judy (Berg) Challe; and paternal grandfather and grandmother Donald and Linda Virgin. His passed pets include: Bella, Riley, Brody, Jax, Raja, Stryker and Zoe.
Visitation will be held from 2:30pm – 5:30pm on Sunday, Nov. 5th, 2023, at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay, WI with a service to follow at 5:30 pm. Forbes Funeral Home is serving the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Forbes Funeral Home (319. W. Spruce St., Sturgeon Bay, WI, 54235).
As his final act of kindness, Matthew donated his organs in order to save two lives.