Matthew Kevin Hales

Matthew Kevin Hales, age 27, of Greenville, N.C. and formerly of Rockford, returned to Heaven as an angel on July 20, 2011. He was born on July 31, 1983 to Mark and Tracy (Root) Hales. Matt was taken from family and friends in a tragic car accident in Greenville, N.C. He had already survived a near-fatal car accident on June 3, 2000, therefore, he had an appreciation for life that few others had.

Matt was a 2002 graduate of Rockford High School, attended Aquinas College and received his B.S. degree from Grand Valley State University in 2006. He was a specialty sales representative for Shionogi Pharma Inc.

Matt wanted to change lives and make the world a better place, and he did in the way he lived, worked and loved. He was very proud of his political blog, Bookworm Patriots, to which he invested much time and passion. His sense of humor was infectious. Matt gave of himself often to those in need and the homeless. A bigger heart one would not find.

Stephanie was not only his wife, but also his best friend. Matt adored his children, and they were his world; his everything. Matt’s multitude of friends and family loved him because of the kind, selfless, inspirational person he was, and because he in turn loved them all so dearly.

Matt’s passing will leave an ache in the hearts of his family and friends. He was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Greenville, N.C. and a former member of Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in Rockford.

Matt is survived by his wife, Stephanie (Cole) Hales; his son, Noah Matthew; his daughter, Chloe Marcella; parents, Mark and Tracy (Root) Hales; his brother, Tom Hales; his sister, Kristen Hales; his grandparents, Glenn and Marlene Hales, and Jerry and Sandy Root; his mother-in-law, Sue Livingston; his father-in-law, Pat Cole; his brother-in-law, Jeff Cole; aunts, uncles and cousins; and many other friends and family Matt held close to his heart.

The mass of Christian burial for Matt was offered at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church with the Rev. Tom Page presiding. Interment was in Rockford Cemetery. The Rosary was prayed at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening at the funeral home. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the educational fund established for Noah and Chloe at any Huntington Bank, payable to the Hales Children College Fund. Stephanie would like family and friends to write their memories of Matt to their children so they can better know about the man who is and always will be their father.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.