Matthew Joseph Dooley passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 5, at the age of 16, at home in his parents’ arms after fighting an aggressive glioblastoma brain tumor. Matt was born on April 21, 2005, the son of Michael and Jane Dooley. He leaves behind his sisters Devon and Stacia Dooley, grandmother Patricia Dooley, and uncles David Brown (Doreen) and Patrick Dooley (Scott). He was predeceased by his grandfather, John Dooley, and grandparents Edward and Susan Brown. Matt also leaves behind numerous other relatives and friends who loved him very much.
Matt had a huge love of sports. He played baseball, football, squash, tennis, and golf. He was also a fan of F1 and endurance car racing, and he fulfilled his dream of attending The 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France this past summer. Additionally, in fifth grade, Matt and his father made it a goal to visit all 30 major league baseball stadiums and, despite his illness and the Covid pandemic, they reached their goal in September.
Matt had a genuine passion for learning and he loved being a student at Trinity-Pawling School, where he was a junior. He made it a priority to attend school whenever he could between treatments, and you would rarely see him not wearing some sort of school swag. During his sophomore year, he received the school’s Wells Award for his outstanding performance and character. The family is beyond grateful to the entire Trinity-Pawling School Family for the overwhelming support given to Matt and our family.
Matt’s outlook and attitude truly reflected what an inspirational young man he was. Matt was always looking at the positive side of any situation, no matter how tough things got, and it served him well throughout his cancer journey. He always persevered and considered others before himself and he never lost his sense of humor. Even when the tumor had taken away the use of his left side, he focused on what he could do, never what he could not do. This determination is reflected in him recently achieving his Eagle Scout rank with Troop 20 after being involved in scouting since the first grade.
We are grateful for the gift of Matt’s life and the special memories that we celebrate. Matt modeled how to live with enthusiasm and optimism, and those who knew him were touched by his empathetic, kind, thoughtful, and non-judgmental nature, as well as his sincere love of life. Matt will also be remembered for his endearing love of his dog, Sadie, and cats, Romeo and Lucifer. Matt’s soulful smile will never be forgotten and his incredible hugs will be sorely missed.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute for the incredible care provided to Matt. A very special thank you to Dr. Aaron Yeo and Dr. Tom Rosenberg, Pediatric Neuro-Oncologists, who worked tirelessly and passionately to find treatment options, and were genuinely patient and supportive in helping the family make difficult treatment decisions.
Memorial contributions may be sent in Matt’s name to Cancer Commons, an incredible organization that is dedicated to helping patients navigate the overwhelming world of cancer treatments and clinical trials, all at no cost. We are forever grateful to Matt Warren, Ph.D. whose insight and compassion were invaluable as we evaluated Matt’s complicated cancer and treatment options.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, Jan. 8 from 9:30-11 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church (229 Danbury Rd.), followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Interment will be at Hillside Cemetery (165 Ridgefield Rd.). We would appreciate that masks be worn. Arrangements are under the care of Hoyt Funeral Home.