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Matthew C. Schiller, 40 of Spicer, died peacefully Friday, September 15, 2023 at his lake home on Henderson Lake with family by his side. A celebration of life will be 4:00 p.m. Sunday at the Grandstay Conference Center at the Little Crow Golf Course in New London. A visitation with the Vikings game in the background will be held for two hours prior to the service. Arrangements are with the Johnson Funeral Home in New London.
“Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light”
Matthew C. Schiller, age 40 of Spicer, exhaled his last Earthly breath and passed to the other side on Friday, September 15th, 2023 while holding the hands of his much loved children. Matt bravely faced colon cancer for nearly three years with equal parts grit, charisma, and love. Although his spirit and zest for life were still beaming and strong, indeed raging against the dying of the light, Matt’s physical body had grown weary and stopped to take a well-earned rest.
Born October 1st 1982 to Anthony and Diane Schiller, Matt grew up in Wadena, Minnesota, the youngest of his parents’ three children behind Tonya and Phil. Matt was involved in a wide array of activities, indicative of his true character. From his days at St. Ann’s Catholic School through high school at Wadena-Deer Creek, Matt played several sports including football, basketball, and baseball, starred in numerous theatre productions, played in the band, and was engaged in church and community activities. After graduating Wadena Deer-Creek High School in 2001, Matt attended The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota where he continued to pursue his passions, playing college basketball for the Saints and acting in the college theatre productions where he met lifelong friends. When Matt graduated from college in 2005, he left not only with his bachelor’s degree but also with his future wife Claire by his side and their daughter Madeleine.
In the first years following college, Matt and Claire made their home in Burnsville, Minnesota. Matt worked at Menards and then Distinctive Cabinet Design, learning the world of custom cabinetry. After welcoming their son Adam into the world, Matt and Claire moved their family west to Spicer, Minnesota so Matt could join his uncle Larry at Schiller Custom Cabinetry, eventually buying and leading the company, now known as AUM Wood Products. Matt and his family made their home on Henderson Lake and created many beautiful memories there. In true Matt busy body fashion, he was involved in a little of everything, most notably multiple local theatre productions. He loved golfing, biking, yoga, cheering for Minnesota sports, watching movies, singing loudly, dishing out witty comebacks and laughing hard, playing cribbage, swimming in the lake, attending concerts, and traveling with his family.
After over two years of multiple surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy, countless procedures and hours spent in medical facilities, Matt entered the care of hospice in June, went home to the lake, and set out to break records. In those 14 weeks, Matt fully embraced the beauty of his days. With a troop of family and friends by his side, Matt completed numerous rounds of golf, miles on his bikes, yoga practices and meditation sessions, swam nearly every day, attended Twins games, took short trips around the state with his family, and yes, even performed one more time on stage.
Like in theatre, and despite our heartbreak, the show must go on. Matt is survived by his devoted wife, Claire, and their adored children, Madeleine (20) and Adam (16). Matt is also survived and missed by his mother, Diane Schiller Anderson of Wadena, mother-in-law Julie Fradette (Bruce Milton) of Milaca, uncle and aunt Larry Schiller and Mary Beth Nehl of Willmar, and siblings Tonya (Tom) Land of Duluth, Phil (Gina) Schiller of Farmington, and Michael (Ashley) Taylor of Madison, New Jersey, as well as a loving extended family of numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Matt was preceded in death by his father, Anthony Schiller, father-in-law, Michael Taylor, bonus father, Jerry Anderson, and his grandparents Philip and Mary Jane Schiller, and Herbert and Gertrude Neuerburg.
We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our CentraCare Willmar Hospice Team. Their care and compassion are truly unmatched. We are additionally thankful for the entire healthcare team who have been with us every single step of the way from the time of diagnosis, to the time of letting go. You all went all in, we all gave it our best, but sometimes the healing is simply meant to occur in another place.
While away for a healing retreat weekend, Matt sent the following message: “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. It’s strange, unique… but wanted to let you know I’m okay. Full of wonder.” Honor Matthew by loving fully and embracing each day. Please join us for a celebration of his life on Sunday September 24th at 4 pm at the Grandstay Conference Center at the Little Crow Golf Course in New London. A visitation with the Vikings game in the background will be held for two hours prior to the service. Arrangements are with the Johnson Funeral Home in New London.