Friends and family are mourning the loss of an RM of North Cypress man they described as “generous” and “genuine.”
Matthew McConnell, 24, died early Thursday morning following a workplace accident at a gravel quarry near Alexander.
“Our family is devastated by this loss,” McConnell’s family said in a statement issued by his cousin, Avery Wolaniuk.
“Matthew was an incredible person — hard working, generous, and full of fun. He brought joy with him wherever he was.
“Matthew would talk to anyone and everyone, and was always stopping by to ask people how things were going. He worked hard no matter what job he was doing, but as a country kid, he waited all year for harvest season and a chance to get on a tractor.”
McConnell was blessed with many friends and family, but was closest to his immediate family, his mother and father, Shannon and Graham, and sister Donica.
On social media websites, friends and family shared stories about McConnell, who “loved a night out or just sitting around with his friends, cheering on the Jets and the Bombers, his dogs, and a good cold beer.”
Even during this difficult time, the family thanked everyone for their support and condolences.
“We know we are not the only ones who are feeling lost without Matthew.”
Brandon Crowe was a friend of McConnell since the two started kindergarten together in Neepawa.
Crowe said the news came as an incredible shock.
“It still hasn’t hit me,” he said. “There is no one I have ever met who had a bigger heart than he did.”
Crowe called McConnell the life of the party, adding that he was never afraid to say or do something a little bit goofy to put other people at ease and a smile on their face.
“He was a big-hearted, genuine person,” Crowe said. “He made everyone laugh and he was everyone’s friend. I don’t think he had a bad thing to say about anyone.”
The two later attended college together in Brandon, and Crowe said McConnell became known for his fierce work ethic and dedication to loved ones.
“Family, friends and work — those were the three things he loved,” Crowe said.
It’s not the first time his group of friends have suffered through tragedy. Twice he has had to deal with the loss of a friend who was taken too young. Crowe said in those times, McConnell was always available to talk to or share a story with.
“You never expect this to happen to one of your friends, and especially with Matt, you would hope he would be the last guy it would happen to,” Crowe said.
“For me, and everyone in Neepawa, it’s kind of repeat of the things that have happened in our group of friends.”
McConnell’s funeral will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Yellowhead Centre in Neepawa.
» Twitter: @CharlesTweed