December 4, 1970 – February 10, 2021
Born in Lincoln, NE
Resided in Lincoln, NE
Matthew Robert Brass
One day at a time… one moment at a time… Jesus I Trust in You!
Matthew Robert Brass was born on December 4, 1970 in Lincoln, NE to Robert Garold Brass and Kay Sharon Kenton Brass. Matt’s family moved to Gothenburg, NE in 1974, and Matt’s brother and best friend, Anthony, was born six months later. There they found a wonderful community of family and friends, who taught Matt about loving thy neighbor and fostered a spirit of generosity.
Matt’s love for the outdoors and sports began at a very young age, where he quickly developed a passion for Steelers football, KC Royals baseball, and all things Huskers. His childhood was spent hunting on the farm, fishing in Canada at Bear Paw Lodge, and playing basketball in their driveway. Matt was quiet but fiercely competitive, and enjoyed playing football, basketball, and high jumping for the Gothenburg Swedes. He graduated from Gothenburg High School in 1989. Matt then went to UNK for a year before transferring to UNL, where his love for attending Husker football and basketball games began. He became a season ticket holder and has rarely missed a game since—Go Big Red! Many lifelong friendships were formed through high school and intramural sports, Husker tailgates, games, trips, and concerts. He finished college in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness.
Matt spent 27 years in agribusiness working for United Farmers Cooperative, Cargill, and, most recently, Ag Consulting Group. Matt’s work involved consulting and overseeing marketing strategies and risk management for farmers in Southeast Nebraska and Western Iowa. He loved ACG, and thought of his coworkers and the clients he served as family. Matt treasured his time visiting clients on their farms and being out in the countryside, soaking in God’s creation and the beauty of nature.
In 1998, Matt met the love of his life, Stacy, through a mutual friend. Their relationship flourished through their shared values of the Catholic faith, family, and sports. He proposed to both her and her daughter, Alexis Johnson, and they were united in marriage and as a family on August 24, 2001. Kenton Thomas was born in 2003, and they moved to Lincoln one year later. In 2005, another boy blessed their home, Aiden Matthew, and in 2014 they welcomed Gianna Rose Faustina. They built their marriage and beautiful family on sacrificial love, communication, honesty, and trust. Matt enjoyed nothing more than watching his children grow. He modeled patience, hard work, faith, and kindness each and every day.
Matt was an active member of St. Peter’s Catholic Parish and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Some of his favorite memories included family vacations to Goldsand Lake, Cancun, Chicago, San Diego, the NCAA Tournament, and Disney World. Matt also enjoyed the opportunity to experience Italy and France for the Diaconate Ordination of Stacy’s brother, Fr. Andrew Schwenka. Matt cultivated his love for all things Husker in his children and cherished being able to share Husker gameday experiences with them.
Matt always enjoyed the small things in life: holding his wife’s hand, reading books to Gianna, cheering on his kids at their sporting events and activities, weekends of grilling and playing basketball in the backyard, watching games and movies in the “man cave,” attending Mass together, board games, foot rubs from his girls, and making everyone’s favorite beverages (Shirley Temples, smoothies, and Moscow Mules were his specialties).
Matt was known by all who loved him as a quiet, kind, humble, and loyal friend. Matt’s family has always thought of him as their St. Joseph. Although he was quiet, Matt was a powerful presence in an unassuming and selfless way. And like St. Joseph, Matt loved and accepted his wife’s child as his own and was an amazing father to all his children.
Over the past two years as Matt fought High Grade Stage 4 Neuroendocrine Cancer, he was a model of true courage, strength, and perseverance. Matt continually defied the odds and battled through every scan, surgery, and new treatment. He also showed us the importance of faith, hope, love, and complete trust in the Lord. When his cancer journey first began, he said if his suffering brought one person closer to Christ, then it was worth it. In his final days, Matt shared with his family and friends that the greatest accomplishment of your life is not how many games you win or what you achieve in your career, but in discovering that you are loved by God and sharing that love with others. He asked that we all promise to make God and our faith the priority of our lives and told his family, “I am going to a better place. A place where there is no suffering and no sin. I will still be with you and praying for you. The best is yet to come for me.” Matt lived out their family motto of “One day at a time… one moment at a time… Jesus, I Trust in You” to the very end.
Matt was welcomed into the arms of Christ on February 10, 2021, with some of the greatest influences from his life awaiting him—his grandparents, Thomas & Betty Kenton and Loren & Marge Brass and Matt and Stacy’s children, Mary Gabriel & John Paul Faustina. He is also preceded in death by Jackson Thomas Brass, Rose Ryan, Richard Schwenka, and Jeremy Schwenka.
He is survived and will be greatly missed by his wife and children; his parents, Robert & Kay Brass; brother, Anthony Brass and his wife, Lisa; his Mother & Father-in-Law, Dean & Mary Jo Schwenka; sisters-in-law & brothers-in-law, Shannon & Joel Kuehn, Colin & Mary Schwenka, Fr. Andrew Schwenka, and Christian Schwenka; nieces & nephews, McCoy & Boston Brass, Isaac & Emerson Kuehn, Caleb, Cole, Cade, and Charlie Schwenka; grandparents-in-law, Donna Schwenka and Eugene Ryan; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The family would like to thank Fr. Eric Clark, Fr. Tony Bedient, Fr. Ben Holdren, and Fr. Andrew Schwenka for ministering to Matt and the family during his illness. They also want to thank the many physicians and healthcare providers who cared for Matt and Horisun Hospice, who helped guide them through the end of his earthly journey. We are especially grateful for Kendall Scott, who has been helping to care for and is always loving on Gianna. A special thanks to Patti Gardner, Kerri DeNell, and Shane Kennett for assisting the family with their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. In addition, they extend their gratitude to their AG Consulting Group & UBT coworkers, St. Peter’s Catholic Church and School families, Pius X School & Basketball families, and everyone who has helped provide meals and gift cards, given rides to the kids, and supported their family during this difficult time. Most fervently, they want to thank the thousands of prayer warriors who lifted Matt and their family up in prayer. May God reward you for your generosity.
There will be a Rosary Service at 6:30pm on Monday, February 15th at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Lincoln, NE, with public visitation beginning at 5:30pm. The Funeral Mass will be Tuesday at 10:30am at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, and a boxed lunch reception will follow. The family asks that those wishing to attend wear a face covering and practice social distancing. There will also be a livestream of both services available on the Roper & Sons Funeral Home website. The internment will be held at Holy Family Catholic Cemetery on Wednesday, February 17 at 2:00pm in Heartwell, NE.
In lieu of flowers, Matt asked that donations be made to St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Lynette’s Angels, or the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. An account has also been created for anyone wishing to make a memorial gift for the college expenses of Matt’s children. You can do so by making a deposit at any UBT location or checks payable to “Matthew Brass Memorial.” Cards and condolences may also be sent to 5000 Country Hill Rd, Lincoln, NE 68516.
- A memorial video will be played prior to the Monday Rosary Service.
- The livestream links for the Rosary and Funeral will be available in the coming days.
- The family plans to wear their Battle with Brass shirts or Husker red for the burial on Wednesday. Please feel free to do the same.
- One way that the Brass family would like our friends and family to channel the outpouring of their love would be to consider participating in an all-night Eucharistic Prayer Vigil for Matt between the Monday Rosary Service and the Tuesday Funeral at St. Peter’s. CLICK HERE for more information and to sign up to participate in the Prayer Vigil.
Addresses and Directions:
- St. Peter’s Catholic Church: 4500 Duxhall Drive, Lincoln, NE 68516
- Holy Family Cemetery: 42 Road & S Road, Heartwell, NE 68945
- Directions: To get to Holy Family Cemetery, approach either from the west or the south. DO NOT USE GOOGLE MAPS, iMaps, etc. because they may try to approach the cemetery from the north and will then send you through minimum maintenance roads that are impassable because of recent snows. If you travel to Heartwell from the Gibbon interstate exit, be sure to turn south down 40 Road, then go east on S Road for two miles. If you are traveling to Heartwell via Highway 6, travel east of Heartwell to 42 Road, turn north, and continue for two miles to the cemetery.
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