Matthew Kenrick Radelet
January 15, 1974 – December 7, 2020
On December 7, 2020, at 11:35am Matthew Kenrick Radelet joined the lost boys for his final flight. Much like Peter Pan he was a boy who never wanted to grow up. He lived to have the sun on his face and the wind in his hair. Growing up in Kirkland, WA, Matt spent the majority of his life in the greater Seattle area. For Matt the world was an adventure filled with the perfect soundtrack and an opportunity to celebrate. He arrived into the world a round-faced cherub baby on January 15, 1974. From minute one he was the happiest of babies. As a toddler he rode his Big Wheel straight into the ground rounding our cul de sac over and over. Even as a child he truly knew how to play, incorporating elaborate games of dress up, pretend, and make believe. Dragging the Fisher Price record player into the front yard via extension chord, he could be found giving concerts for the neighbors by directing us and assigning roles and parts to be performed. As Matt entered his school years he joined Stockade, a church version of the Boy Scouts. It was here he discovered the great outdoors with many hikes and camp outs, including Stehekin on Lake Chelan and Crater Lake in Oregon. He always returned full of stories and sporting his newest bandana. Matt had his own sense of style and expression and the details mattered. He once painted an entire pine wood derby car with red sparkle fingernail polish because it was the perfect color. This became a special yearly tradition with his dad, designing and carving the perfect race car. Towards the end of elementary, Matt discovered his real love was the art of performance. Taking his first lead role he performed at church as the humble king Jehoshaphat and stole the show. The spark was lit. Entering Juanita High School in fall of 1990 he realized his gift. Serving on the drama board and becoming a thespian he began his first collection of misfits and lost boys. He shined onstage. He was truly gifted. Much like the stage Matt was a performer in life. A proud member of DECA he spent his later high school years running the student store and even earned a school trip to Disneyland with his peers. Graduating in the summer of 1992, Matt came into his own. A trailblazer for equal rights, Matt came out as a proud gay man at the age of 20. Even with failing health Matt never missed a single year of the pride parade. His final year being 2018. Embracing his love for fashion, Matt began a career with Gap Inc. where his enthusiasm and charisma quickly gained him a manager role. Matt would stay with the Gap for 7 years. In the spring of 1998 Matt met the great love of his life Charles Edwards. They would remain together for the next 12 years. This chapter of his story was filled with new friends, drag shows, spectacular music, and fantastic fashion. Matt and Charles moved to Texas from spring of 2006 through the winter of 2007. Spending a year remodeling and flipping a house for the Brooks family was one of their proudest accomplishments. Citing irreconcilable differences, Matt and Charles went their separate ways. Matt would never fully recover from this loss. Coupled with the tragic loss of his mother also in 2010, his spark began to go out. Returning to his roots Matt embraced his family. Acting as a funcle (fun-uncle) and mentor for his niece and nephews, he moved in with his sister Katrina to assist in raising her family. This would be his final formal home. These years were magical and complicated, filled with many celebrations and firsts-home cooked meals, inside jokes, baking, family traditions, vacations, and a love of family. Little did we know Matt's health was rapidly deteriorating. Much like Peter Pan, Matt believed himself invincible. Diagnosed with juvenile onset insulin dependent diabetes at thirteen, he never could accept the limitations of his disease. Matt's kidneys finally gave out in August of 2016 requiring dialysis three times a week. After a stroke/head injury, his health continued to deteriorate while living in skilled nursing facilities. He passed peacefully on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 2020, with the scent of a Christmas bouquet and the sound of Christmas carols. RIP, Matthew! He is survived by his father Jody Radelet; sister Kara McGrew, husband Mark, and nephews Tyler and Ryan; and sister Katrina Radelet, niece Persephone, and nephew Jordan Matthew (his namesake). Due to covid restrictions the family has postponed a formal service at this time. Matthew will always be greatly loved and thoroughly missed! Please sign the online memory book or post any favorite memories.
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Celebration of Life
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Matthew Kenrick Radelet
December 25, 2020
I will never forget your brillance and light! Peace to you, fellow T1 warrior.
December 23, 2020
I have so many fond memories of growing up together, spending summers together!! Going to the beach, breaking my elbow the night before the World's Fair, our crazy waitress at Denny's in Canada, playing at the park in OR with our special curved tree and the rainbow climber. Him coming and spending a couple of summers with us in CO, and all the crazy, fun memories we made. From late night runs to McDonald's to get sundaes, to grocery store runs for bagels and placing random stuff in Mom's cart. Fish buying contests, swimming, horse back riding, so many inside jokes that I could fill a book! He was so much fun and had such a spirit for life and I will always miss him!!
December 21, 2020
I remember visiting with him during Pirates of Penzance. He was quiet and charming. I would later see his personality grow during the cast parties.
December 20, 2020
I've known Matt since I was born. Katrina and I were dear friends growing up, and I spent a lot of time at their house playing in the yard or in the cul-de-sac. Matt was often with us, getting us into trouble, being the instigator, making us laugh. His energy, joy, and love were boundless. I haven't seen Matt in many years, but he's impossible to forget. So much love to his memory and to his family.