We regret to announce that our beloved husband, father, son, brother, and uncle, Matthew John Hilbelink, passed away on August 11, 2020.
Matt was born on October 6, 1980 to John and Lois Hilbelink in Amarillo, TX. He was the baby of the family and joined his siblings Stephan, Christa, and Heidi. Although being born in Texas, he spent most of his childhood and teenage years in Portland, Maine. His faith in Jesus began in his home and would continue to strengthen during the course of his life.
After high school graduation, he attended Dordt College to pursue a degree in Elementary Education. While attending, he met and befriended a woman named Alexis Smith. The two would later fall in love and were married in Sioux Falls on May 10, 2003 – the day after he graduated from Dordt! He was welcomed with open arms into the Smith family. Duane and Renata Smith, along with their other 3 children, Derek, Hilary, and Colin loved Matt dearly.
After Matt secured a master’s degree from USD in Technology for Education and Training, he and Alexis moved to Chicago, Illinois where Matt got a teaching job and Alexis worked as a nurse. It was in Chicago when Alexis gave Matt the surprising news: She was pregnant. Aiden soon entered the world making Matt a dad.
In January 2007, the family of 3 moved to Salt Lake City where Matt accepted a job offer at Intermountain Christian School teaching fourth grade. Salt Lake City was where Matt and Alexis really made their home. They loved the community, the work, and the activities in the area. God gave them 3 more children while living there: Kaitlyn, Kristyn, and John joined their family over the years. Matt LOVED being a dad. He often would take them on outings (hiking or to Iceberg) to spend time with them individually or just have a special night with dad.
We will remember Matt for his big smile, hearty laugh and quick wit. Matt was especially good at reminding people of their embarrassing moments. He never let you forget when you made a fool of yourself. He especially enjoyed being with his friends and family. Whether it be watching movies and playing games or being active like skiing, hiking, or biking. He enjoyed teaching and seemed to remember all the names of every student he ever taught. Matt had many talents: Armpit farts, Office quotes, Nascar-like driving skills, LOTR knowledge, and the ability to conveniently have to go to the bathroom when work had to be done.
Sadly, Matt’s depression intensified over the past few years which blinded him from seeing his tremendous value and that he was worthy of love. We wish to thank the many individuals who stepped in to help him with his battle with depression. Matt loved the Lord and trusted in Jesus as his Savior. We know that nothing can separate him from the love of Christ. We grieve with great hope because we know that we will one day again see our beloved Matt.
Matt leaves behind his wife, Alexis; 4 kids, Aiden, Kaitlyn, Kristyn, and John; Parents, John and Lois Hilbelink; siblings Stephan (Danielle), Christa (Jason), and Heidi (David); In-laws, Duane and Renata Smith; siblings-Derek (Jenni), Hilary, and Colin (Jessie); nieces and nephews, Garrett (Grace), Emma, Miles, Calvin, Annelise, Caleb, Heartley, and Emma.
In lieu of flowers, you may make monetary donations by sending checks to the RLC Deacon’s Acts 11 Fund at Risen Life Church through October (2780 E 3900 S, Salt Lake City, UT, 84124).