Matthew William Brien, 33 years old, resident of Jackson WY lost his life in an avalanche at the Broken Thumb Couloir in Grand Teton National Park on February 22, 2021.
Matt was born in Stratford, CT on January 13, 1988, son of Timothy and Gail (Beattie) Brien. Matt was survived by both his parents, his sister Heather Brien and three nieces; Alexandra, Olivia and Karleigh, his Uncle William C Beattie Jr. and LeeAnne Rizzotto; Aunt Robin Sutton and Uncle Dave Sutton; Aunt Paula Hazeltine (deceased) and Uncle Arthur Hazeltine; Aunt Charlene Mihalscik and Ron Mihalscik and cousins. Matt was a devoted friend and left a lasting impression on most everyone who spent any time with him.
Matt’s family moved to West Chester PA in 1993. Matt was a graduate of Henderson High School in 2006 and Penn State University in 2010. Just days before his 21st birthday Matt said goodbye to his family, packed his Subaru with what he could and started his dream to live out west, heading to Steamboat Springs CO. While living in Steamboat Matt became a white-water rafting guide, an accomplished snowboarder and mountain biker and discovered that he loved the desert. In 2018 he moved to Jackson WY where he continued to follow his passions.
Matt loved the mountains in both the summer and the winter; he loved the desert, especially Moab, one of his favorite places to go. Other passions included hiking, camping, disc golfing, listening to good music, following Formula One racing and of course Fantasy Football.
Matt enthusiastically introduced his parents Tim and Gail to all the things he loved out west and together they explored Colorado, Utah, Montana and Wyoming.
Matt’s passion for snowboarding was beyond words. Just like the mountains can bring us friends, avalanches can take them away just as quickly. Our hearts are so heavy for the friends with him during his last tour. We lost an incredible human being that day.
The family would like to thank everyone for the incredible love and support they have received during this difficult time. They are planning a memorial for Matt to celebrate his life, date and location to be determined.
Memorial donations can be made in Matt’s honor to the Teton County Search and Rescue, PO Box 1063, Jackson WY 83001. http://www.tetoncountysar.org/donate
The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the Grand Teton National Park Rangers, Teton County Search and Rescue and Bridger-Teton National Forest personnel.
Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. 610-696-1181 www.DellaFH.com
Teton County Search and Rescue
PO Box 1063, Jackson WY 83001