Matthew “Matt Bacon” Cullen
Matthew Allen Cullen – Antioch, IL – AKA Egger, Sparky. Matt, 47, died on Jan 6th, 2019 from alcoholism. His last years were difficult and lonely. But we choose to remember Matt as he was before his disease took over…
Matt loved meat (especially bacon), cheese, his dog Betty, boating on the Chain O’Lakes, his friends and his family. Not necessarily in that order (but maybe)! He hated being told what to do, and was stubborn enough to wear down most authority types (including the US Navy). His snoring and other airflow functions were legendary! Matt was skilled at building bon fires (the bigger the better) and telling stories (yada-yada and so forth). His stories were long on humor and short on facts, but always entertaining. Recently: The centipede incident (5th revision). He had a big laugh and loved to use it.
Matt had many girlfriends over the years, but his only committed relationship was with Betty. It’s a good thing too, as most everyone else was scared of her! Many of Matt’s best stories centered on Betty’s shenanigans. They were inseparable from her adoption as a puppy until her passing last year. They shared everything including a love of bacon and riding with the top down!
Matt moved a lot in his early years, attending grade school in Minneapolis, MN, Kobe, Japan and Victoria, MN. Naperville HS was relieved to see Matt graduate in 1989. Matt then took on the US Navy as a Nuclear Reactor Operator. He worked aboard the USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier. The outcome was a draw. Matt earned an AS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering with High Honors from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Fermilab, Matt began his career as an “exemplary OnBase professional”, per one of his bosses. Over his career, Matt helped many organizations design, implement and administer their systems.
When Matt settled in Anitoch, he had achieved his dream life. He lived near his friends. He had a beautiful home on the Chain O’Lakes. He had a bigger boat than his big brothers. He even built his own Tiki Hut. There were geese and squirrels for Betty to chase. He spent his free time barbequing, boating and entertaining around his fire pit. He was a generous host and a good neighbor.
A mother always has a special bond with her youngest. Matt’s mom, Dianne, was no different. He promised to take care of her in her old age, she allowed him to get away with everything his older siblings couldn’t. Matt’s dad, Dennis, the source of Matt’s stubbornness, was often Matt’s choice for a foil in his quest to attain the “most stubborn person on Earth” mantle. Although Matt had won that title decisively in a small room in the basement during High School, old habits die hard. However, there was never any doubt that they loved and cherished each other.
Matt’s brothers and sister will miss having a baby brother to tease, order around, contradict and lose to at cribbage. His memory will bring hilarious stories, uproarious laughter and deep regret there wasn’t more time.
Matt loved his nieces and nephews and they adored him. He allowed at least one of them to wear out his clutch teaching them to drive a stick shift. His presence at the fire until the wee hours of the morning telling stories and giving (unasked for) advice is already missed.
Matt is survived by fabulous friends! Many of his friendships from childhood lasted throughout his lifetime. That these friends even tolerated Betty, speaks volumes! They stood by Matt to the end, even as he pushed them away. Matt was lucky to have such true friends!
He has countless aunts, uncles and cousins who also have stories…
Arrangements entrusted to Sambrano Funeral & Cremation, Gurnee, IL; 847-571-7719.