Cover photo for Matthew John DeCosta's Obituary
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1961 Matt 2024

Matthew John DeCosta

September 23, 1961 — March 12, 2024

Matthew John DeCosta, 62,  passed away on March 12, 2024 following a sudden brief illness. He joins his loving parents, John and Elaine, in Heaven. He is survived by his sister, Amy of Massachusetts and her family and his sister, Jennifer of Pennsylvania and her family, two generations of nieces and nephews, as well as many cousins, aunts, and uncles. Matt loved his children deeply. 
 
Matt was born in Massachusetts on September 23, 1961 and was raised in a close-knit family. Growing up was an adventure as his family moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and then to Ohio where Matt settled. Matt’s childhood summers were spent hiking and exploring the White Mountains in NH, including climbing Mt. Washington, and going on vacations across Canada and the United Sates including an amazing RV trip to South Dakota where at a young age Matt held up the local Stagecoach.
 
Some of Matt‘s most cherished memories included Thanksgivings back East and listening to THE Ohio State football game on the way home; more camping trips with his family with vacations to SC and FL, and of course to New England. He also enjoyed trips to the racetrack, roadside stops, and historical sites with family and friends. Matt loved Cape Cod with backroad drives, ice cream shops, and sitting by the canal watching the ships and tides go by.
 
Matt had a passion for the emergency services which started when he was just a boy. In elementary school he enjoyed being on the safety patrol. By the time Matt was in high school he had joined the Explorer Scouts, running calls with Police and Fire departments.  He graduated from Westerville North High School in 1980 and then pursued a degree in criminal justice at Kent State Stark County, however, his true passion was EMT/paramedic, and he became certified soon after. He always desired to help others and be a part of a greater calling.
 
He started as a volunteer EMT/paramedic in the North Canton Fire department for over 10 years, as well as working as a paramedic at Cleveland Metro Life Flight for many years. He then joined the Plain Township Fire & Rescue full time for 27 years. He also served with and became a Captain at Osnaburg Township Fire for many years.
 
Matt was a highly skilled paramedic and a mentor to many, displaying his steady nature, being calm, compassionate, and focused, in the midst of any emergency. He received the Stark County Firefighters Association EMS Care Provider of the Year award in May of 2019. Matt retired in 2022 after serving many communities for a total of 40 years. He was a part of an amazing brotherhood, each station he served with becoming family, dedicated to their community and to each other.
 
In addition to serving as a Paramedic Firefighter, Matt was a professional tradesmen with Schmalzl Flooring for decades working hard and enjoying great friendships made through the years. He also used his tools and handyman skills to help neighbors, family, and friends. 
 
Matt will be remembered for his sense of humor, his love for NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt, his collection of assorted vehicles and all things John Deere, his firehouse cuisine, his heart for service and strong work ethic, his dedication to his friends and family, and for being a truly good man, all of which echoed through the many stories and memories of Matt shared from those who knew him best and loved him. 
 
As the bagpipes played Amazing Grace at Matt’s Last Alarm service, we remember Matt’s life of service and the sacrifice and care of the brotherhood of both Plain Township Fire Dept. and Osnaburg Township Fire Dept. We are so thankful for all they have done to honor Matt and his years of service. The many Firemen and women who walked with us through Matt’s final days will forever hold a special place in our hearts. 
 
Services for Matt will be held in Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers we ask for donations to Plain Township Fire, Osnaburg Township Fire, or your local Fire department in Matt’s honor and memory. Condolences and special memories of Matt can be shared with his family online at www.heritagecremationsociety.com. 


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