Matthew Richard Bertram
was born December 9, 1973, in Rochester, NY as the second of five children of
Thomas and Linda Bertram.
He attended Avon
(NY) elementary school prior to moving to Phoenix in 1983.Once in the valley he attended Peralta elementary
schools, Estrella Junior High School, Trevor Browne High School and graduated
from Maryvale High School in May of 1991.Matthew received an Associate’s Degree in Business from Phoenix College
in 1994 and Bachelors of Science degree from Arizona State University in
Recreation and Tourism Management in December of 1997.
Matthew was an
accomplished athlete, excelling at every sport he played.However his true sports passion was football,
which he competed in for more than 11 years, starting at the age of 10 when he first
played Vince Lombardi football in New York for the Avon Giants football team.Playing on the Red Barons Pop Warner team in
Phoenix, AZ for 2 years until reaching High School, he quickly became a
standout for every team that he played on.His senior year at Maryvale High School, as captain of the defense, he
lead the team in tackling and interceptions as a middle linebacker, resulting
in him being recognized as the “Most Valuable Defensive Player” for the team
that year.He went on to play football as
a tight end at Phoenix College (91-93) and Arizona State University (93-94).
His other great
passion in life was working with and mentoring youth.After graduating from ASU, he worked for the
City of Phoenix, Parks and Recreation Department, as a recreation coordinator
from 1998-2007.During this time he
worked at various City of Phoenix recreation centers where he coached numerous
sports teams, mentored youth, and positively contributed to the local
communities through his leadership, compassion, outreach and commitment to kids
that would come to his “center.”From
2006-2011 he worked with at-risk youth as a behavioral health technician at New
Horizon Youth Homes, providing support,structure and mentorship to young men from all walks of life.
included watching and playing sports, movies, all types of music, poker,
camping, spending time with friends and family, new experiences, and trying to
make other people’s lives a little bit easier.
In the early
evening of June 7, 2012 Matthew died of cardiac arrest.He was preceded by his father in death and is
survived by his daughters, Elexa, Phoenix, and Paris; sons, Jake and Noah;
mother Linda; sisters, Tammy, Sarah, and Rachel; and his brothers, Thomas and
Visitation will be held on Saturday, June 16 from
10:00am-11:30am at Avenidas Funeral Chapel in Old Town Avondale. The Funeral
Service will begin at 11:30am with Windel Tucker presiding. A final viewing
will take place from 1:00pm-2:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Matthew R.
Bertram Memorial Fund, a scholarship fund for his children at Navy Federal
Credit Union R/T#256074974 Acct#3032488136.
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