Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 24, 2023
Matthew Irving Wilcox 

Obit Matthew Irving WilcoxThis is unreal and I can’t believe we are here, but it has come. On Wednesday, May 17, 2023, in Tooele, Utah, our amazingly strong and determined husband, father, brother, son, and uncle fought to the very end but lost his fight to cancer with his four beautiful girls and loving wife by his side. We know he fought hard and pushed until his body wouldn’t let him anymore. For the past 2 ½ years, Matt has been through the wringer, but his determination not to leave his girls and wife made him continue to fight and amaze everyone of how he would bounce back from it all until he couldn’t anymore. 

Matthew (Matt) Irving Wilcox, 42, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 10, 1981, to Arnold Earl Wilcox and Kathryn Wertz Wilcox, which gave his mom the greatest Mother’s Day gift she could ever receive. Matt was the sixth child out of eight entering the family after Patti, Dave, Chris, Mary, Mike, then followed by Becka and Andrew. Matt grew up with a love for soccer and played on various teams from the time he was little until he graduated high school. He enjoyed camping, hiking, dogs, playing games, being outdoors, scouts, in which he achieved Eagle Scout ranking, and just having fun. As he grew older, he took interest in pottery, looking for gold through panning or metal detecting, cooking, and gardening. He enjoyed the time he could get out and work in the yard making it a beautiful and fun place to be. He even helped build a brick pizza oven in the backyard at his parent’s home and then eventually in his own back yard so that he could enjoy some yummy pizza with his wife and daughters or friends. 

Matt attended Granite High School where he played soccer, participated in pottery classes, and got involved with other things until he graduated in 1999. Durning Matt’s sophomore year when he was 15 years old, he was attending a football game where he had the chance to meet his future wife and love of his life JenniLyn Zumwalt. Although they were both at the game with significant others, that night they ended up spending the whole time talking to each other. However, their paths would not cross again for a few months because JenniLyn, who was 14 at the time, was in 9th grade attending Granite Park Junior High. Eventually Matt became friends with JenniLyn’s older brother Ryan and started hanging around her house with her brother and their friends. It only took a few months to pass to realize how much they liked each other, thus beginning their friendship and a high school romance that grew into an everlasting eternal love. After high school years, while JenniLyn was away to college, Matt choose to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the Fresno California Spanish speaking mission from May of 2001-April 2003 where he loved serving the Lord and the people he met in California. He made some great friendships, great memories, and a powerful testimony of our Savior.

Four months after his return home from his mission, he popped the question to JenniLyn, and she couldn’t wait to say yes. Then on Dec. 13, 2003, in the Salt Lake City Temple, they sealed the deal, becoming eternal companions, best friends, and lovers. After their wedding, Matt moved to St. George, where JenniLyn was teaching seminary and started a job at Burton Lumber. While working there, Matt gained many friends and connections that led him to better opportunities later in life. While they lived in St. George Matt was excited to start a family and become a father, so they welcomed their first baby girl, Kayla, in March 2005. Matt was overjoyed to be a father and quickly became the best father any wife or daughter could ask for. Eventually, they made the decision to move back closer to home so their daughter could be closer to their grandparents and extended family. Their next place to live was in Stansbury Park, but shortly after moving there those connections that Matt had made while working at Burton Lumber brought him a new opportunity to work at Orepac Doors in Far West, thus he made the hour and half commute to work everyday until the business ended up moving to Salt Lake. Matt enjoyed his time at Orepac and made new lasting friendships during his time there. A year after living in Stansbury, Matt and JenniLyn purchased their very first home in Tooele where they lived for the next four and half years. While living there, they welcomed their next two beautiful daughters, Gracie in July 2007, and Paisley in August 2009. Matt quickly became outnumbered as he became an amazing girl dad that loved and spoiled his daughters very much. During this time when the recession hit, Matt lost his job at Orepac and that sent him on a job hunt when he eventually was hired on at IFCO Pallet Systems as an assistant general manager. Again, like Matt always did everywhere he went, he made more lasting friendships and connections. After working for IFCO for a year and half, Matt was promoted to general manager at the company’s Albany New York facility, thus making the decision together with JenniLyn to accept the job, and they moved their family across the country to New York in Jan. 2011 where they lived for the next five and half years until June 2016. They enjoyed their time living in New York and they made many friendships, lots of memories, visited many places, grew closer together as family unit, and welcomed the fourth and finale daughter McKinley in Dec. 2011, and that is when it came apparent that he was right and was always meant to be a dad of only girls — having said he would be way back when JenniLyn was pregnant with Kayla. In 2016, the opportunity arose for Matt to transfer back to the Salt Lake City facility, and they decided to jump on it so once again their girls could be closer to their extended family members and their grandparents. In June of 2016, they again purchased a home in Tooele where they settled and continued to raise their family. Matt continued to work for IFCO/Brambles/48Forty until Nov. 2020 when he accepted another job with Eastern Resources that gave him the opportunity to work from home, which at the time they didn’t know how much of a blessing that would be to them just a few months down the road. 

Throughout his life, he has had the opportunity to serve in many different capacities in his church callings. He loved to serve all those around him and he had a way to make everyone seen, heard, and feel loved. He has served in many positions such as Primary teacher, Young Mens leader, Cub Scout leader, Sunday School teacher, stake Young Mens leader, Elders Quorum president, and a ministering brother to all. He never stopped serving all those around him whether it be our family, friends, or neighbors, which set a great example for our daughters on how to serve with a Christlike love. 

Matt enjoyed the holidays but especially the 4th of July because he could blow stuff up or watch the sky lit up with fireworks. Often in July you would find him outside watching as fireworks lit up the sky (if he wasn’t lighting them himself); and Christmas because he enjoyed everything about that time of year. He loved the music, decorating our house, shopping for a fresh Christmas tree to bring home to decorate, giving gifts, building gingerbread houses, snowy days, remembering our Savior’s birth, and spending extra time with our family. 

Matt enjoyed learning and figuring things out for himself. He took great care of fixing things, building things, and creating things. If something needed to be done like a car repair or repairs on the house and he didn’t know how to do it, he would turn to how-to YouTube videos and learn it so he could take care of whatever the situation was. He loved learning new things so much you would often catch him watching how-to videos, how it’s made videos, cooking shows, or any other shows that taught you new information.

Matt and JenniLyns home was always filled with love, laughter, craziness, excitement, and, as the girls got older, busyness; but through it all Matt always found a way to make JenniLyn and the girls feel loved. When the girls were younger, he would often spend time giving them piggyback rides to bed where he would tuck them in. As they got older and bigger, making it so he could no longer do that, he still spent time tucking them in, reading them stories, and cuddling them. Throughout the past 18 years of being a father, he loved spending time with his girls. He played games, lovingly teased them, helped them with projects, cooked for them, taught them life skills, bought them drinks and treats, watched movies with them, and many other things. One of his favorite things to do was to go camping and spend time in the great outdoors with them and JenniLyn.

He was beloved by everyone who ever met him; A fantastic father, a great husband, and a best friend to all. No matter the circumstance, you’d always leave with a story of something sarcastic/funny Matt said while you were with him. He knew how to make people laugh, smile, and just have fun. Usually this was done by some sarcastic/smart-Alec and sometimes not appropriate remark. He knew how to lighten any mood. Even when he was feeling at his worst or in the hospital after surgeries, he would make the nurse/doctors/medical stuff laugh or smile and would just know what to say to ease JenniLyns nerves in any situation. He leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his family and friends who were always entertained by his sarcasm and hilarious sense of humor. He truly brought life to the party.

Matt is survived by his wife of 19 years JenniLyn; daughters Kayla (18), Gracie (15), Paisely (13), and McKinley (11); his parents Arnold and Kathy Wilcox; his siblings Patricia (Loren) Timpson, David (Becky) Wilcox, Christopher (Amy) Wilcox, Mary (Daniel) Lusk, Michael (Julie) Wilcox, Rebecca (Jared) Belcher, and Andrew (Lindsay) Wilcox; his in-laws Kevin and Joyce Zumwalt, Gregg (Brittani) Zumwalt, Jeremy (Amanda) Zumwalt, and Ryan (Lindsay) Zumwalt; as well as many, many nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and cousins. 

A viewing for this amazing man will be held Monday, May 29, 2023, at Tate Mortuary, 110 S. Main St., Tooele, Utah, from 6 to 8 p.m., and again Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 691 Cedarview St., Tooele, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. After the funeral services, we will then have an interment at Tooele City Cemetery, 361 S. 100 East.

A live stream of the funeral will be available on Matthew’s obituary page at

We would like to thank his amazing team of doctors at IMC and Huntsman and the many nurses and medical staff that helped him in one way or the other during his cancer battle. We know they did everything they could to give him more time on this earth with all of us and we are grateful for their care. 

Rest in Peace my eternal love until we are reunited again. I love you with all my heart for time and all eternity.

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