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Official Obituary of

Peter "Matthew" Byra

February 27, 2024

Peter "Matthew" Byra Obituary

Matthew Byra, age 47, of Hillsborough, NJ passed away February 27, 2024 after a short illness. 

 

Matt was a well-known trailblazer in the disability community, entering the disability system at a time when there were few options to meet the needs of children or adults with significant disabilities.  Supported by the unwavering advocacy of his mother, Eleanor, Matt gradually transitioned from the Warren County Day Training Center to Hunterdon Central High School.  Matt became an active member of the HCHS community, serving as water boy at basketball games and was the first student with severe disabilities to graduate with his class.  The high school experience was not only important to Matt but made a huge impact on his fellow students.  An article in People and Families magazine (Vol1, 2021) profiling Matt’s and Ellie’s advocacy journey noted that one of his classmates said that Matt “made the biggest imprint on her, in all of her years in high school.”

 

In adulthood, Matt remained an active and involved member of his community.  He volunteered at the Hunterdon Medical Center performing a wide variety of tasks, making many friends among the staff, and eventually retiring after twenty years of service.  Living in Hillsborough in a home of his own for the last 10 years, Matt continued to be a basketball fan.  He enjoyed cheering for local youth teams and watching games with his father, Peter.  Friends and family will remember Matt’s fondness for Elmo and poker chips.

 

Matt is survived by his mother Eleanor (Ellie), his father, Peter, and his sister Christian (Tian).  Also surviving Matt are his dedicated caregivers, Lolita and Beth

 

Services will be private.  Online condolences may be offered at www.bridgewaterfuneralhome.com.   The family asks that memorial contributions be made to Neighbours, Inc.  Online donations can be made at https://www.neighbours-inc.com/donations.html or by check to Neighbours Inc., 49 Woodbridge Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904

 

 

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