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Moorefield man remembered for his passion for family and farming

'I think the world needs more Matts, guys who are dedicated to family, faith, their work and are just happy to live life,' says close friend Graham Brown
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Matt Ottens with two of his children.

A Moorefield man is being remembered by a friend as someone who was passionate about what was important in his life — family, friends and farming.

Matt Ottens, a 33-year old farmer from Moorefield, died on June 13 when assisting a child who fell out of a boat on Conestogo Lake.

Close friend Graham Brown launched a GoFundMe page in memory of Ottens to support his four children. 

Brown said his friend was a great farmer whose love for it was contagious. 

“He made me want to learn more about farming, which is crazy because I’m a business guy and not a farmer,” Brown said. “He was always very happy and felt blessed that he could work with his dad. It was his dad and him who had this farm and he was excited to be taking it over.”

Farming came second in his life as Brown described Ottens as a very proud father and husband. 

“He was a strong family man, when he wasn’t in the field he was happy to be back being with his family,” Brown said. “Ah man, he knew how to live, he was just a happy happy guy. He didn’t make time for complaining and he loved being strong.”

He said they first hit it off as Ottens’ wife worked at the Listowel gym Brown owns and would regularly have a Sunday morning workout.

This included on June 13 where Brown said his friend hit a personal lifting best that morning. 

“Then he helped me move a desk because that’s just who he was, he was always there for me,” Brown said. 

Ottens was always available to lend a helping hand which Brown attributed partly to his strong Christian faith.

“He always wanted to get to heaven, so to say and he was competitive and the bugger beat me there,” Brown said. 

The GoFundMe for Ottens’ family has surpassed over $157,000, which amazed but didn’t surprise Brown as he knew his friend was well known in a caring community. 

“People understand the gravity of now a single mother having to take care of a farm and raise four children and I think people in this area are just amazing. They get it and they want to help,” Brown said. “We know it’s going to be incredibly helpful for those children and Leona.”

Brown said Ottens’ passing is tragic but his friend didn’t let things get to him and would be proud to see the community he grew up in support his family in a tough time. 

“I think the world needs more Matts, guys who are dedicated to family, faith, their work and are just happy to live life and not be afraid to live it loud.”


Keegan Kozolanka

About the Author: Keegan Kozolanka

Keegan Kozolanka is a general assignment reporter for Elora, Fergus and rural Centre Wellington.
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