Mathew O. Safford

September 10, 1945 - January 22, 2024

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date

Obituaries » Mathew O. Safford

Mathew O. Safford

BARRE TOWN — Mathew “Matt” Safford received his angel wings on Monday, January 22, 2024, with his girls by his side, at the Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Home. Born on September 10, 1945, in Barre, he was the son of Hollis Elton and Marion Ruth (McKnight) Safford. He attended South Barre School and was a 1964 graduate of Spaulding High School. After graduation Matt joined the Army Reserve and did his basic training at Fort Dix, NJ. On June 29, 1968, he married the love of his life Judy. Matt held many jobs over the years including working for PepsiCo as a driver, Peerless Granite as a polisher, Barre Housing Authority as a painter, Vermont Country Camper as a RV supply specialist, Barre Town School as a bus driver and custodian, and Barre Congregational Church as a custodian. Matt also had his own painting and wallpapering business for many years and worked with countless customers to paint or paper their homes. When he was younger he volunteered as a Barre Town Firefighter and was a part of their Ladder Drill Team, thrilling many parade goers with his climbing abilities and agility in the air. He also volunteered to be a part of the Vermont State Guard. Matt coached his daughter Karen’s regular season softball teams as well as several All-Star teams she was on. Matt served on committees at the Barre Congregational Church, including the deacons and property committees but his greatest joy, besides “his girls,” was being outside. He looked forward to the weeks spent at “deer camp” with his brothers-in-law Joe and Bob hunting on Roxbury Mountain. He also enjoyed spending weekends with his family at Vermont’s many lakes and ponds fishing, kayaking, tubing, or just being at the beach. Matt enjoyed camping in the summer with family and friends at Stillwater State Park in Groton, or at Lake Sebago in Maine. He also enjoyed weeks on Lake Elmore staying at the Magoon’s camp and puttering on his boats with his brother-in-law Joe. Another passion of his was riding motorcycles. It was a hobby he had when he was in his late teens and 20’s that he picked up again in his 50’s. He and his daughter Krisi loved to go on rides together and participated in the Toy Run for several years. In his later years Matt liked to putter around his house and do wood carving. Survivors include his daughters Kristina “Krisi” Safford and her husband, John Merrifield, and Karen Safford and her wife, Lori Shepard; his brother David Safford and his wife, Sandy; his sister Connie Spaulding; his brother Karl Safford and his wife, Dale; his sister Vicki Safford; his sister-in-law Jackie Swartz and her husband, Don; his brother-in-law John Hooker and his wife, Cindy; and his honorary daughters Jen Estivill and Beth Bresset as well as many nieces, nephews, honorary grandchildren, great- nieces and nephews, and friends. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Judy, and his brother-in-law Bob Spaulding as well as his mother-in-law and father-in-law Jeanette and John Hooker. A service of remembrance to honor and celebrate his life will be held on Thursday, February 1, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. in the Barre Congregational Church, 35 Church Street, Barre. Inurnment will be take place in the spring. Matt always loved animals and even wanted to be a vet at one time so memorial contributions may be to Passion 4 Paws, the rescue he got Wyatt from, by visiting or by mail to 53 Webster Lane, Shelburne, VT 05482 or to Little Red Barn Sanctuary by visiting or by mail to 8 Whitney Hill, Tunbridge, VT 05077. Arrangements are by Hooker Whitcomb Funeral Home, 7 Academy Street, Barre. For a memorial guestbook, please visit

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