Matthew Christopher Caulo died tragically on August 8, 2021, on his property in South Royalton, Vt. He was 29.

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Matthew was born on December 29, 1991, in Burlington, Vt., khổng lồ John và Debra Caulo, the youngest of three boys. In 1999, the family moved lớn Norwich, Vt., where Matthew graduated from Hanover High School in 2010. He attended Concordia University in Montréal before graduating from Champlain College in 2016. Although Matthew was born in Burlington & spent his childhood in Norwich, he called South Royalton his home.

Matthew had long admired the lifestyle and work ethic of rural Vermonters. He trusted his instinct and, sight unseen, purchased an overlooked property in South Royalton in early 2020 while living in New Orleans. In short order, he moved back khổng lồ Vermont khổng lồ live an independent, self-sufficient lifestyle. At the time of his death, Matthew was in the process of clearing the five-acre woodlot along the Broad Brook to lớn execute his vision: to lớn construct a tiny trang chủ using felled lumber from the land. However, a persistent 10-year battle with depression ultimately prevented the dream’s realization.

The South Royalton community embraced Matthew, in whom they recognized a friendly and industrious young man with a positive vision for stewardship of the land. Several neighbors and shopkeepers have individually told the family stories of Matthew’s good nature và ever willingness to provide them help of any kind.

Matthew was also a man of seemingly unlimited interests & ideas. He would joke that he had a PhD from YouTube University và learned a variety of electrical, mechanical, musical, woodworking and carpentry skills that he applied with precision and poise. A talented & creative cook, Matthew also composed & played music; built musical instruments, wrote poetry, và brewed both beer and hard cider.

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A voracious reader, Matthew could engage in deep conversations on philosophy, politics, music, truth và beauty, often with a former professor and friend who described Matthew as having a “beautiful mind.”

Behind the positive and assertive exterior, however, was a darker personality periodically clouded by self-loathing and remorse. In many ways, Matthew embodied the purest definition of “righteous”: He held himself, và others, lớn a moral code of conduct that was difficult lớn achieve, let alone maintain. With the help and unending love of his brothers, Matthew was recently making progress with the concepts of redemption và forgiveness, not only for others but for himself. Sadly, it was not enough.

In addition lớn his parents, Matthew is survived by his loving brothers, Michael of Durham, N.C., & Jeffrey of New Orleans, La.; maternal grandparents, Lillie and Martin Tanis of Roanoke, Va.; and many relatives & friends. A celebration of Matthew’s life is being planned for Saturday, September 11, on the Town Green in South Royalton. Details khổng lồ follow.

Please consider a donation through the Matthew Caulo Memorial Fund on GoFundMe. Your contribution will be added to lớn a donor-advised fund established by the family honoring Matthew’s love of land, sustainable living và music. The Caulo family will also support efforts around suicide prevention & the mental health of adults and children.

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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention hỗ trợ tư vấn available to lớn anyone in emotional crisis. If you need help, please dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255), & you will be routed khổng lồ one of its 133 crisis centers nationwide. Call for yourself or someone you care about. Your hotline is miễn phí and confidential.

A close family friend captured Matthew this way: “I will always think of Matt as the gifted artist, artisan, seeker, questioner and now voyager, finally at peace.”