Libertyville High School graduate Matthew Coleman is being remembered as a caring guy who worked hard to pursue his dream.
Coleman, 26, was killed early Monday in a single vehicle crash in Murphysboro near Southern Illinois University, where he was a senior with a double major in aviation management and aviation technologies.
"He started flying, I believe, when he was in high school," said his sister, Caitlin. "He made a point of making a career of it."
She said he worked at various jobs after high school to gather the resources to study at SIU, which is noted for its aviation program. He lived in Carbondale and had another semester left before graduation, she added.
That path was tough, Caitlin Coleman added, as both parents died when he was young. Anne Coleman died in 2008 and his father, Terry, died in 2001.
"Obviously, that made a huge impact on a young adult's life (but) he continued to pursue the dream," she said.
The family had lived in Lake Forest before moving to Libertyville during Matt Coleman's high school years.
He was described as a hard worker who was fun loving and giving.
"He was an outgoing guy, loved to have a good time and loved his friends more than anything in the world," Caitlin Coleman said.
According to Murphysboro police, Matt Coleman was the lone occupant in a 1994 Acura that left the road, crossed oncoming lanes and continued off the roadway eventually striking an embankment.
The car overturned at least once, police said. Coleman was thrown from the car and pronounced dead at the scene. No cause was given. The Jackson County sheriff's office is investigating. Police discovered the crash at 12:36 a.m.
Besides his sister, he was is survived by a brother, Christopher, and several aunts, uncles and cousins as well as many friends, whom he considered part of his family. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his grandparents and an uncle.
Visitation is from 2 p.m. until the time of services at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at McMurrough Funeral Chapel, Ltd., 101 Park Place (Route 176 one block east of Milwaukee Avenue), Libertyville.
Burial will be at Ascension Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to a fund being established in Matt's honor. Call (847) 362-2626.