A local identity has died suddenly in hospital.
Mathew (Mat) John Bedogni, a car enthusiast well known for his beloved DeLorean and Star Wars characters at Howick’s Santa Parade, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday July 18 at Middlemore Hospital, aged 47, his death notice said.
“Adored husband of Tara and adored father of Edward and Alex. Beloved son of John and Kenda and loved brother of Clinton (deceased). So sadly missed by all the extended family,” it said.
“A meticulous and inspirational gentle friend to all. A funeral service to celebrate Mat’s life was held at St Columba Presbyterian Church in Botany on Friday followed by a function in Cockle Bay “to further celebrate Mat’s outstanding life”.
In online tributes his wife Tara wrote: “Mathew, my only love, my wonderful husband, my soul mate and my loving partner in all things. You were my everything. I will never forget you and you will always be in my heart, I am lost without you, your Hunny B. You will always be with me my Darling.”
His parents John and Kenda said he was “the most beloved, gentle and wonderful son”.
“Mathew our darling boy, you were our life and future and we are forever broken with your loss. You will remain in our hearts and minds forever. Never ever will we forget you Matty – we love you so much. Mum and Dad.”
Sons Edward and Alex also left a message. “Our Dad who we loved and looked after us has died. We loved Dad so much and he loved us. Goodbye to the best Father anyone could ever have. We love you Dad.”
Star Wars site Outpost 42 Garrison posted a message online too.
“Today we farewelled Mat Bedogni (TK 6280), one of the empire’s finest, who has become one with the force. We will all miss him for his generosity, his time, inclusiveness and contributions to the numerous communities he helped, and supported. He always had time for you and always wanted to help. He is truly the best of the best.
“Mat, we’ll miss you and our hearts are heavy. For us, no one will ever be as cool as Mat in his Fett in KITT at the Howick Santa Parade, nor will anyone be as epic as Vader at the Make A Wish Birthday. You’re one of a kind Mat and remember “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything”.