Former editor of the East Greenwich Pendulum
Matthew Dean Wunsch, 55, of Wakefield, passed away on Saturday, April 1, with his loving family keeping vigil and waiting for a miracle. As he succumbed to the insult of incurable cancer, outside the rain rightly poured.
Matt was the longtime partner and recent beloved husband of Kimberly (Iemma) Wunsch. Both 1985 graduates of Narragansett High School, they happily reconnected later in life; along with Kimberly’s daughter Juliet Lenzo, they welcomed their daughter Vera Mae Wunsch in 2010 and became a solid family of four, eventually adding their much-loved dog Hazel to the mix.
Matt was the beloved son of Wayne and Diane (Jakober) Wunsch of Narragansett. Longtime supporters of their son’s musical prowess, they were often among the fans at Matt’s many gigs. His father Wayne was also a drum student of Matt’s for some time, making steady progress under his son’s tutelage.
Matt earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island in journalism with a minor in music in 1990, and began his professional life working in print newspapers. Over the span of a 15-year career in the industry, he proved to be a talented, prolific writer, with content published in several newspapers and magazines as both freelance and staff. He ultimately established himself as a formidable leader, earning the respect and recognition of colleagues in the demanding role of managing editor.
Matt’s greatest passion and purpose was to create and share beautiful music, a focus throughout his life that resulted in strong connections with other professional musicians in the R.I. music industry. A highly proficient player of drums, guitar, lap steel and slide, as well as a songwriter and vocalist, Matt was a member of numerous bands over the years including Jungle Dogs, Shiver, Orange Whip, Dynamite Shack, Kendall Green, Bamboo and the newly formed WunschBox alongside his brother Andy.
Most recently Matt was on a mission to master the board at PM Recording, the Wakefield music studio he had operated for 10 years. His focus on recording music, mixing, and contributing his own playing when requested gave him a full spectrum of challenges and satisfaction at a time when he needed to immerse himself in what mattered most to him.
A lover of the outdoors in warm weather, Matt enjoyed an ocean swim, paddling Indian Lake with Vera, and taking a brisk constitutional at Trustom Pond and Carter Preserve; he was an avid reader of biographies, a strong tennis and softball player, and a devoted Boston Red Sox fan.
Matt embraced sobriety in the final two years of his life, boldly and stoically accepting his diagnosis, determined to overcome the mental and physical obstacles he faced one day at a time. He kept his illness very private so as not to burden others or gain unwanted sympathy, and in the end pulled his best hood move yet.
Besides his wife, daughters, and parents, Matt leaves his only brother and lifelong bandmate Andy Wunsch and his partner Ann Marie Glanville; niece Lily Wunsch; uncle Bob Jakober and his partner Pattie; cousins Lee Walker, Jill Carney and David Jakober; and countless comrades.
The memorial service was April 8.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Colorectal Cancer Alliance ccalliance.org. Visit NardolilloFH.com for online condolences.