Family remembering Matthew Blount

Matthew Blount's family and friends are all smiles as he stands up out of his wheelchair to greet them at the Birmingham Airport on Jan. 26. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Friends and family members of a U.S. Army Second Lieutenant from Pelham said they are remembering him as a caring, devoted man who was dedicated to service to others.

Thirty-year-old Pelham High School alumni Matthew Blount, who served with the Army in Iraq for several years before returning to Alabama to enroll in Jacksonville State University’s ROTC program, passed away on March 10 after a lengthy battle with cancer and leukemia.

About a week before he passed away, Blount was promoted to Second Lieutenant. As a result, he will be buried with full military honors at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo after his funeral on March 13.

“He was a very devout Christian. He was a father, a son, a brother and he was a leader for his fellow soldiers,” said Blount’s father, Barry. “He made sure they were taken care of before he took care of himself.

“He wanted people around him to be the best that they could be,” Barry Blount added.

In 2009 Matthew Blount was diagnosed with stage four Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of cancer found in bone or soft tissue. Over the past few years, he had beaten leukemia and cancer once each before he recently developed leukemia a second time.

Matthew Blount’s funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on March 13 at Bonny Brook Baptist Church in Jacksonville with Rev. Jerry Pike officiating. Pallbearers will be David Blount, A.J. Blount, Matthew Copeland, Chris Boggs, Troy Tarazon and Tracy Blount.

Blount will then be laid to rest in the Alabama National Cemetery at about 2:45 p.m. After the burial, First Baptist Church of Pelham on U.S. 31 will hold a memorial service for Blount from 4-6 p.m. with Dr. Mike Shaw officiating.

He is survived by his loving wife, Melinda Copeland Blount of Jacksonville; his daughter, Audrey Blount of Jacksonville; his parents, Barry and Terrie Blount of Pelham; two brothers, David Blount and his wife Jennifer of Pelham and A.J. Blount and his wife Christina of Pelham; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Mike and Glenda Copeland of Jacksonville; a brother-in-law, Matthew Copeland of Birmingham; a sister-in-law, Michelle Boggs and her husband Chris of Fort Payne; his grandmother, Mary Tucker of Anniston; and three nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked donations be made to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation, 2260 West Holcombe, Suite 174, Houston, Texas 77030 or to Children, Inc. at Childrenincorporated.org.