NORTH ADAMS -- A group of about 50 people came together at Joe Wolfe Field on Saturday night to mourn the loss of Matthew Goodson, who died from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident in Petersburgh, N.Y., on Friday.
The Rensselaer County’s Sheriff’s Department has yet to release any information about the accident.
The candlelight vigil, held after the SteepleCats game, was organized by close friends Kristal and Diana Weatherby and Ashley Burris as a way for those who knew him to share their grief and memories.
"It was truly amazing that so many people came. We put it together in about two hours," said Kristal Weatherby, who had known Goodson since they met in elementary school. "It really helped everyone cope with the loss. We sat in a circle and shared our memories and said our last goodbyes. It lasted about two hours and by the time we left, no one was crying anymore. It ended in laughs -- just the way he would have wanted us to be."
Weatherby said the two met when she was in fifth grade and he was in sixth grade and had remained lifelong friends. Goodson was the godfather to her two-year-old daughter.
Goodson, 21, the son of North Adams Fire Department Acting Lt. Michael Goodson and Karen M. Huttle Goodson, worked at Walmart as a certified pharmacy technician and was to attend Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in the fall. He had previously attended Western New England College.
"Matt was an amazing person," Burris said in an email. "He was the type of person that would do anything for anyone, even if he didn’t know them. He had this amazing smile that would brighten up anyone’s day. He was a very hard worker and someone that would have went a lot of places in life. He was gentle and always there for me, no matter what time of day or night. He would truly do anything for anyone."
Diana Weatherby, who had also known Goodson since elementary school, said that he would "give the clothes off his back to help someone out."
"He was always at least one step ahead of all of us, between working or college," she said in an email on Monday. "His organizational skills, planning and deep thinking were phenomenal. He had such a planned-out future and so much ahead of him. He was God’s gift to us all. ... Matt had such a big heart and soul and will never be forgotten. He will always be shining down on us all. There will never be a day that goes by without him on all of our minds."
Funeral services will be held Thursday at noon at the First Baptist Church in North Adams, with calling hours at the church from 10 a.m. to noon. Burial will follow at Southview Cemetery.
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email firstname.lastname@example.org.