The following is from Dello Russo Funeral Home.
Matthew J. "Swirls" Cirelli, 19, died peacefully at Mass General Hospital on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, following a two-year, courageous battle with Ewing's Sarcoma. Right up to his passing, Swirls was surrounded by his loving family and friends, who will miss him dearly.
Swirls is survived by his loving parents, John and Barbara (Perrotti) Cirelli, and by his younger brother Jared.
Born in Malden, March 19, 1994, Matthew was a lifelong resident of Medford and attended Medford public schools. A 2012 graduate of Medford High School, Matt was an excellent, hard-working student and a member of the cross country team. During his senior year, he bravely fought through numerous treatments to complete his course work, and to enjoy the prom and graduation. To his classmates, Swirls was beloved for his kindness, easy-going manner, sense of humor and, of course, the curly hair which gave him his nickname. He was accepted into several colleges and planned on attending Merrimack College. He was a lifelong parishioner of Saint Mary’s Parish in Winchester.
Matt wanted to follow in his parents' footsteps and hoped to pursue a career as a medical professional. He was compassionate and always helping others. Having two cousins with autism, Swirls was, from a young age, interested in helping those with special needs. He was devoted to spending time with his cousin Eric. Throughout high school, Swirls also served as a respite provider for the Northeast ARC in Danvers, working with individuals with autism.
Matt was grateful for the excellent medical care and tremendous kindness he had received since his illness began. Fittingly, his greatest wish was to recover, so he could return the favor and help others.
Matt loved sports and games. He played on several youth teams. He spent hours with Jared, friends and cousins, playing baseball and soccer at Playstead Park, street hockey and basketball in his backyard.
When he wasn't playing sports, Matt was watching them. He was an avid fan of the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox and, in his 19 years, saw eight duck boat parades. This year, he attended many sporting events, including witnessing his mentor Scott run the Boston Marathon, his Red Sox win the World Series and, just last week, his Bruins take down the Bluejackets.
Swirls was a leader at starting and maintaining family traditions: egg toss races and fireworks on the Fourth of July; home run derby’s and family flag football on Thanksgiving; sleepovers at Aunt Brenda's; family pasta Sunday parties; and trips to Florida with his uncles. Matt loved spending time with his grandparents, parents, brother, and his many uncles, aunts and cousins.
Swirls was a great friend. He enjoyed hiking at the Reservoir, swimming, Chinese food and body painting Antoine in the backyard. Cruising in the Swirls mobile and trips to Cape Cod and New Hampshire were always a favorite. The Swirls’ gang enjoyed street hockey and bonfires in Mama Swirls’ backyard. Swirls touched everyone he ever met.
In addition to his parents and brother, Matthew is survived by many uncles, aunts, and cousins, who all miss him greatly and promise to carry on the traditions. He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Michael and Lucia Cirelli, and his maternal grandparents, Alfred and Phyllis Perrotti.
Funeral services will be held from the McLaughlin–Dello Russo Funeral, 60 Pleasant St., Woburn, Friday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m., followed by a funeral mass celebrated in St. Mary Church, 155 Washington St., Winchester, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours at the McLaughlin–Dello Russo Funeral Home will be held on Thursday from 4-8 p.m. Services will conclude with burial at Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Matthew's memory may be made to Angels Above, 99 Mammoth Road, PO Box 9501, Lowell, MA or the Hopes Program, c/o Mass General Development Office, 165 Cambridge, Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA.