Matthew Krucina had a heart of gold and was a compassionate friend to all he met, especially the underdog, whether human or canine, said Kathie MacDonald, his mother.
“My son was so compassionate that he would find the time to touch people by just randomly stopping by, chatting with them, or offering help,” MacDonald said.
Krucina’s 6 foot, 6 inch height and 300 pounds could be intimidating, MacDonald said, but his heart was bigger than his size.
“He just had this way of enveloping every person he met with this big hug,” she said. “Everybody who knew him considered him a gentle giant. He was willing to help anyone at any time. He always had a smile on his face, a story to tell.”
MacDonald said the hundreds of people who attended Krucina’s wake all had stories to tell about how her son had come into their lives at some point, whether it be for a day, a week, a month or a lifetime.
“Friends called him ‘Dr. Phil’ because whenever they had problems he would sit with them," MacDonald said. He was able to help everybody feel better and give them solutions.”
Krucina, 23, of Lansing, was passionate about playing, coaching and watching sports, rooting for the Chicago White Sox and Blackhawks, following golf, music and rescuing dogs.
Krucina excelled in Lansing Little League and football until suffering a knee injury in high school. He then coached St. Ann’s youth football and played softball as an adult organizing teams.
Krucina was a big protector of his two younger sisters, his mother said.
“He loved his family,” MacDonald said. “ ... I truly believe the amount of lives he touched and the impact he had in just 23 years is what people should strive to do.”