Mathew Thomas Woodall made a dramatic entrance into this world in the wee hours of the morning on Sept. 11, 1983, to the delight of his parents, Todd and Terri (Bilyeu) Woodall. He would be their only child.
Mathew spent his childhood in Bakersfield and Tehachapi, knowing his way up and down Highway 58 by the time he was 4. He was fortunate to have a close relationship with all four of his grandparents as he grew up. He spent a great deal of time with Grandpa and Grandma Bilyeu in Bakersfield. Every summer was a cross-country trip to the Midwest to visit Grandpa and Grandma Woodall, ride his Dad's minibike, shoot fireworks, fish in Grandpa's pond and visit aunts, uncles and cousins.
He started working at his Grandpa David Bilyeu's commercial waste business at the age of 20 and later became a partner, obtaining his general contractor's license and expanding the business to include many types of commercial waste in addition to their core oil field work. Time off would usually find him happily at sea, aboard a cruise ship!
He became a proud daddy to Kamryn Lynn Woodall in 2011. She was the light of his life and he was a devoted Dad. The two of them were quite a sight — teeny, tiny little Kamryn with her sparkles and frills, and 6 foot, 6 inch Daddy by her side. She was the center of his world — anything for Daddy's Girl.
Early 2015 brought a social media encounter with Nicolett Elaine Conley in Minnesota. Their first face-to-face meeting was in Las Vegas on July 27, 2015. He was instantly smitten. The relationship quickly evolved from "internet casual" to "serious long distance," racking up some major frequent flyer miles between California and Minneapolis.
Nikki took the plunge and moved to Bakersfield in 2016. She immediately bonded with Kamryn and their relationship blossomed. Kamryn loved Nikki deeply and called her "Mommy," dressing in matching colors so everyone would know they were a family.
Mathew took the plunge as well, proposing to Nikki on July 27, 2016. She said, "yes!" They set their wedding date for July 27, 2017 — exactly two years from the day they met. A destination wedding was planned on the beach in Key West, Fla. They were on their way to celebrate bachelor/bachelorette parties in Las Vegas when their dreams came to a tragic end. Both were killed in a car crash near Kramer Junction on July 7, 2017. They were truly soul mates. Mathew became the very best version of himself due to the two special girls in his life — Kamryn and Nikki.
Mathew was preceded in death by his Grandpa Richard Woodall. He is survived by his daughter, Kamryn; Dad Todd Woodall and wife Sara, of Tehachapi; Mom Terri Brown and husband Charlie, of Bakersfield; step-brothers Keith, Charlie and Patrick Brown, of Bakersfield; Grandma Thelma Woodall, of Nixa, Mo.; Grandparents David and Linda Bilyeu, of Bakersfield; Aunts Penny Miracle, of Springfield, Mo., and Barb Payne and husband Rich, of Muscatine, Iowa; Uncle Todd Bilyeu, of Georgetown, Texas; Cousins Nathan Payne, of Muscatine, Iowa, and Brandon Miracle, of Springfield, Mo.; and many loyal friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Mathew and Nikki on Sept. 15, 2017, at Metro Galleries, 1604 19th St., Bakersfield, Ca., 93301. All are welcome to stop by anytime between 6 and 10 p.m., to share a memory, tell a story, offer support or raise a glass of Mountain Dew in honor of Mathew and Nikki.