Matthew John Pilla


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Matthew John Pilla

Matthew John Pilla, age 54, passed away on December 9, 2022 at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, WA, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his father, Felix, his children, Natalie and Ben, his ex-wife Melissa, and his siblings Mark, Beth, and Mike.

Matt was born on February 28th, 1968 to Sally and Felix Pilla in Hackensack, NJ. He spent the first 10 years of his childhood living in New Jersey with his three older siblings. Here the family lived on a beautiful lake, and Matt enjoyed a childhood filled with swimming, fishing, and boating. The family also had a dachshund named Rusty, who Matt was particularly fond of. At the end of 6th grade, he moved with his family to Tucson, AZ, and then two years later to Concord, MA, where he attended Concord Carlisle High School. After his junior year, the family relocated again to Huntington Valley, PA where he completed his senior year at Upper Moreland High. It was here that he became friends with Deb, his future sister-in-law, and was introduced to his future wife Melissa, who he started dating one week before high school graduation.

After graduating high school, Matt moved again to attend the University of Hawaii in Honolulu for undergrad, majoring in journalism and public relations. Melissa followed him to Hawaii soon after, transferring to the University of Hawaii after one semester. Matt and Melissa married in December of 1990, and then relocated to Seattle, WA in 1991 so Melissa could start her career at Boeing. Having another year left in his degree, Matt transferred to the University of Washington and graduated from there with a BA in Political Science.

A tech aficionado, Matt had his own business during college, Rainbow Computers, where he built and sold computers. He also loved flying and dreamed of becoming a commercial pilot. While living in Seattle, he pursued this passion and took flying lessons, but ultimately he had to give up this dream as a result of health issues that would affect his ability to pass medical. He switched back to the field he majored in, and got a job as communications director for the WA State Republican party. Following this, he worked in the communications department for the WA State Senate (Republican conference). During his time there, he did senate communications for the state senate majority leader at the time, Dan McDonald.

In 1998, Matt and Melissa started their family, and welcomed their daughter Natalie into their home, which already included their beloved bassets Mona and Cleo, and their cat Sylvester. They relocated the family to Duvall, and in 2003, welcomed their son Benjamin. Matt loved his children, and was wrapped around their fingers, affectionately calling Natalie his “principessa” and Benjamin his “Ben-jer-man”.

In 2000, Matt transitioned out of politics into the tech center and joined Microsoft doing public relations. He had many roles at Microsoft over the years, but most notably worked as the Public Relations Director for the Asia Pacific Region from 2007-2009, which relocated the family to Singapore for two years.

Matt loved to travel, and while living in Singapore he visited many different countries throughout Asia such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. The family was particularly fond of Thailand, and took a number of vacations there where they enjoyed snorkeling, playing on the beach, and riding elephants.

After their two years in Singapore, Matt and the family moved back to Washington, where they settled down in Woodinville. Not long after, Matt began struggling with his health, developing epilepsy and other complicating medical conditions.

Matt and Melissa divorced in 2014, but Matt remained a proud father to his two children. Sharing a passion for computers and technology, Matt and his son bonded over a love of video games and enjoyed attending PAX-West together.

Rather suddenly, Matt passed away in December 2022 from complications due to his epilepsy. He was honored at a private service held for close family in December. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Matt’s honor to the Epilepsy Foundation: If you would like the family to be notified of your donation, please list as the recipient email address.

3 Responses to “Matthew John Pilla”

  • Tom Pilla says:

    What a beautiful tribute for one of the kindest, smartest and thoughtful people I’ve known. As my late mother would’ve said “He was one of the good guys.” Miss you much, cous.

  • Manuel says:

    I remember the times I worked with Matt and he’d usually have a smile and talk about how happy and proud he was of his kids. He even bought me my first pitcher of beer after work when I turned 21 years old. He was an amazing guy and a thoughtful person. I’m happy to have met him.

  • Richard Lanning says:

    I miss you so much brother. I’m working hard to make you proud.

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