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Matthew Lee “Matt” Bartz, age 56 of Menomonie, died unexpectedly Friday, February 15, 2013 at the Mayo Clinic Health System-Menomonie.

Matt was born on August 30, 1956 in Menomonie. He was the son of Leland and Ruby (Larson) Bartz. He grew up on the family farm in Downing, attended and graduated from Glenwood City High School in 1975. Matt then went to UW-River Falls and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ag Business. He then went to work for Farm Credit Services, serving the Menomonie and Durand farming community as a Dairy Specialist. Matt married Leanne Warner on September 29, 1990 at the family cabin in the north woods. To this union, Matt and Leanne were blessed with two children, Lindsay and Cole. They raised their family in Menomonie, where Matt continued to work as a dairy specialist.

Matt enjoyed every aspect of the outdoors; just breathing in the air and smells was such a joy to him. He had a passion for bow hunting, fishing, 4-wheeling, spending time on the Brule River and going to Canada with family and friends. Matt also liked to go biking and cross country skiing, especially racing in 19 American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Races. Matt loved chocolate milk, ice cream and M&Ms. Most of all, Matt loved to spend time with his children; going to school events, vacations and spending time at the family cabin.

Matt is survived by his wife of 22 years, Leanne; two children, Lindsay and Cole; his mom, Ruby Bartz of Downing; two sisters: Martha Bartz of Soldiers Grove and Marie (Kevin) Ritscher of Nelson; three brothers: Mark (Renee) and Paul (Barb), both of Downing and Mike (Sandy) of Woodbury, MN; mother-in-law Shirley Warner-Buhr of Clear Lake; five brothers-in-law: Greg (Jolee) Warner, Geoff Warner, Mark (Debbie) Warner, Paul (Betty Jo) Warner and Charlie Warner; sisters-in-law: Denise Voeltz, Cindy (Kevin) Anderson and Sherry (Dale) Wirth; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his father, Leland; father-in-law, David Warner; and brother-in-law, Marvin Voeltz.

A Celebration of Matt’s Life was held on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 from 4-8 p.m. at the Rhiel Funeral Home in Menomonie.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Menomonie, is serving the family.

Condolences may be made online at