Dr. Matthew J. Mascari
Grief Support call to action
Pre planning call to action

Obituary of Dr. Matthew J. Mascari

Dr. Matthew J. Mascari, fondly known as Matt, of Millington, NJ, passed away peacefully on July 4, 2023 after a heroic battle with cancer. He was born on July 15, 1984, in Englewood, NJ. Matt is the son of Aviva Sanders of Wayne, NJ and the late J. Barry Mascari of Bernardsville, NJ.

Matt was raised in Hawthorne, NJ and graduated from Hawthorne High School in 2002. He was a member of the Italian Club and president of the Ski Club. Along with many of his friends, Matt worked at Best Buy.

For nearly 10 years, Matt worked at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ. His positions included charge nurse in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit, Administrative Manager, and Nurse Manager. Matt was an R.N. at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and from 2009-2019, an EMT with the Morristown Emergency Medical Service.

Matt's favorite thing about nursing was knowing he made a difference, be it aiding and restoring health, or helping a patient achieve dignity and peace as their days drew to an end. His great virtue as nurse was his ability to imagine being on "the other side of the desk" as a family member. Matt's guiding principle was to understand situations before making decisions, and "treating both patient and family with kindness, compassion, and love."

Matt's unconventional road to his career as a nurse began in 2003, when he managed the staff and budget for his college radio station, WGMU, at George Mason University. He went on to succeed in sales at French Connection, as a member services and benefits manager at the American Society for Training and Development. When Matt returned to New Jersey, he managed Professional Development at Kean University, where he eventually became an accreditation specialist. Along the way, Matt worked at Forbes, Inc. as an Audience Development Manager.

Friends knew Matt as a foodie and espresso connoisseur, and he indulged this love with travel, often remarking that his favorite trip was to Costa Rica. To the surprise of friends who knew Matt as a city person, another grand adventure was moving to the country, and raising dogs, cats, bees, quail, chickens, and ducks with his husband and long-time partner Michael Sapio, Jr.

Beside bee-keeping, Matt's hobbies included scuba diving and staying active through cycling and yoga. He was a fluent speaker of Italian. Matt had incredible gifts as a compassionate care worker, and was recognized professionally many times for these qualities, including: The Caruso Family Award from the Rutgers University Alumnae; both The President's Award for Heroic Care and the Clinical Excellence Award from Overlook Medical Center; he also found acclaim as the recipient of the Nurse.com Rising Star nomination; and a Gold Award from Morristown Medical Center. In April 2017, Matt received the international Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses, which praised his skill, compassion, kindness, and knowledge in a stressful nursing environment.

Dr. Mascari earned his doctoral degree from The Rutgers School of Nursing in 2023. Other degrees include a Bachelor's in Corporate Communications from George Mason University (2005) and an MBA in Global Management from Kean University (2008). On his journey to the medical field, Matt received an Associate Degree in Nursing from the County College of Morris (2012), where he was selected class speaker.

A Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is a practicing degree, and as both healthcare professional and patient, Matt continued to advise, train, and strengthen nursing practice for all he encountered when he himself became an acute care patient. He emphasized communication with patients and family, and compassionate administration of critical care. He advocated for plans tailored to patient needs. With his trademark eyebrow raise, he would elicit thoughtful responses, smiles, and thanks from all caregivers. His sense of humor and wide-ranging taste in films were a gift in a medical field that, while at turns hectic and quiet, was always rewarding.

Matt was preceded in death by his father, J. Barry Mascari of Bernardsville, NJ; grandparents Joseph and Doris Mascari of Madeira Beach, Fl; Freyda Sanders (grandmother) of Boston, MA; Gabe Sanders (grandfather) of Fort Lee, NJ.

Matt is survived by his loving husband, Michael J. Sapio, Jr.; his mother, Aviva Sanders of Wayne, NJ; his sister, Janine Mascari (Joseph Natale) of Yardley, PA.; in-laws Michael Sapio Sr. and Lisa (Weisgerber) Sapio of Madison, NJ; brother-in-Law Thomas J. Sapio of Madison, NJ; sisters-in-law Kaleigh (Sapio) Twigg and Stephen of Madison, NJ and Brenna (Sapio) Hiley and Ryan of Chatham, NJ; nieces Avery Natale, Oliva Twigg, and Isabella Hiley; Jane Webber (step-mother) of Bernardsville, NJ; step-brother Chris Runte (Ami Iommazzo) of Denville, NJ; and step-sister Julia Runte of Venice, Italy.

The family is planning a celebration of Dr. Matt's life on July 15, 2023. For details, please email whitebridgefarmnj@gmail.com

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Matthew J. Mascari's memory to the Integrative Medicine program at the Overlook Foundation online at www.overlookfoundation.org (designated for Integrative Medicine) or by phone at 908-522-2840.

Grief Support call to action
Pre planning call to action
Share Your Memory of
Dr. Matthew J.