Local man remembered with tractor procession - WNEM TV 5

Local man remembered with tractor procession

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Tractors involved in the procession-courtesy of Kelsey King Tractors involved in the procession-courtesy of Kelsey King
Matt Cieslinski's family and friends Matt Cieslinski's family and friends
KAWKAWLIN TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Family and friends will get a chance to say their final goodbyes to a local man who died in a tragic car accident over the weekend.

A funeral will take place Thursday morning for 22-year-old Matt Cieslinski.

Cieslinski was killed Saturday in a single-vehicle crash in Bay County's Kawkawlin Township, and Wednesday night, those who knew him best paid tribute to him in an unique way.

Many of his friends fired up their farm equipment and rolled through downtown Auburn to honor Cieslinski.

"That was definitely the most meaningful and memorable thing I've ever done in my life," said Bill Salois, one of Ceislinski's best friends. "If he was here, he'd be running that tractor right there. Words just aren't there, you know?"

Cieslinski's friends call him the next generation of farmer. He was a graduate of Bay City Western High School and was also attending Delta College. He was an avid outdoorsman.

Wednesday night's procession of tractors is something you'd likely never expect to see. But friends say honoring Cieslinski this way is just right.

"It's definitely a rough goodbye, but we know he's here with us," said Cieslinski's friend Brad Huber.

"You know, they call farming work, but to him, it wasn't work, it was love, and that's exactly what it was. You know, a piece of dirt could only mean so much to a person, but to that kid it was life, and he loved every second out here on this piece of dirt," said Salois.

"It's definitely deserved. He definitely needed it," said Huber.

His friends parked their tractors at Cieslinski's family farm.

"He put his blood, sweat and tears into this place, and I'm glad all of his friends could show up to let him go to the heavens, you know what I mean," said Salois.

His best friends surrounded his tractor and a picture of him, knowing on Wednesday night, the rumble of the diesel farm equipment could be heard from Heaven.

His funeral will take place at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church.

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