This is a day about honouring who Matt was as a person. At his core, Matt was a helper and a loyal friend. He used his "project" skills and his core values around friendship to carry himself through good times and difficult times throughout various periods of his life. He was consistent and persistent in his collection of friends and of projects.
To honour him, we will gather at Cherished Memories funeral home and then at his house. His home is indeed a project. We will have an opportunity to take up a small task to show our gratitude and appreciation for who Matt was. He continues to live on through all the ways he touched our lives.
We are not trying to renovate his house on this day, it's more like a “ceremonial gesture.”...although it must be said that he did collect friends familiar with renovations.
Matthew was an outdoors person: biking, hiking, hunting, skiing, and snowmobiling. He loved helping people and in his eyes building something with friends was a sport and a passion.
He loved to be out in nature. From a young age Matt skied. His early years included time spent at Caledon Ski Club at his grandfather’s ski chalet. He loved to ski and became a ski instructor.
Bikes. So many bikes, so many bike adventures, bike builds, bike advice and bike stories. Matt loved biking. He became a bike mechanic in his teen years and he carried his love for biking throughout his life.
Matt was an avid hiker and hunter. He enjoyed the camaraderie of his fellow hunters and friends, the camps, the food and the stories.
Matthew’s grandfather, Burny played a very large part in Matt’s early life. He learned patience from him, the love of the challenges in building, the repurposing of old things and creating. Matthew’s renovations and his talent for “helping” his friends with renos are legendary. One step at a time and Matt would fix the problem.
Matt arrived in the Elk Valley he embarked on an electrical career with TECK Resources. A natural at conversing with “old timers” he soon became a favourite of the electrical crews. A Burny gene.
When Matt was your friend, he was your “team”. If you needed him, he was there with tools, advice, muscle and resources.
Formality was not Matt’s thing, so we will celebrate Matthew, his life and legacy, as he lived with his friends and family. It is difficult to describe the forthcoming event as a ceremony, but it is. The first part at the funeral home will be mostly made up of friends describing tiny little idiosyncrasies that help to describe Matthew. The second part will take place right after at Matt’s house.
BBQ will be provided. Bring chairs and coolers and wear jeans, plaid shirts and work gloves. Perhaps siding needs to be consolidated, bushes may need trimming and the grounds need a touch up.
In lieu of flowers a letter to all levels of government requesting that the East Kootenays have financial assistance to access the Alberta Health Care to prevent this kind of ceremony.