Memorial service planned Saturday for West Seattle’s Matt Durham

Tonight we have details on the memorial service planned this Saturday for 45-year-old Matt Durham, the West Seattle photojournalist, firefighter, and father of two who died last week after a three-month battle with melanoma. From Woodinville Fire and Rescue, the department where Matt worked for more than a decade:

A Memorial Service has been announced for Woodinville Firefighter Matthew Durham. Durham died on December 30 after a short battle with Melanoma Cancer related to his work as a firefighter. A public memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 8th, at 1:00 p.m. The service will be held at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond. The service will feature a fire service honor guard and Eastside Pipes and Drums. The public is welcome to attend the service and show their support to the Durham family and the Woodinville Fire & Rescue District.

Overlake is at 9900 Willows Road; here’s a map. If you are wondering about a procession, WFR spokesperson David Weed explains there will be a “static processional” at the church: “A static processional is where emergency vehicles are staged in the parking lot and the deceased and family arrive and drive past the vehicles as they arrive.”

14 Replies to "Memorial service planned Saturday for West Seattle's Matt Durham"

  • Bonnie January 3, 2011 (10:16 pm)

    I didn’t know Matt or his family but I saw him at the Y a lot. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and father.

  • Stacey January 3, 2011 (10:20 pm)

    I am so saddened to hear this. Our son has played soccer with his boys and we know the family. This was so sudden. Our hearts go out to the family.

  • coffee January 3, 2011 (11:01 pm)

    Matt was a great guy. We used to see him all the time from our shop windows as he biked by our old office spot. He was so great.

  • D Childs January 3, 2011 (11:48 pm)

    I remember Matt from high school days. It’s sad to hear this news. My thoughts and prayers for his family and friends during this tough time. DC

  • cheri k. January 4, 2011 (1:41 am)

    The news of Matts passing is devastating to me as well as a huge shock! I found out via the 11 pm news and burst into tears. I’ve known Matt and his family for a few years, first meeting him when he brought his sons into our office for their dental appointments. What a wonderful man he was and such a devoted dad and family man! We had some great conversations over the years, especially about his profession as a firefighter, since I am the daughter of a firefighter. My heart goes out to his entire family, especially Elaine, Jack, and Sam. You are in my daily thoughts and prayers! I love you and I loved Matt!
    He had to leave us way too soon, but what a legacy he left us with! God bless you all.

  • RW January 4, 2011 (1:56 am)

    I feel so bad for Matt’s family and friends.

    Melanoma is a horrible form of cancer. It’s fast and evil.

    I’m dealing with it myself and it’s no fun.

    Please, be sure to check for irregular moles and other skin growths/irregularities. And if you find one be sure to get to a dermatologist quickly. If found early, skin cancer (melanoma or other) is very treatable… And don’t think that just because you live in Seattle, or some other cloudy area you can’t get it. It’s very possible that it can happen to you. Please take time to look yourself over. Melanoma can strike in the weirdest places — under a toenail, under your hair on your scalp, even down south in your nether parts… seriously… And get to a doctor if you have even the slightest suspicion that something might not be right.

    I waited too long… I was scared witless… and now I’m dealing with it. Hopefully all will be well… don’t be like me.

    Right now I’m thankful for the incredible care I’m getting at the Swedish Cancer Institute… really good people. I’m confident I’ll be good, but I don’t want this hell to happen to anyone else… it seriously sucks.

  • dave friedman January 4, 2011 (6:14 am)

    Sorry to hear about Matt. I remember him from HS days. My heart & prayers go out to his family & friends.

    Dave F

  • L Divina fr Madison January 4, 2011 (7:49 am)

    We are sending our sincerest condolences to Mrs. Durham and all of the Durham family. Mr. Matt Durham, a Madison parent, fought his batter with incredible courage. We join the family at this very difficult time of loss, happening as it did over the holidays. Our young Jack seems to be holding up well, reminding us how stoic his father was all through this fight. We keep you all in our hearts, love from your Madison family

  • James Hoffman January 4, 2011 (8:59 pm)

    I knew Matt from the Y. I always kidded him about his dedicated routine. He would be doing exercises I didn’t know existed. I am sure he made them up. He was in a class by himself when it came to being fit. He was also in a class of his own as a human being. Matt was always ready with a smile and a conversation for anyone. We would talk about his kids, photography, politics, and just about anything while working out at the gym. Matt was a very special guy and all who knew him will miss him. We are all the beneficiaries of Matt’s life. He touched us all.

  • Barb Schaad-Lamphere January 5, 2011 (9:24 am)

    Matt’s smile and warm personality will be sorely missed at the WS Y. I remember being astonished as I saw him practice doing the splits. He was determined, he told me, to show that one could always improve if one worked at it little by little, daily. In this case he meant flexibility, but it could have been his motto for life. His presence was brief but impactful. We’ll miss you Matt.

  • Shirlee January 5, 2011 (1:55 pm)

    Thanks for honoring an amazing man, father, friend by posting this on your site. He was a friend and his family is very dear to my heart. They continue to be in mine and my family’s prayers.

  • Kimuel January 7, 2011 (12:14 am)

    I don’t live in the USA any longer I’ve moved to Australia 16 years ago, but I’ve known Matt and Elaine for about 25 years and we’ve stayed in touch all that time. Funny enough he would have made a “good Aussie bloke”. When I found out he had cancer I truly believed he could beat it. Sadly it got the better of him. I’ve seen the love and compassion they had for each other and their kids, and even though their time together was cut short they loved with the intensity and passion of a life time. He was a great guy and judging from the posts here and elsewhere he will surely be missed.

  • jane January 7, 2011 (9:08 pm)

    A life can hardly be summarized in a post on a blog, but the loss of a good husband and father won’t soon be forgotten. Matt was a valued member of his community. Our lives are richer from knowing him.

  • Matthew January 7, 2011 (11:12 pm)

    Matt was the real thing. A class act. Enjoyed many a workout with him at the family Y. His optimism and enthusiasm were contagious. We would ponder the absurdity of certain details of everyday tedium, then turn to serious political discussion, then to old jokes and stories. He would deadlift 3 plates, set the weight down, and nimbly tiptoe across the bar. I’d look at him and say, “Show off.” Maybe I’ll miss his hearty laugh most of all. You couldn’t help but join in, at which point it would escalate. Others would smile. He was a true and loyal family man and defender of worthy ideals. Matt, you didn’t do well, you did good. Damn good.

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