Matthew William Burwell passed away April 6, 2021. A warm person to those fortunate enough to become close, his loss leaves a void to be filled only by memories of his smile and distinct red hair (strawberry blonde, according to him).

Matt, born June 5th, 1990 at Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna, had hardly begun his life, but touched the hearts of many in such a brief time. His passion for competition stretched from bowling to golf to online video gaming and, above all, baseball. A lefty pitcher in the truest sense, Matt peddled his craft from mounds in his lifelong home of Humboldt County to the chilling plains of the Midwest over the course of nearly 20 years, building lasting relationships along the way. Not known for an overpowering arsenal, he relied upon a steely resolve to manufacture success, with a fastball that would touch 70 MPH on a warm day and a signature looping curveball that drew the ire of many batters. A consummate teammate, his wry sense of humor, willingness and loyalty proved an asset to any roster he graced.

Our mother would describe him as sensitive, his friends would call him lovable, while I will forever remember him as ironically cantankerous and joyful at his core. Certainly, he was a delicate balance of all those things. Always eager to fetch a laugh from those around him, Matt was often comically coarse in demeanor and dialogue, willing to deliver or be the punchline to any joke. Quick to the defense of himself and those he loved, it was a privilege to be one of those with which he shared such exchanges, an all the more stark reality now that he is gone. He was simply a great guy to have around at any and all times.

The outpouring of support following word of his passing validates the resonance of his personality. For those closest, it is impossible to imagine a world without him, a task we must all refigure daily. Matty was part of all my plans, my dear baby brother, my Best Man to be. I want his friends to think of his face whenever they read of a hole-in-one, when they hear the crash of bowling pins or when they see the trajectory of a slow-breaking curveball, as those are the moments in which he would most want to be remembered, not for the trivialities of his sporting accomplishments but for the bonds he shared with those attached to them. For his family, we will think of him every moment and see him whenever we look at each other or in the mirror, as he is in all of us in varying ways, and we will do so proudly.

Matt is survived by his loving mother, Christine, his father, Dave, his three brothers, Erik, Ian and Tim, and his twin sister, Megan, his nephew David, his niece Meadow (the true light of his life), his grandmother Doreen, his aunts, Julie and Sharon, Rhoda and Allison, and his uncle, Phil, as well as many cousins and second cousins.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Matt Burwell’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.