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R.I.P. Matt Funderburk of Lydia and Bears of Manitou

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The local music community has lost a valued member.

Matt "Fundy" Funderburk was known for his talents in a number of local bands including Lydia, Bears of Manitou, and Joey Arroyo Band, but most of all, he's remembered as a good friend. Bears of Manitou's Facebook page refers to him as "the definition of a bear hug," and a person who frequently went out of his way to help others.

See also:

Take Cover: Bears of Manitou Cover Damien Rice Bears of Manitou Launch Call-In Hotline

Funderburk went to sleep on Wednesday, December 26, and did not wake up the following morning. The official cause of death is unknown, but his last moments were spent with family. He had no known health issues, according to bandmates.

"He had so many friends out here in Phoenix," says Gabe Williams of Bears of Manitou, "He's got the biggest heart. He would always do whatever he could to help somebody out if they needed help, regardless of what it took of him. You would often find him making 10 stops per day all around the valley to keep in touch with people that he loved and people that loved him. He was the light that entered the room."

Funderburk appeared in a number of local bands, but spent the last few months focusing more on teaching than music. I first met Funderburk during Bears of Manitou's Take Cover session and remember him as a friendly musician who was great at solving Rubik's cubes. He hung out during Bad Lucy's session as well and kept us laughing.

Most of us can relate to this sentiment from Gabe Williams:

"There's so many people in the city and in the entire world that loved him. The guy made friends everywhere he went and he's going to leave a big hole in a lot of people's hearts."

Memorial services in Phoenix and Taylor, Arizona are still being planned, stay tuned for more details.


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