Matthew James Murdock was a fun-loving, outgoing, cherished and much loved son, brother, uncle and friend. He suddenly and heartbreakingly left us on Monday, May 7, 2018 in Frisco, Texas at the age of 39.
He has left behind brothers and sisters Melissa, Annie, Megan, Katie, Kizzi, Christian, Scott Shurtliff and Dane Shurtliff; Father Bill Murdock, "Dad & Mom" David and Bonnie Shurtliff, and his precious mini-Italian greyhound "daughter" Izzy. He is preceded in death by his best friend and mother Wendy Dean Murdock Shurtliff. He also leaves behind dozens of incredibly wonderful aunts, uncles, cousins and his maternal grandmother Kenna Dean.
He was born in Ogden, Utah to Bill and Wendy on April 2, 1979. As his mother's first boy, they had a very special bond. He knew how to make her and everyone around him laugh and had a way of lightening the mood whenever things felt heavy.
As a boy growing up in Fruit Heights, he loved all sports and says he could've played any one of them because he excelled at any sport he was given the chance to learn. His favorites were baseball and soccer. He even joined in to sing and perform with his family and had the sweetest little voice that grew deeper through the years. He taught himself to play the guitar and was infatuated with Led Zeppelin and all of their songs. His family loved hearing him perfect and perform his guitar solos (along with some beautiful originals) throughout the years.
He was impeccable at gaining and keeping friends and it seemed he'd always run into another "best friend" wherever he was. He was the life of the party and often would make up fun ways to unite people (at one point, he somehow managed to get everyone he came in contact with to pose and growl like a dragon for pictures).
He considered himself to be the "greatest salesman" and always knew how to listen for the needs and wants of others. He knew how to get them what they needed and he took pride in doing it with style. Apart from that, he was a serial entrepreneur, always looking to the next thing he could learn and perfect. He found the most success and passion with his gold and diamond buying business where he even taught himself how to create beautiful mountings, etc for his clients.
As time went on and even while he was at his worst, he wasn't afraid to reach out to the people he loved and would often share his love for them. He made a point to bring up happy memories from the past and thanked them for being there for him. He wasn't afraid to personally call anyone even as technology made calls less and less common.
While burdened by significant emotional pain, he would often find solace in nature and with animals. When he witnessed unusual sightings of animals and beautiful scenic moments in nature, he'd take that as a sign that his dearly missed mother was close by.
In the end, after those closest to him tried to show whatever love and support they believed he needed, his life and his story was ultimately in his own hands and he chose the way it would end. He often expressed his desire to be with his mom again and, now, the only way we can honor his wishes is by burying him next to her under a stone with their names and the lyrics to the song she wrote for him (after his 3 year old self ran in from the cold, crawled into her arms and begged her to "snuggle me waa'm, Mommy").
May you rest in the light and love of your mother, sweet Matt. We hope you are now free from the earthly burdens you carried. We miss you fiercely and will take your place in doing what you expressed as one of your last wishes saying, "I just want to be able to help people".
A celebration of Matt's life will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking on the north side of the building.