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Matthew Henry Struckmeyer

Matthew Henry Struckmeyer

September 8th, 1969 - February 25th, 2024

Biography


On the morning of February 25, 2024, Matthew Henry Struckmeyer tragically passed away after a medical emergency swimming in Santa Barbara, CA surrounded by friends and loved ones. Matt is survived by his father, Frederick, brother, Eric, daughter, Anna, and sons, Henry and Conrad. His mother, Lee Struckmeyer, MD, and brother Seth, predeceased him.


 Born on September 8, 1969, Matt attended West Chester Friends School and graduated from Westtown School in 1987. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College (1991) and master’s degrees from George Mason (1995) and Harvard (2001) Universities. He was grateful for the institutions and mentors who shaped him, leading him to pay it forward throughout his life.


His role as an educator was a true vocation for Matt, sharing his love of learning with thousands of students and inspiring them to think critically, question the status quo, and cultivate curiosity. In over three decades as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, wilderness trip leader, and college counselor his dedication to young people, as well as his passion for individual and institutional growth was evident in his words and deeds. Matt led with kindness and humor and was deeply invested in those around him. An engaging English teacher, he was a lover of words and big ideas and enjoyed intellectual banter about any range of topics.


An accomplished athlete, Matt was a standout wrestler in high school and college. He was an exceptional swimmer, competing in college and in Masters Swimming in adulthood. He was at peace when he was in the water or on his bike. Matt loved to share these passions, as well as his enjoyment of the natural world with students, family, and friends.


Matt was a loving father, husband, brother, son, and friend whose memory will live on in those who were lucky to be touched by his grace and spark.


A Graveside service will be held on March 16 at Grove United Methodist Church at 11 am followed by a reception at Downingtown Victory Brewing starting at 12:30 pm. All are welcome. 


In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift in Matt's memory to Westtown School (c/o Office of Advancement, 975 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-399-7858) Gifts will be designated to Westtown’s wrestling program.

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Family

About

Name Matthew Henry Struckmeyer
Date of Birth September 8th, 1969
Date of Death February 25th, 2024
Home Town West Chester, PA, US 
Other City Santa Barbara, CA, US 
Interests Swimming, Cycling, Bikepacking, Backpacking
In Memoriam Donation St. Marks Preschool (Cash/Check accepted)
In Memoriam Donation Santa Barbara Rescue Mission
Milestone

Milestones

1983 - 1987 Westtown School, High School
1987 - 1991 Franklin & Marshall College, BA
1992 - 1995 George Mason University, MA
2000 - 2001 Harvard University, EdM

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Sam published a tribute .

What an adventure life has been with you, friend. Until we see each other again

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Karen Waite published a comment .

I am the mother of two of daughters who were lucky enough to have Matt as a teacher, counselor and mentor at Dunn School in Los Olivos, CA. He was an integral part of their high school experience. He was also a friend. I will always be thankful for the example he set as an upstanding individual witnessed by my daughters Natalie and Madeleine. My thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family and group of friends, and especially to his children who made him so dang happy! He was a great guy!

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Bede Bidlack published a tribute .

I was a wrestling teammate and fraternity brother with Steggie (what we called him, short for stegosaurus). Everything written in this tribute was true at F&M as well. All of his brothers are shocked at the loss. With prayers.

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Joanna Tang published a tribute .

Matt was such an inspirational and kind person. I loved seeing him at swim practice with that big grin on his face, ready to tackle any set or challenge and have a fun while doing it! He was such a supportive friend and such a joyous, exciting, thoughtful, and comforting person to have in your life.

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Tara From Laguna Blanca published a tribute .

Matt with colleague Jessica Tyler at our school's Picnic on the Green. Both Henry and Grayson were Children's Hospital graduates.

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Tara From Laguna Blanca published a tribute .

Spent his Saturday working w/students to plant the garden.

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Tara From Laguna Blanca published a tribute .

Matt was so excited to get a FARM program going for our students.

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Tara From Laguna Blanca published a tribute .

Headshot for his college counseling column in our school magazine.

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Tara From Laguna Blanca published a tribute .

Matt held a wealth of information and college counseling expertise. I loved his writing style. It came effortlessly to him.

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Chelsea Jones published a tribute .

What a joy to have known you.

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Whitney Bruice published a tribute .

I loved Matt's passion for life. We got to know each other through Tri Club rides and events- the time he hosted the potluck at his house really stands out to me. He showed me the new raised planter beds he'd made, and the strawberries he was excited were getting ripe.
I got to see him in action with his students one summer when we collaborated as counselors, bringing his students to UCSB where I work so they could see what college life is like. He had a natural ability to connect, and he was curious about everything.
When he and Amy became a family, I was so happy they'd found each other and we got to see him be a loving dad. It seems so unfair that he is gone too early. I am taking to heart the words spoken at the memorial at the beach. He was an example of how we can BE to make the world a better place.

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Jill Lin published a tribute .

Matt never missed an opportunity to capture a moment. This was one of my favorite. New to SB and I snagged last minute spot on the Reef and Run Boat Swim. Thankfully my Masters swimming lane mates, Gabe and Matt, were also on board and Matt asked someone on the upper deck to take our picture before we were dropped off a mile off shore to race back to the beach. It was a memory I will never forget.

I always felt an extra sense of peace and calm when Matt was involved in any adventure. One time I signed up for the Night Moves 2k swim and Matt and I were the only ones who attempted it. The entire time I swam I kept thinking how grateful I was for Matt being there to show me the ropes because I was terrified to do it alone.

Matt was a connector. He was the glue that kept our team together. I hope we can all embrace and carry on the legacy of Matt through warm welcomes, endless encouragement, words of wisdom, a seize the day mentality, and genuine care for everyone and everything. You are missed Matt!

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Robin Selzler published a tribute .

I’m a teacher in the English department at Dos Pueblos and when Matt came in to teach English 11 I was moving out of that space and we connected around sharing curriculum. One day in October I bumped into him in the copy room and he asked me how my year was going. I told him it was going really well, and that I was super grateful because I really needed a good year. The last couple have been pretty rough, and when I said it, I started crying. Matt looked at me with such attention and kindness, and with his head cocked to the side said, “You really have to find the joy.” We chatted a bit more about what that meant for each of us, then smiled and went our separate ways with our stacks of paper. We didn’t interact a whole lot outside of department meetings, but every interaction I had with him carried that same flavor of kind attentiveness and joy. That’s his legacy for me.

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William Harryman published a tribute .

The first day I ever decided to swim in the ocean with the swim wild group, I was running late and the group already took off. I found Matt on the beach and he invited me to jump in with him and catch up. We both have young kids and joked about how it’s hard to arrive on time. Such a welcoming cool guy. He will definitely be missed.

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Phoebe S published a tribute .

Mr. Struckmeyer asked me to be the student leader for the Los Padres club my Sophomore year, and together we organized two backpacking/trail work trips. I will always think of our conversations while hiking for miles on end — he viewed the endless hills as a challenge, not a chore. These trips were the best thing I did in high school, and I owe that experience entirely to Struck and his love of his students and adventure.

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Henry S published a tribute .

A highlight of my time with Mr. Struckmeyer was his vast knowledge of everything and anything. As a student in his class, he always had the answer to almost any questions we had. Rest in peace.

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Brendan Wood published a tribute .

I had the honor of crossing paths with Matt on the faculty at Dunn almost 20 years ago. He was a genuine joy to be around and he possessed a wonderful spirit and a true love of learning and life. I really looked up to him both personally and professionally. Wishing his family, friends, and former students all of my very best.

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Amy Steward published a comment .

Oceanside.

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Sam published a tribute .

The best trip of my life. With all our friends and family.

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Cmac published a comment .

Wonderful Sam, thank you.

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Sam published a tribute .

June Lake 2018. The 8 hour drive and our conversations about finance, politics and aliens : )

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Waterfront Celebration of Life

March 3rd, 2024 at 10:00am
East Beach
Santa Barbara, CA
Event Details & RSVP

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