He may have craved anonymity but with more than 50,000 followers on social media, that was easier to accomplish in life than in death.
Countless local citizens, firefighters, and public safety personnel showed their public support and respect for Matthew Frank, a.k.a. the SLO Stringer, on March 29 during a memorial service and reception in San Luis Obispo, whether they could be there in person or not.
A packed crowd at Mountain Brook Church, heard heart-felt stories from family, friends and first responders alike. Grace Church Pastor, Ken Peet, gave a moving eulogy and sermon, with SLO Fire Chief Garret Olson thanking Frank on behalf of the entire first responder community.
A reception luncheon followed at the Madonna Inn for everyone to continue fellowship in honor of Frank, a 30-year-old native of San Luis Obispo who attended SLO High and owned the motorcycle shop, Sik Moto, in the City.
The resounding message was that Frank was a friend and supporter of all public safety agencies, loved serving SLO County citizens with his timely, breaking, and above all, accurate news reports.
Public safety agencies and Facebook followers loved him back.
Local reporters, who are sometimes at odds in practice but not in spirit, also turned out to thank his generous service and contributions to the Central Coast community.
Indeed Matt will not soon be forgotten. A SLO Stringer Memorial Fund has been set up on GoFundMe, with over $25,000 in donations already received.
Editor’s Note: Colin Jones is a PIO for Caltrans Dist. 5 which covers the Central Coast, and sometime contributor to the SLO City News.
Matt Frank, while not known to all who cared about him during his lifetime, will be remembered with honor and distinction in the media community.
His loss at such a young age leaves us wondering what else he might have accomplished given time.
As well, as leaving a hole in the community conscious, his dedication and commitment serve as a reminder to those remaining to always do their best.
Story and Photos by Colin Jones