Matthew R. Barrett
Matthew R. Barrett aka Giant died September 2nd, 2014 in Seattle, WA. He was 49 at the time of his death. He was born and raised in Colorado. He battled several forms of cancer since the age of 2, survived over 1700 operations which disfigured his facial features, and left him heavily scarred both physically and emotionally. Yet through it all he kept going and had a tender spirit and heart for others. He loved music both performing vocally and instrumentally, enjoyed playing and watching sports, and was an accomplished writer and advocate for homeless, poverty and disability issues.
In his youth he won many awards for his incredible singing abilities as well as in sports. He earned his nickname Giant not only due to his physical stature (6' 4") and presence and strength, but because of his heart and giving and generous nature. During his adult years Matt won praise from Presidents, Congress members and other public figures for his writings, including a published book of poetry, and advocacy for homeless, poverty and disability issues. Matt was himself homeless for several years in his adult life but overcame those challenges in his final years. While living in Seattle Tent City III, he was the subject of a book called Walking with Giant, A Photo Essay/A View from the Street.
Matt's writings can be read on his blog: aviewfromthestreet.com
. In 2013 he received a Mayoral proclamation making May 25th Matt Barrett day in Seattle. In place of flowers or a memorial service he asked that people donate to one of these three great causes: invisibledisabilities.org
, and thewatershedcenter.org
. His ashes will be planted in a tree at the Watershed Center in New York State by his dear friend Brooke. He is survived by and will be missed by a vast network of loving friends and family.