Corporal Matthew McCully; Funeral information
At 1100 on Thursday May 31st, the final service for Cpl McCully will
take place at Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church located at 6 John St, off
Broadway in Orangeville Ontario.
Kyle Powell (centre) walks solemly from the church following his
Powell was with Orangeville's Cpl. Matthew McCully when he died in
Afghanistan last week.
About 1000 people attended a funeral service for the "polite, courteous,
respectful and loving" Corporal Matthew J. McCully of Canadian Forces' 2
Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 11:00 am at
Tweedsmuir Memorial Presbyterian Church. , 6 John St, Orangeville.
Speakers were set up outside the church so an overflow crowd in a legion
parking lot across the road could hear the service.
Matthew died while serving his country in Afghanistan, on Friday, May
25, 2007 in his 26th year. To his family - mother and dad Valerie
McGrady and Ron McCully, step-dad Neal Weise, sister and brother Shannon
and Daniel, little nephew Joshua, step brothers Joseph, Bailey and
Jordan, and grandparents John Perozick and the late Robert and Karen
McCully, he was remembered as the outdoorsy, red-haired boy. He loved
fishing, hiking and camping.
Eight members of McCully's squadron carried his casket into the church,
escorted by Cpl. Kyle Powell, who was in the field with McCully when his
life was taken and brought his remains home.
To his fellow soldiers, he was remembered as responsible and dutiful.
These family groups: both friends and relatives, and military family in
Matthew McCully’s life came together yesterday for the funeral of the
communications specialist who died in Afghanistan last Friday. He was
killed when a landmine exploded.
Those in attendance, both inside and outside the church, heard stories
of how McCully would spend hours making sure his combat uniform was just
right for inspection and how, as a child, he was eager to share the
knowledge he learned as a member of the Scouts.
“He was one of those kids you just trusted,” his aunt Brenda Freer said
in the eulogy.
"He was a fun-loving young man, who had a little smirk and a twinkle in
his eye.... Matthew joined Boy Scouts and he would try to teach his
siblings and cousins what he had learned about surviving in the
wilderness. He was a natural teacher -- extremely patient for his years.
When I found out he was training soldiers in the Afghan army, I knew
he'd be awesome at it.
Matthew was trilingual. He spoke English, a little French and army," she
said. "On behalf of our family, I want you soldiers to know we will
continue to think of you, support you and pray for you."
"It was a long journey from Orangeville to Afghanistan for Cpl. Matthew
McCully, and it was a long journey back home" Mjr. Doug Friesen said
during yesterday's funeral service for the fallen soldier. "Along the
way, Cpl. Matthew McCully had some amazing adventures. He saw some very
interesting places and he made some wonderful friends," commented the
chaplain from CFB Petawawa, where McCully was based. "Matthew spent part
of his precious life walking with the people of Afghanistan on their
long journey to a better life."
As stories of McCully's life were shared, many in the pews sniffled and
tried to hold back tears -- wiping them away in virtual silence. "We
come together today as one; one community, one family, one nation in
mourning," commented Rev. Harvey Self, who officiated the service with
Friesen. "We come to honour one of our own, here in Matthew's home town
of Orangeville. To honour a brother in arms, a son, brother and nephew."
“He had the ability to bring out the best as a soldier and a friend,”
said Corporal Sandy Gauthier, from the Second Canadian Mechanized
Brigade Group in Petawawa, who also eulogized McCully. He told of how
McCully would take car keys away from friends who were going out for a
night of drinking and carousing. And always made sure his uniform was
neat and presentable, Gauthier said.
"Matthew gave this country the ultimate sacrifice anybody could give....
What Matt was doing was what he believed was best for his country and
family," Cpl. Gauthier said in his eulogy. Gauthier served with McCully
and was a close friend outside of their duties. "He was a brother to all
of us. There are two types of people in the military; those who need the
military and those who the military needs. Matt was what the Canadian
Forces needed," Gauthier said. "He will be missed and never forgotten.
Welcome home brother."
No further information available at this time