Cover photo for Matthew Christopher Zafiratos's Obituary
Matthew Christopher Zafiratos Profile Photo
1966 Matthew 2023

Matthew Christopher Zafiratos

November 30, 1966 — May 24, 2023

Matthew C. Zafiratos, 55, of Boulder, Colorado died peacefully at home with his wife and son on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. In the days, weeks and months before his death he was enveloped in immeasurable love from his dear friends and family. Matt was born on June 26, 1967, to Joellen Kay McKimens and Christopher Dan Zafiratos in Corvallis, Oregon. The Zafiratos family, including older sisters Julie, Diana and Allison were overjoyed to welcome a son to the family. When Matt’s father took a position on the University of Colorado faculty in 1968 the family moved to Boulder where Matt lived for the remainder of his life. His happiest childhood memories were of family road trips to California to spend time with his Grandparents Mac and Connie, Aunt Lenore, Uncle Marvin and cousins Ruth, Trena, Ron and Gary. He found magic in the beaches and dunes, comfort in the smell of his Papa’s pipe, wonder in Marvin’s birds and thrill in climbing his cousins’ huge avocado tree. Matt met and began dating his wife, Kendra L. Zafiratos (Murray), in 1996. The two shared a deep love of gardening, music, and the mountains in their hometown of Boulder and, more than anything, simply enjoyed being with one another. They were married on October 2, 2004, on Kauai, Hawaii, the “Garden Island,” and welcomed their son, Ian James Zafiratos, to the world on October 4, 2010. Matt’s working life was spent mostly at the University of Colorado where he served on the grounds crew and as a faculty assistant in the Wolf Law Library. At heart, he was a creative soul, a voracious and curious learner, a big picture thinker and a dedicated father, husband, brother, and friend. Matt most valued the accomplishments that stemmed from his creativity. He was a self-taught and gifted guitarist and singer/songwriter, landscape and garden designer, craftsman, artist and even a baker. He found deep meaning and purpose in creating beauty in the world that could be shared with others—whether a song strummed on his guitar, a stone wall accenting a well-planned garden, a perfectly painted room, a free hand mural on his son’s wall or an apple pie to share with friends. He took the work of his heart seriously, approaching projects with significant forethought, never taking the easy route at the risk of quality. He was a knowledge seeker from a young age. He was known for his intellect and, while he had a mind for trivia, he took a serious interest in historical and current events, scientific advances, and civics. He was particularly invested in doing what he could do to slow climate change, creating habitat for bees, butterflies and birds and fostering a sense of ecological responsibility within his family. His integrity and ability to view the big picture often led him to make personal sacrifices for the greater good. Matt lovingly tended to his relationships as he did his gardens—with deep thought, care, commitment and hard work. He was an extraordinary judge of character and surrounded himself with exceptional people. He treasured connecting with others in a real and meaningful way yet was at ease with silence and solitude. As a husband and father, Matt was loving, committed, and fully present. His family was never left to wonder how deeply he loved them. He and Kendra did everything as a team, complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses through highs and lows. He imbued his passion for music, as well as his musical talent and intellect, in Ian, leaving a very special legacy. While he may not have spent as much time as he would have liked with friends, old and new alike, he felt exceedingly fortunate and grateful to have formed deep and long-lasting friendships throughout his life and to be part of the Boulder and CU communities. Matt was preceded in death by his mother in 1995, his father in 2004 and his sister Diana in 2019. He is survived by his wife and son, sisters Julie Zafiratos and Allison Zafiratos, nephew Lars Filson, niece Caitlin Patten and mother-in-law Vicki Anderson. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m., with reception to follow, at St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church, 4775 Cambridge St., Boulder, CO 80301. In lieu of flowers, Matt requested contributions be made in his name to either The ALS Association ( or Union of Concerned Scientists (
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, June 30, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church

4775 Cambridge Street, Boulder, CO 80301

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