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Memorial Paddle Out pays tribute to Ventura Firefighter and Ocean Rescue Team member

Memorial Paddle Out held for lifesaving firefighter

VENTURA, Calif.-A memorial paddle out took place on Saturday for a Ventura firefighter.

Friends and relatives of Matthew "Clappy" Clapsaddle paddled out at Harbor Cove Beach in Ventura.

Clapsaddle, 59, was part of the Ventura Fire Department's Ocean Rescue Team.

The firefighter-paramedic died of an unexpected cardiac emergency while in Hawaii celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife Jennifer.

 Jennifer Clapsaddle, who works for Mary Kay, took part in the paddle out, too, and said she appreciated the turnout.

"It is so amazing, I mean the fire family has been so supportive, I literally have 77 new brothers and of course my Mary Kay family, everyone here, friends, family just came out to honor Clap so, so thankful."

She said she will remember him as the most giving person and a great husband and father.

"He saved so many lives out in the field," said Jennifer Clapsaddle.

The ocean was one of his favorite places.

"You know we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary when he passed in the place he loved most which was Maui. He loved the water, loved cleaning, but most of all we loved being together riding bikes and going to the ocean."

In addition to his wife Jennifer, Clapsaddle is survived by their son Tanner and extended family.

The Ventura Fire Foundation set up a memorial fund for the family and raised money during a stair climb at the Crown Plaza in Ventura on the 21st anniversary of 9/11.

For more information visit www.venturafirefoundation.org

Article Topic Follows: Ventura County
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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