SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Alongside friends and family, first responders gathered at the Santa Fe Rodeo Grounds to honor one of their own. It was a day of music, words, and, of course, horses to honor the life of Matthew Williams.

“He loved outdoors, he loved horses,” said Marco Roybal, Williams’ brother. “I’ve never seen anybody who loved horses more.”

“He never hesitated to help, to step up whenever there was a need. He was always there, always dependable,” added Roybal.

The long-time New Mexico firefighter died in September, years after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, which impacted his vision and ability to walk. “He came out victorious overall. They gave him a very short amount to live and he outlived that by years,” Roybal said.

Members of Los Alamos and Española fire departments, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, and New Mexico Search and Rescue all came to honor Williams.

“He was a dear friend,” said one in attendance. “Anyone who knew Matthew knew he was a true humanitarian.”

The one to always be there. “Matthew was one of those ones in a million kinds of person who always found a way to help others,” another person said.

“I think he truly loved helping people. He had a heart for other people,” said Roybal.

Continuing to inspire others today. “I think Matthew would want everybody to live life, get lost in the story of life,” Roybal said. “To enjoy life and not worry about the little things.”