By Rich Pollack

David Matthewman had just come back from a ceramics convention in Virginia and texted his father on the Thursday before Easter to let him know it went well.

“He ended the text by telling me ‘I love you,’” William Matthewman said, adding that he returned the message right away.  “I texted him that I loved him too.”

The next morning at 5 a.m., William Matthewman discovered two Florida Highway Patrol cars parked outside his Highland Beach home and troopers telling his wife, Diane, that David, 34, had been killed instantly in a head-on crash with a wrong-way driver.

“It was just like, he was gone,” said Matthewman, a U.S. magistrate judge in the West Palm Beach federal courthouse who along with Diane are well-known in the Highland Beach community.

12419827862?profile=RESIZE_180x180FHP troopers say that David was driving a 2013 Ford Fusion on Interstate 95 in the northbound express lane south of Palmetto Park Road just before 2:30 a.m. on March 29 when his car was struck by a southbound 2014 Hyundai Elantra going the wrong way in the northbound lane.

David along with the driver of the Hyundai were pronounced dead at the scene. A woman passenger, who William Matthewman said was a close friend of David’s who he had been seeing for a few months, was taken to the Delray Medical Center’s trauma unit in critical condition, where she later died.

The name of the woman, who William Matthewman said was wearing a seatbelt as was David, as well as the name of the driver of the other vehicle, has not been released.

David Matthewman, a 2013 graduate of Florida Atlantic University who majored in studio art and criminal justice, spent many of his years in Highland Beach and although he had an apartment in West Palm Beach, he continued to list his parents’ home as his official place of residence.

“He was here three or four times a week,” his father said.

A “water guy” whose favorite place was the ocean, David Matthewman had become friendly with the owner of a boat that had beached not far from his parents’ home and would help with repairs. He even made sure the owner had enough to eat, bringing pizza on several occasions.

A gifted artist who made a career out of selling his ceramics and shooting photos to help real estate agents market homes, David Matthewman also taught ceramics and other classes at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach.

During his time there he taught classes to military veterans and families while creating his own works that were featured in Palm Beach galleries as well as art shows.

Among his works were ceramic starfish and clamshells as well as other pieces that were designed as orchid holders.

William Matthewman says he doesn’t have much information about the woman who was with David at the time of the crash but would not be surprised if she was involved in the arts.

“Ceramics and photography were his passion,” the judge said.

A former cross-country runner at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and later a marathon and 5K race runner, David Matthewman played hockey and was also a big hockey fan who was looking forward to watching the Florida Panthers in the playoffs again this year with his father at his parents’ home.

William Matthewman said that David became an organ donor in 2019 and that his son’s organs will be used in the future.

“That’s just who David was,” he said. “He was generous in life and generous in death. We feel fortunate that he will continue to help others.”

The family will receive friends on April 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Celebration of Life service at the Gary Panoch Funeral Home, 6140 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. No formal burial will follow as David’s ashes will be placed at a later date into an environmentally friendly living reef which will be placed offshore of South Florida.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Armory Art Center, https://canvas.armoryart.org/donate.

You need to be a member of The Coastal Star to add comments!

Join The Coastal Star

Activity Feed

The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 9
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 6
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a photo
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in LANTANA
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in HIGHLAND BEACH
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted photos
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in ACROSS THE BRIDGE
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in GULF STREAM
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in SOUTH PALM BEACH
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in GULF STREAM
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in OCEAN RIDGE
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
Apr 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Apr 3
More…