Matthew Ian Gillette, 39, of Alexandria, VA, passed away at his home on October 19th, 2021. Even though a failing heart took him away from this world, his loving heart left a beacon of light for all in the community he loved so well.
Matthew was born on June 20th, 1982, son of Rodney and Diane Gillette in Manassas, VA. Matthew studied at Longwood University. Matthew was also an ordained minister and community curator.
Matthew is survived by his wife, Abby and beautiful baby girl, Elizabeth. He is also survived by his mother, Diane Gillette, sister, Cheryl & (Micheal Thompson) of Manassas, VA, brother Brian & (Christine Gillette). Matthew is survived by 5 nieces and nephews: Ashley Thompson, Abigail Gillette, Samantha Gillette, Austin Thompson, and Robert Gillette. He was preceded in death by his father, Rodney Gillette.
Matthew was known for his walks around his beloved Lynhaven Community, so much so, neighbors didn’t need a watch; they could tell what time it was by his walks. Matthew had a passion for living out the love of Jesus in the community and serving alongside the beautiful family and staff at Casa Chirilagua. Prior to this, Matthew faithfully served as the Missions and Small Group Pastor at Potomac Yard National Community Church. Matthew also served with the Del Ray Business Association and was involved in many of the community events throughout the years. Matthew was a regional connector with the Parish Community family and V3 movement. Additionally, Matthew was the co-chair of Hunger Free Alexandria and the executive director of Restore Alexandria.
Matthew was not only an loving husband of 14 years to Abby, but an amazing father to his daughter Elizabeth, or Baby E, as she is fondly known throughout Alexandria and beyond. Matthew was so proud of her and loved to introduce her to all the neighbors he met. While Baby E will not get to see him again on this side of eternity, Matthew’s legacy will live on through her and Abby forever more.
Those who knew Matthew knew that his motto was to “Sow Seeds Every Day”. Matthew’s life demonstrated this everyday through discipleship/mentorship of others, being a listener, caring for others, and by modeling leadership and humility. Matthew loved his community so much, that he served on Cora Kelly’s PTA, before he had any children of his own. He loved giving neighborhood walks and telling others about the history of the neighborhood and Alexandria.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, October 28th from 12:00-2:30 at Cunningham Turch Funeral Home in Alexandria, VA and a Celebration of Life will be held on November 6th at 3 pm at First Baptist Alexandria. Both events are open to family and friends.