Gauck, Matthew Thomas

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At 1:00 p.m. Sunday, May 23, 2021, Matthew Thomas Gauck (son, brother, and friend) of Pilot, passed away at the age of 22. He was taken from us entirely too soon.

Matthew was born September 25, 1998 to Dwayne Mark Gauck and Tarri (Thomas) Gauck. In addition to his parents he is survived by his older sister, Megan Elizabeth Gauck. Also mourning his loss are his grandmother, Elaine (Stahley) Gauck; uncle and aunt, Don and Deana (Gauck) Birkenheuer; cousins, Joe Birkenheuer and Nicole Birkenheuer; aunt, Tonda (Thomas) Dunlap, uncle and aunt, Mark and Tamra (Thomas) Needles; and cousin, Dana Needles. There are also many great-aunts, great-uncles, and second cousins.

Matthew was preceded in death by his uncle, Gary Dunlap; grandfathers, Jerry C. Gauck, and Norman L. Thomas; and grandmother, Nadzia (Urbanik) Thomas.

Matthew never knew a stranger. He was a very kind-hearted soul who enjoyed life to the fullest in everything he did. He graduated from Salem High School in 2016. He was a very social person and had many friends who adored him. Matthew, who was very talented mechanically, worked at Collision Plus since he was 17 years old. He was always there with a helping hand for those who knew and loved him. Some of his favorite activities were farming, hunting, and having cookouts with his Pilot pals. They were brothers to him. He loved going to the beach and the lake with his friends from Salem. He loved his gaming and weekly outings with his buddies from Blacksburg and Radford. His favorite pastimes included restoring old vehicles, archery, playing the guitar, and listening to classic rock. Matthew died while doing something he loved very much…riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle on the Blue Ridge Parkway with friends.

Visitation will be held on Friday, May 28, 2021, from 6-8 p.m. at Horne Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you share your memories of Matthew (photos if possible) and how he brightened your life by posting tributes on the funeral home’s website at

We love you Matthew, always and forever!