Steve Matthews, ‘The Walkin’ Man’s Friend’ dies

Steve Matthews during a live interview in December 2017 (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The community is mourning the death of a well-known business owner in Wilmington.

Family and friends have confirmed Steve Matthews, the president of Matthews Motors Wilmington has died.

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Carolina Beach Police Chief Chris Spivey confirmed Matthews died last night at a home in Carolina Beach. Police say it happened in the 200 block of Florida Avenue in Carolina Beach.

Matthews is known as “The Walkin’ Man’s Friend.” According to the Matthews Motors website, after working many years for a large franchise Steve Matthews decided to open his own dealership. In 1994 he opened Matthews Motors Clayton with 3 cars and a boat. The Matthews Motors Wilmington branch opened in 2017.

The company posted a statement on Facebook that confirmed Matthews died on Tuesday night.

“Steve was a pillar in the Clayton, Garner, Goldsboro and Wilmington communities of which he invested in 25 years of service by supporting local business,” it reads in part. “We respectfully ask that you keep the Matthews family – Dale, Tyler, and Morgan in your thoughts and prayers during this time.”

It is with deep regret that we inform the community that Steve Matthews of Matthews Motors passed away suddenly, Tuesday…

Posted by Matthews Motors Wilmington on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Another close friend wrote:

“We lost a good friend. Anyone who ever met Steve, will agree, he always followed the golden rule; Treat others as you want to be treated. Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the entire Matthews Family.”

In December of 2017, WWAY’s Hannah Patrick interviewed Matthews and his employees about their mission to empower women in the car industry with the “Grease Monkey Lady Gang.”

Detective Sgt. Scott Hettinger said they are not making the determination on cause of death. That will be up to the medical examiner.