|Birth: ||Oct. 9, 1958|
|Death: ||May 23, 1985|
Matthew Mark Luke was born in North Bend, on October 9, 1958; the first of four children to N. Richard and Wilma (McGowne) Luke. Matt spent the first 11 years of his childhood at the family's rural home ‘up Lillian Slough', along the Coos River. He was a helpful son and took on many family chores as the oldest child.
In 1969, the family moved to Reedsport where Matt would begin 6th grade. Matt quickly made friends with all the new ‘in town' neighbors, one who remained his closest friend for life. Matt was a kind of renaissance kid… he had a wide variety of hobbies and interests; sports, bikes, all things mechanical, automotive tinkering, music, drama, rattlesnake hunting, backyard carnival planning… and was always coming up with the next Great Scheme. His primary passion however, was flight. Matt built and flew numerous model aircraft, spending countless hours at his work-desk above the garage on wing repairs and engine adjustments.
Matt graduated from Reedsport High School in 1976 and attended Southwestern Oregon Comm. College the following year. He joined the musical group The Southwesters, as a bass guitar player and vocalist. A beautiful pianist and soprano, named Ann Warner, caught his eye and they were married on July 11, 1981 in North Bend. Matthew graduated from Oregon State University in 1982 with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Structural Engineering. From there, he joined the US Air Force, and was accepted into Officer's Candidate School, where he earned his 2nd Lieutenant commission at Lackland AFB in Texas. Lt. Luke was stationed at Vandenburg AFB, Lompoc, CA, where he was a civil engineer.
In 1985, Matt realized his life-long dream and earned his private airplane pilots license. In May, he and Ann left Lompoc in single-engine Cessna, en route to North Bend, to visit family, then on to Seattle to become the godparents of his new nephew. Bad weather met them and they were forced to set-down and spend the night in northern California. The next morning, Thursday, May 23, 1985, they were cleared for take-off, but never made it home. A search for them ended in additional tragedy when a search plane went down with three people on board; there were no survivors. In June of 1986, the USAF declared Matt and Ann legally deceased and released their belongings to the family. Four years later, in April of 1990, the wreckage of the plane was discovered near Remote, Oregon.
The remains of Matt and his beloved wife, Ann were interred together at Willamette National Cemetery. Matthew was survived by his parents, N. Richard & Wilma Luke, of Reedsport, grandparents Norm & Dot Luke, of North Bend, and Bud & Eula McGowne, of Coos Bay, his two sisters, his brother and a nephew.
Norman Richard Luke (1935 - 1992)
Wilma Dean McGowne Luke (1937 - 1995)
Ann Marie Warner Luke (1957 - 1985)
Note: Headstone date of death is reflective of official USAF declaration.
Willamette National Cemetery
Plot: E, 69
Maintained by: DeAnna
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Mar 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 3910206
Jim & I will never forget Ann & Mathew. They were our neighbors on Vandenberg AFB. Rest in peace.|
Added: Apr. 10, 2017