Antelope Valley activist Matthew Wheeler, 38, passed away while volunteering in Atlanta, Ga., early on December 18,2020. He passed away peacefully in his sleep from complications due to kidney failure.
Born in Pomona, California, Matthew was a son to Darice and David Wheeler, a brother to Jimmy, Nathan, and Charlie Wheeler, and a dear friend to many.
Matthew and I met five years ago while organizing against the building of a new jail in Lancaster. We shared a common passion for activism and community organizing and quickly became best friends. Together as a team, he and I established multiple organizations in the Antelope Valley including chapters of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Our Revolution and Progressive Democrats of America. Together we traveled the entire country pursuing our passions and shared dreams as activists. His passing left a void in my life that will never fully be filled but the memories and time we spent together will be cherished forever.
Matthew was a passionate community organizer who spent his life fighting for the causes he believed in such as LGBTQ rights, feminism and racial equity. He went to great lengths to fight for what he believed in, including traveling across the country to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Women’s March and traveling to Georgia in the last weeks of his life to volunteer in the Senate runoff election.
Matthew was well known and loved in activist circles because he fought relentlessly for the disenfranchised and because he was sincere. Everyone that knew him knew that he was genuine, unapologetic about who he was and always spoke his mind no matter who was in the room. Matthew was a fiercely loyal friend, the kind you truly only meet once in a lifetime. He will be dearly missed and has left an unforgettable impression on the hearts of all that knew him.
Editor’s Note: The SCV Proclaimer likes to acknowledge the lives of local activists from both sides of the aisle following their passing.