Audi Community Pays Tribute to Matthew Ammon (1974-2006)
Matt Ammon, a diehard Audi enthusiast, Audi Car Club of America member and frequent AudiWorld reader and discussion forum user was killed in a tragic accident in Bellevue, WA on November 16, 2006.
The shocking news came as a blow to his Audi friends across the country, many of whom had gotten to know him both in person at various Audi events and through his thoughtful leadership in the AudiWorld discussion forums. Matt was known as O.W. Kenobi in the AudiWorld forums and made his final forum posting just hours before he was lost.
In the aftermath there has been talk of a scholarship, a memorial track day event and many other ideas to help honor his memory. Many of these details are still being sorted out, but will available on an ongoing basis at the www.mattammon.org website.
The entire AudiWorld staff, as well as the many hundreds of AudiWorld readers who knew him wish to offer our deepest condolences to Matt’s family and friends. One of Matt’s closest friends in Washington, Jake Ferderer, has also prepared a fitting written tribute:
I first encountered Matt as a member of AudiWorld. I recall him helping me with my central locking vacuum pump failure. It was one of those things that would be ridiculous to replace from the dealership at something like $400 so I turned to his write-up to help fix my problem. I actually found another way to fix it using even older parts from an Audi 5000. He and I shared experiences with that fix and he was helpful as usual. That was his main goal on AWto help others using the knowledge he gained from the forum and his own personal experience. He always wanted to give back to the forum, to the community that helped him.
Some time later, Matt started thinking about taking a job with Microsoft in Seattle. Around the beginning of this year, he began invading our Pacific NW forum and posting heavily, mostly to get people riled up. Being an avid Pittsburg Steelers fan, (his hometown), Matt began the football bashing. Quite a few posts were made back and forth predicting the outcome of the upcoming important game between the Seahawks (or Seachickens as he called them) and his Steelers. When the Super Bowl finally came and passed anyone who was a Seattle fan felt robbed on a few of the calls. Questionable or not, Matt didnt miss an opportunity to flaunt the win and post pictures of trophies and championship shirts. I know we all got a couple laughs out of all the arguing. Matt was on the other end laughing at how upset we all were about the loss. That was his thing. He would sound serous, but was always just having a good time with the arguments. Being a lawyer, I guess this makes sense.
Matt finally moved to Seattle to take his Patent Attorney job at Microsoft during the summer. Being a part of AudiWorld is a unique situation. Its the kind of place where you feel like you can move anywhere in the country and have immediate friends. You know you at least share one common interest with people in the community. This was the case when Matt moved here. I think most people can take months to start meeting people in a brand new city, but with the forum, we knew he was coming and welcomed him immediately. I think he and I went out for drinks at least 4 or 5 times before his furniture and belongings even arrived. The fact that he lived less than a block away from me made it really convenient. I remember him complaining that he didnt have any clothes to wear to work and had to go buy them because his hadnt arrived yet.
Matt was outgoing enough that he fit right into our local group. He was quiet at times, but didnt have a problem striking up a conversation with anyone. Well, maybe not a really attractive girl across the bar, but thats about it. Hed make me go do the introduction and then hed be fine once I broke the ice. I remember doing this countless times.
Matt was a great friend for quite a few reasons. First he was loyal. Once you became his friend, it was permanent. His Mom recently told me that while he lived here he attended a friends wedding from middle school camp all the way back in Pittsburgh. This just showed his commitment to the relationships that he had and the importance of them in his life. This trait could have been assumed by the amount of help he put back into the forum, but Matt projected this in person as well.
Matt also had integrityhis actions backed up his words. He wouldnt promise people something he couldnt deliver and that kind of honesty has seemed to go unappreciated recently. Matt was someone you could count on to help. This was one of the things that I noticed about him after awhile of knowing him personally apart from the forum.
Matt truly did have a passion for Audis, especially the B5 S4. A friend of his asked him what car hed consider getting next and Matt just looked at him confused, exclaiming why would I ever need to get rid of this car? Its still the best car on the market. He could always be seen posting things like B5 is greater than B7 is greater than B6 (or B5>B7>B6), Nogaro adds $5000 to the value, Nogaro is fastest, and many other things showing his loyalty to his particular car. He drove his car daily and aggressively. He enjoyed driving his car at the track and pushing both the limits of the car and his skill. He was a firm believer, like many of us enthusiasts, that experience at the track is the best modification for going faster. Although he only had brakes and suspension as his major modifications, he would regularly pass much more powerful and lighter cars on the track as a result of his driving skill.
Even though he was a great driver, he didnt brag about his ability or make people feel inferior. He would rather help someone improve than make himself feel good about his own driving. This is something that I admire and have needed to consciously work on at times. Competitiveness was a big part of Matt, but not when it came to bringing other new drivers to the group.
He not only had an interest in cars, but he was a very big supporter of get togethers. He didnt want to just post on AW, but enjoyed meeting other enthusiasts in person, usually over beer. He started a tradition here called Wednesbeerday. We are supposed to say it like Whens Beer Day? and then we wont forget when to meet. We still carry on this tradition and have used it as our memorial get togethers since the accident. We will meet again tonight and next week Matts parents are going to join us. I know there are people in our group who would never have met in person if it werent for Matts persistence on this tradition. It really brings AudiWorld to a new level. A few of us actually met the night before Matts accident, obviously not knowing it would be the last time we saw him. It was quite a shock for all of us. One day were sharing stories and the next hes gone.
The last Wednesbeerday before Matt was killed, he and I got into a discussion about S4 color and which was preferred. We decided to post on the B5 forum and ask everyones opinion the next day. We argued about it all day and when the poll wasnt going his direction, he came up with reasons that it was flawed. He decided that the post was supposed to be made earlier so the East coast Nogaro owners could vote. What I didnt know is that as we were arguing, he was e-mailing friends behind my back asking them to vote. I still laugh about that.
Even though Matt was only here for 6 months, he became a close friend to many of us. I know that he touched the lives of many people in person as well as on the forum. Sometimes its not until someone is taken that you realize what impact they had. He wont soon be forgotten.