Cover photo for Matthew Douglas Digiovanni's Obituary
Matthew Douglas Digiovanni Profile Photo
1979 Matthew 2023

Matthew Douglas Digiovanni

November 12, 1979 — October 17, 2023


"Preach the gospel always, if necessary use words."

It has been said that Matt touched hearts without saying a word.

He was especially known for his smile, hugs, and the joy he radiated.

Matthew Douglas DiGiovanni was born in Boynton Beach, FL, on November 12, 1979. He joined his sister, Megan Grayce, and parents, Dominick "Duke" & Gayle, to complete the DiGiovanni Family living in Delray Beach, FL. It was through Matt's life that his family came to a saving knowledge of their Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of this relationship that we have assurance of eternal life with God for Matt and ourselves. God's Word says that "we are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and not by our own efforts or works." (Ephesians 2:8-9). 1 John 5:13 says, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

As Matt endured many struggles growing up with physical and mental disabilities, he inspired his family to put their trust in God and saw God move miraculously in his life. We gratefully acknowledge the teachers, therapists, and physicians who helped him his reach his full potential.

Throughout his life, Matt remained close to his New York family: grandparents Dominick & Grayce DiGiovanni, his godmother, Aunt Rose Ann (who patiently took him for car rides), Aunt Graycie (who made his favorite pasta fagioli), Uncle Ralph, Aunt Beth, and cousins Christine and Ralph Jr. Though far away, they were/are essential family members who dearly loved Matt and were loved by him. Matt also loved and enjoyed visits from his Aunt Joan, Uncle Russ, and cousins Russell (Matt's godfather), his wife Gina, and Michael and his wife Kathy.

Matt was extremely blessed by the outpouring of love from his church families. Special thanks to friends Steve & Brenda, Ian & Judy, Neil & Paula, Bill & Anni, Pat and family, Elton & Sally, Bob & Rachael, Bro. Don, Pastor Charles, Paul & Bev, Carlos & Lisa, and Clare. We will always be grateful to those who helped us build a pool for Matt so he could learn how to walk and enjoy the freedom swimming brought him.

Matthew attended the ARC Preschool in Boynton Beach and JC Mitchell Elementary School in Boca Raton, FL. He loved participating in the Horses for Handicapped therapeutic riding program in Ft. Lauderdale. In 1990, he teamed up to ride a soap box car down the bridge at Linton Boulevard in Delray Beach as part of the Gold Coast Soap Box Derby.

When Matt was 16 years old, our family moved to Broken Arrow, OK, and he attended Broken Arrow High School, benefiting greatly from the peer tutor program which allowed him to develop friendships with other students and be a part of integrated activities.

His grandmother, Margaret Turnesa, joined the family in OK and became Matt's companion, playing endless hours of ball and watching Wheel of Fortune. Matt's sister, Megan, and her friends from ORU and Rhema, completed the circle of love as they befriended Matt and cared lovingly for him. Thank you Jessie, Bernie & Danny, Kelly & Mark, Sarah & Dusty, and Rico. Our Rhema friends, Steve, and Mary, stood with us for Matt to be healed and made whole, as he is today. We are grateful to Mary and Gerry, Matt's church buddies, who held his hand each week, and to Pastor Jim Holder, as well as all our friends from New Life Center.

Matt was part of the Special Olympic Challenger League in Broken Arrow. He was a finalist in the bocce ball tournament one year and earned several blue ribbons in the bowling tournaments. We are so grateful for the opportunities and friendships this league provided. Matthew enjoyed riding his adapted tricycle from Rifton around our neighborhood. At one point in his life, he was able to ride a mile!

As Matt transitioned to life after high school, he found lifelong friends in the young adult section of LIFE Senior Center in Broken Arrow. Special thanks to Tammi, Shan, Mike, and Lora Lee, for your precious loving care for Matt. He also loved horseback riding at All Star Therapy Group in Ramona, OK. Thanks, Bob, for always making a place for Matt.

In the final ten years of his life, Matt was loved and accepted by his Harvest Church family. Truer pastors there could never be than Pastors Rich & Anita Manganaro, who broke new ground by recognizing Matt and other special needs individuals as members of the Body of Christ. We know you made Jesus smile when you did not push these precious ones to an overflow room but make a place for them in the sanctuary. Thanks for the healing this brought to Matt and to us.

Thank you to our church friends who sat next to us, in front, and behind us for enduring disruptions and still loving on us and Matt. Matt was part of our Home Bible Study group led by Mike & Paula, who were such intercessors for him. There is not enough room to thank those who went out of their way to befriend Matt, pray for him, and stand with us. We will need your love and support now more than ever! We hold onto the prophetic word spoken over Matt by his friend Duncan, "He is destined to bring in lost treasure for the Lord." Thanks to Brother Tom for always releasing healing over Matt which is "built up brick by brick until fully completed". Thanks Pastor Dave for bringing the presence of God when we worshipped. Praise and worship was a special time for Matt each week.

Memories were made with Matt and his dogs over the years - Toby, Sammy, Julio, Jack, and Maggie. Matt always loved the beach and enjoyed swimming and rafting in the ocean with his sister. He now lives in an unhindered body in heaven. His earthly remains will be scattered in the ocean off the coast of FL, where he spent hours walking with his dad and driving down A1A on Saturday mornings before enjoying a cheeseburger, French fries, and Dr. Pepper at McDonald's. Matt and his mom shared a bond over cooking and eating. His favorite meal was Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. We all remember him grabbing the biggest spoon and shoving stuffing in his mouth while helping Mom in the kitchen. He made friends at our local WalMart when he accompanied Mom on weekly shopping trips. Thanks, Mark and Chuck for getting Caroline's Cart for him.

We are grateful for the excellent medical care Matt received from his physicians, especially Nickcole, and all his friends at Metamorphosis Clinic, and to Dr. Jeff Wright, his PC for 30 years. Thanks to Dena of PT4You for your invaluable help. Thanks, Dr. Paul, Carmey, and Dr. Carla for keeping Matt going and for your tender, loving care. Thank you Eton Home Care, Joe, Chi-Chi, and Stephanie. Thanks to Robin at DDSD, Christine, Krista at Action Mobility and our friends at Lincoln Christian School for caring for us so well. There are no words of thanks and praise that could express our gratitude to Kim and team at A-Vow Hospice; you ushered him out with dignity and grace.

His nieces, Gabriella, and Giovanna knew and loved him best of all and his memory lives on in them. Thank you for all the adjustments you made in your life to help Uncle Matt. Megan, thank you for the endless hours of caring, loving, and laughter you gave Matt. You were his best teacher, co-parent, best friend, and dearly loved sister. His life was richer because of you. Oh, the stories he will tell over a QT slushie with you!

Matthew transitioned to his new address in heaven on October 17, 2023, at 10:35am after a short battle with cancer, which he won! His life scripture is Joshua 1:9, which he lived out each day.

"Be strong and courageous!

Do not be afraid or discouraged.

For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

He was truly more than a conqueror through Him who loved him (Romans 8:37).

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on

Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 1pm

Harvest Church

1814 S Main St

Broken Arrow OK 74012

In lieu of flowers, we request donations to Healing Hearts International, Inc., 7204 E 90th St, Tulsa OK 74133.

There is a way to +Note for a memorial gift for Matt. We believe that even in his death, Matt can go on providing life for others through donations to this ministry, helping vulnerable children around the world.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Matthew Douglas Digiovanni, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 25, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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