Beloved Son, Friend, and Partner in Peace, Love, and Little Donuts
by Melissa LaScaleia
Clayton Matthews, the owner of Peace, Love, and Little Donuts, passed away suddenly on June 19, 2022, from a hemorrhagic stroke. Left to cherish his memory are his mother and father, Kay and Mickey Matthews who were co-owners of the donut shop as well.
A native of El Paso, Texas, Clayton attended James Madison University on a football scholarship and graduated in 2006 with a business degree. While in college, he had a car accident that caused a spinal cord injury and left him paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheelchair for life. Clayton continued to pursue his passions, however, and after graduating, coached the football team at James Madison for the next ten years.
In 2016, he accepted a coaching position at Coastal Carolina University and moved to the beach to be closer to his parents. Kay and Mickey had recently decided to make Myrtle Beach home in their retirement years and thought it would be a fun family venture to open and operate Peace, Love, and Little Donuts together, as a family in the Market Common Community. In 2017, Clayton left coaching to help run the business full-time.
“Clayton always over-obligated us,” Kay says with a laugh. “He never said no to any project. Once we had someone who wanted 100 dozen donuts at 7 am, so we’d make donuts all night long. He was just a generous person and wanted people to be happy.”
“I remember one of the first weddings we did together. The father of the bride was the dean of Horry Georgetown Technical College. They had multiple food stations at the wedding, but our line was longer than any other because it was a novelty, and because Clayton made it so much fun.”
“Weddings and parties were our favorite things to do together; Clayton was always the life of the party. It was a great run and a great business. And now that he’s gone, I realize how much I relied on him for his input, and for all the work he put in that I didn’t understand or even realize at the time. And I’m so grateful.”
“It didn’t take me long to realize it would be difficult in many ways for me to do this without him. We’ve decided to close our doors at the end of August and move on to other ventures. We’d like to thank all our customers for the opportunity to get to know them over the years, and to serve them a little dose of Peace, Love, and Donuts.”
Remembrances By His Friends
“Clayton Matthews… where do I even begin? You were and still are the light and laughter amongst us all. I still find myself texting you when Nila or Ariana does something “Uncle Clayton” would approve of, or just to tell you something funny about my day, or just to check in on you. When at work I find myself just waiting for you to just roll in with 3 boxes of Love, Peace and Little Donut boxes. With the biggest smile even though you had a bad day saying, “Hey good looking, can I have a Bud Light.” I caught myself staring at the doors waiting for you, I caught myself typing your name to text you, and then realized you are truly gone. Clayton, Market Common will NEVER be the same! My family will never be the same. But what I will do is a promise to always live by your rule. (You know what that is). Thank you, Clayton, for uplifting me when I was down and always being you! You will always be with us! We love you, Clayton.” —Carmen Wilson
“Clayton “Chedda” Matthews, my homie, my brother, and Uncle Clayton, I can’t thank you enough for the impact you made in my and Lydia’s lives. You are a true legend and inspiration to everyone you crossed paths with. I will forever treasure our friendship and never forget you. Rest easy my guy.” —Tyler Vaught
“Clayton is always on my mind. I miss him so much. I can’t go anywhere without missing his company. He was so fun to be around, just being around him could turn your mood around. I’ll miss you today, tomorrow, and forever my friend.” —Shonna Wright
“Five minutes after meeting Clayton we connected. I knew I had a friend for life. As I learn a new normal that I wasn’t prepared for, I think of days we had and days we’ll never have again. I miss you; we miss you, my friend. R.I.P. V.I.P.” —Jason O’Brien
“To know him was to love him. Clayton had a heart of gold and made friends wherever he went. There isn’t a place in Market Common where I don’t have memories with him, and for that, I will be forever grateful. ‘The sky looks different when you have someone you love up there.’” —Victoria Rodrigues