Norma Stephenson Gwaltney

Published 6:43 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Norma Stephenson Gwaltney, 88, recently residing in Raleigh, N.C., and formerly of Smithfield, Manteo, N.C., and Farmville, N.C., passed away peacefully with her undeniable grace on Dec. 22, 2020.

She was born in Portsmouth, the only child of her late parents, Mattie Virginia Bond Stephenson and Lennel Roy Stephenson.

Norma is survived by her husband of 66 years, Pembroke Decatur Gwaltney IV, and her children, Virginia Gwaltney Mosley, Decatur Stephenson Gwaltney and Margaret Gwaltney Weaver and husband, Jim, and by her grandchildren, Jenna Gwaltney Sullivan and husband, Owen, Meredith Stephenson Gwaltney and fiancé, Josh Arnold, James Burgess Weaver Jr., Margaret Clay Weaver, and by her beautiful, new great-grandchild, Ruby Zala Sullivan.

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Norma was fond of telling the story of how she fell in love with Decatur “Sweetie” as soon as she met him in the third grade. The love story of “Normie” and “Catie” took them across all the waters, sunrises and sunsets from Smithfield to Raleigh. They supported each other in their passions — beaches, boating, fishing and family. The combination of Normie’s sharp eyes and Catie’s quick maneuvers made them the victor in many big fish battles complete with big fish tales. Smile.

Those of us who knew and loved Normie will always remember her warmth and graciousness and her welcoming smile and outstretched arms to everyone. She lived her life to the fullest, cherishing every moment and gently encouraging anyone in need with her sage wisdom and her two favorite sayings, “This, too, shall pass” and “God is love.” Family holidays and birthdays will never be the same without Normie’s shrimp mold and pretzels!

A celebration of life service will be held later in Virginia.

One of Normie’s passions was her porch and deck birds. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests support for the Audubon Society: 807 E. Main St., Suite 2-220, Durham, NC 27701, or