Cecil W. Gwaltney Jr.

Published 4:07 pm Monday, August 2, 2021

Cecil W. Gwaltney Jr., 78, of Smithfield, passed away on July 29, 2021, after a short illness.

He is predeceased by his parents, Cecil W. Gwaltney Sr. and Lucille Maynard Gwaltney. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Linda Kay Wilson Gwaltney, their son, Cecil “Trey” W. Gwaltney III, and their daughter, Jill Wilson Gwaltney. He is also survived by his brother, F. Maynard Gwaltney, several in-laws, and a host of nieces and nephews.

Cecil grew up in Smithfield, attended Smithfield High School, and graduated from Elon College in North Carolina. While at Elon, he met Linda on a blind date to the movies. After getting married, they settled in Portsmouth for a short time, then relocated to Smithfield, where Cecil joined the family Ford dealership, Gwaltney Motor Co. During these years, he served on several community boards, as well as the Virginia and National Automobile Dealers Associations. Cecil was also known for his showmanship at the Smithfield Little Theatre. While quite the performer on stage, it was his directing skills with lavish musical productions that he will be most remembered for. That, along with his extensive and colorful wardrobe and ever-present can of Diet Coke. After retiring from the car business, Cecil spent a short time producing TV commercials before settling into his post-retirement job of managing his second family business, Smithfield Self Storage.

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A service was held at 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2, at Little’s Funeral Home, followed by a graveside service at Ivy Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Smithfield Little Theater, PO Box 332, Smithfield, VA 23431, or online at smithfieldlittletheatre.org. Please indicate donation for Cecil. Online condolences may be registered at www.littlesfuneralhome.com.