Pembroke Decatur Gwaltney IV

Published 11:21 am Monday, September 11, 2023

Pembroke Decatur Gwaltney IV died peacefully on August 24, 2023, after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. Decatur, formerly of Smithfield, Virginia and most recently the Outer Banks of North Carolina, was predeceased by his wife, Norma Lee Stephenson Gwaltney.

Decatur was born in Newport News, VA, to Pembroke Decatur Gwaltney, III and Margaret Atwill Gwaltney. Decatur is survived by his brother, William Atwill Gwaltney of Smithfield, VA. He is also survived by three children, Virginia Gwaltney Mosley, Decatur Stephenson Gwaltney and Margaret Gwaltney Weaver and husband James Burgess Weaver. He is also survived by four Grandchildren, Jenna Gwaltney Sullivan and husband, Owen Perry Sullivan, and their daughter, Ruby Zala Sullivan, Meredith Gwaltney Arnold and husband Joshua Emmett Arnold, James Burgess Weaver Jr. and Margaret Clay Weaver.

Decatur graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a BS in Industrial Engineering. Upon graduation, Decatur served in the Army, married Norma Lee, and served on the Smithfield Town Council.

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Decatur joined the family business, Gwaltney, Inc. One of his proudest achievements at the meat packing company was his contribution to designing and improving the efficiency of the cured meat production division and facility.

Following his retirement from Gwaltney, Inc., the family moved to Manteo, NC and Decatur started a boat building business. Being an innovator, Decatur was the first boatbuilder in the United States to construct an offshore sport fishing hull upside down on a jig using one-off composite fiberglass construction. This method is still used today with modern variations, by top custom boatbuilders up and down the East Coast.

The family will hold a Celebration of Decatur’s Life service later. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Dare County Boat Builders Foundation. Information can be found at