City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremation

Pembroke Decatur Gwaltney IV

Mann Harbor, North Carolina

Age 92.
Died 08/24/2023.

Pembroke Decatur Gwaltney IV
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, along with his wife, Norma Lee Stephenson Gwaltney, (deceased) lived in Manteo, NC, Farmville, NC, and Raleigh, NC. They were fortunate to be able to spend precious time with their children, grandchildren and great grandchild.

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 attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and earned a BS in Industrial Engineering. Upon graduation, Decatur served his country in the Army and married his childhood sweetheart, Norma Lee Stephenson. He was a progressive thinker and a prolific reader. In Smithfield, he served on the Town Council, and truly believed in the gift of public education giving everyone a fair chance in life.

Decatur and Norma Lee enjoyed 66 wonderful years together learning both the pleasure yachting and sportfishing boat building industries - tinkering with boats and “doctoring them up”. They also sang in the Trinity United Methodist Church choir as they shared a love for music.

Decatur joined the family business, Gwaltney of Smithfield (subsequently 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.

Upon his retirement from Gwaltney, Inc., in 1967, the family moved to Manteo, NC and Decatur fulfilled his dream of starting 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 in the area and up and down the East Coast from Maine to Florida. Gwaltney Boats’ innovations and experimentation helped further the marine industry's technology with more efficient hull weight to horsepower ratios during construction.

Decatur spent many happy hours deep in the details of the design and execution of “speed and efficiency” - mainly to reach the Gulf Stream more efficiently and win the race back to the dock. He did love to go fast in a boat!

Being an Engineer, Decatur was inquisitive about new technology and wanted to be the first to try things out. In 1985 he hounded the Dell computer support employees to the point where they called him by name when they answered his calls. When the Apple Macintosh SE computer debuted, he made sure the family had one so he could “experiment” with this new technology, too.

In addition to his progressive ideas, Decatur possessed a wicked sense of humor; he was sharp-witted, analytical, and generous, using these assets to deter a tense moment when necessary. He had a knack for unorthodox repairs and taught his children to think through how things work. This spirit was evidenced by one of his mantras, “Just get on with it."

The family will hold a private Celebration of Decatur’s Life service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Dare County BoatBuilders Foundation which is supported by local and national businesses and individuals who believe that everyone should have the chance to further their education beyond high school. Each year, the foundation will award financial aide and assistance to those who apply and qualify. Information can be found at

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

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City of Oaks Cremation and Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home in Raleigh, serving all of North Carolina and beyond. We provide an alternative to costly funeral homes and every day we help families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all over North Carolina make simple, affordable funeral arrangements.

Simply having to reach out to a funeral home can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to simplify the entire funeral home experience and make the process as easy as possible. We hope to eliminate any unnecessary surprises by publishing our total cost and the services we provide directly on our website. All of our obituaries are provided free of charge as a way to help families celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

Our Promise

Apples to Apples

Just like all other licensed funeral homes in North Carolina, City of Oaks Cremation, LLC is regulated by the NC Board of Funeral Service.

The same laws that apply to the big corporate funeral homes also apply to the modest independently owned firms like ours. All crematories in North Carolina, regardless of who owns them, are inspected annually by the state and must adhere to the same rules and laws.

Genuine Care

We're committed to providing families within our community unsurpassed service before, during and after the time of loss.

Our staff will provide clear communication to your family through each step as we move forward from the original phone call notifying us of a death to the time we deliver the urn back to your family. We will treat your family with the utmost respect, as we honor the wishes of your loved one.

We promise to make this process affordable and as endurable as possible.

State Wide

Our Funeral Home is located in Wake County NC; however, we provide our services to families throughout the entire State.

Unlike other funeral homes, we don't charge an additional mileage fee. Regardless of what county you live in, we can help your family with making simple, affordable funeral arrangements. From Asheville to Wilmington, we're proud to help families statewide.

Our Services

Direct Cremation


Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. We include everything you need for a simple or direct cremation. Simple, affordable and reliable. We have not changed the cost of our direct cremation service since we opened City of Oaks in 2012.

Cremation with Solidified Remains


We offer the option of choosing how you receive your loved ones remains. Selecting our Direct Cremation with Solidified Remains option is a beautiful way to transform cremated remains into 40-60 “stones” that you can hold.

Cremation with Visitation


City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremation provides an affordable cremation option with onsite visitation. Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. Simple, affordable and reliable.

Immediate Burial


An immediate burial has the same end result as a traditional burial; however, we have eliminated the extra (sometimes unnecessary) services prior to getting to the cemetery. Not everyone wants an open casket for viewing or a limousine for the family. Despite the term immediate, we can move as fast as you need or as slow as you like. This option simply allows you to save money by eliminating some of the fancy extras at the funeral home.

Traditional Funeral


We offer the same traditional funeral services as the big corporately owned funeral homes in the area; however, we cost about half the amount. You might consider a traditional funeral service if your family is looking for an open casket visitation, a traditional church service or a funeral service in the funeral home's chapel. A traditional funeral service can be altered to fit the needs of your family.

Green Burial


This establishment is one of a select number of funeral homes who meet the criteria for providing green funeral service by the Green Burial Council; a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainability in the field of funeral service. Our Green options allow for a funeral to take place without the use of toxic and non-biodegradable materials/chemicals.



As an alternative to traditional cremation, City of Oaks Funeral Home also offers Aquamation. The Aquamation process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to facilitate natural decomposition.

City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremations