Obituary: James Benjamin (Ben) Gwaltney
James Benjamin (Ben) Gwaltney died suddenly at the age of 35 on July 22, 2016, in South Lake Tahoe. He is survived by his wife, Melissa Ann Mirabile, parents, Greg and Kitty Gwaltney of Petersburg, Virginia, one brother, Philip Gwaltney of Richmond, Virginia, parents-in-law, Joe and Roxanne Mirabile, brother-in-law, Joey Mirabile and wife, Jennifer, and their two children, Mia and Luca Mirabile all of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ben is also survived by a number of aunts, uncles, cousins, and many, many friends that he considered family.
A native of Bon Air, Virginia, Ben was born on September 12, 1980, in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from James River High School in 1998 and Davis and Elkins College in 2002. For over 14 years, Ben worked in the outdoor recreation and tourism industry primarily as a white water rafting guide in West Virginia, California, Nevada, New Zealand, Colorado and Alaska. He was a certified EMT, certified wildland firefighter and certified in avalanche safety.
Ben loved all kinds of outdoor recreation, especially rafting, snowboarding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, kayaking, softball, fishing, hiking, golf and disc golf. Ben lived life to the fullest, always traveling and making friends wherever he went. Most of all, Ben loved his beautiful soul mate and wife, Melissa.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, from 5:30-8:00 p.m., at Willow Oaks Country Club, 6228 Forest Hill Avenue, Richmond, VA 23225. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Keep Tahoe Blue, 2608 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 or Christ and Grace Episcopal Church, 1545 S. Sycamore Street, Petersburg, VA 23805.
Interment will be private.