Charles Reid Gunter, age 92, passed away peacefully on January 5, 2024, in his residence in Virginia Beach having relocated several years ago from Ridgeway, Virginia. Born on February 7, 1931, in Stuart, Virginia to Reid Lafayette and May Martin Gunter, he spent his youth on the family tobacco farm alongside his sister Mildred and brothers, Bernard and Ralph. From his upbringing on his family farm Charles cultivated qualities that shaped his character: resilience, hard work, and an unwavering sense of responsibility. Living close to the land, he learned the beauty of simplicity, the value of patience and the importance of community. These lessons, sown in the soil of his upbringing, are part of the legacy he leaves behind.Charles graduated from Stuart High School in 1949. He furthered his education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Class of 1953), where he was a proud member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry. He remained a lifelong Hokie and always took great pride in donning his VT cap.
Charles served as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, initially stationed in Kentucky. In the summer of 1956, he was deployed to Fairbanks, Alaska. While home on leave, he met the love of his life, Doris Hale Gunter. Their whirlwind romance led to Doris joining him in Fairbanks. They were married on November 25, 1956, just three days after her arrival and only a few months after first meeting. Together they travelled domestically and abroad as they raised their three beloved children of whom they were both so proud.
Dedicating 25 years to the United States Army, Charles served in various locations overseas, including Germany, Thailand and Vietnam. He concluded his military career as a Lieutenant Colonel at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Upon retiring in 1978, he moved his family closer to the family farm, settling in Ridgeway, Virginia. Charles divided his time between working at Lester Forest Products and tending to his farm in Stuart.
Charles is predeceased by his loving wife and best friend of 65 years, Doris Hale Gunter, who surely greeted him at the pearly gates with arms wide upon, a huge kiss, a crossword puzzle and some homemade biscuits. He is also predeceased by his siblings, Ralph Gunter, Bernard Gunter and Mildred Gunter Smith. He is survived by his sons, Chief Warrant Officer William E. Gunter (Lori) of Pinehurst, North Carolina and Charles R. Gunter, Jr. (AnnMarie) of Norfolk, Virginia and his daughter, Rose Anne Voigt (Matt) of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Additionally, he leaves behind his grandchildren; Eli Gunter, Bryan Goede, William Goede, Adam Goede, Andrew Gunter, and Sophia Gunter, along with two great grandchildren.
A service at the Gunter Family Farm in Stuart, Virginia will be held at a later date.