Kurtis Brian Gwaltney passed away on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, while doing one of the things he loved most, riding his Ducati 1098 on his favorite stretch of winding road. He was 26.
Kurtis was born Jan. 11, 1991, to Brian and Sabine Gwaltney of Anderson. They attended Southern Heights Christian Church and Kurtis attended Anderson Christian School, grades Pre-K thru 6. He was baptized at age 12.
He attended East Side Middle School for grades 7-8. There he met one of his best buddies, Cody Vorhees, and they joined the Highland High School Marching Band, both drummers. Many practices, band camps and competitions later, they won two State Fair Band competitions. They graduated in 2009.
Kurtis worked at Standt's Jewelers and Hoosier Park before enlisting in the Marine Corps. He took basic at MCRD San Diego. He became a Marine on April 14, 2010, at Camp Pendleton. He trained in MOS school, Fort Sill, Okla. He left for his duty station as a Fire Support Man 0861.
Nov. 4, 2010, he arrived at MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. He deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in early 2011, 1/12 Security Platoon. They engaged the Taliban many times.
June 19, 2011 Kurtis was injured by an IED blast and his friend Josue Ibarra lost his life. Kurtis required reconstructive surgery on his left knee and also suffered significant hearing loss. He recovered in Germany, completed his tour and returned to MCBH.
A second tour in Okinawa was boring by his accounts. He completed his enlistment, discharged as a Lance Corporal in December 2013.
Kurtis grew up riding dirt bikes and 4-wheelers from age 7. He had some fast Hondas, a Dodge Stealth and "Old Green." Then he moved on to a modified Jeep TJ. He belonged to Just Jeeps Anderson, Fall Creek Conservation and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In 2014, Kurtis met the love of his life, Tierany Holland of Anderson. They had three happy years together. They enjoyed traveling and visiting many craft breweries in the region, playing family games, good music and dining at Applebee's, Cheesecake Factory or Big Hoffas.
Kurtis also loved playing soccer, MMA and was an avid guitar player, fond of classic rock. He was an expert marksman as well.
In early 2014, Kurtis graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy serving as the A squad dorm leader. He had just celebrated three years with the IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Police Department. He also acted as M-16 Patrol Rifle and Glock Armorer.
In May 2016, he purchased his dream motorcycle, a 2008 Ducati 1098. He had a real passion for fast motorcycles. He lived a great life, often on the edge, doing what he wanted, the way he wanted. His motto: "Live Free and Die Well."
Kurtis is survived by his parents, Brian and Sabine Gwaltney; grandparents, Jim and Laura Gwaltney and Clyde and Carla House; uncles and aunts, Jeff and Sonja King, Mark and Vickie Gwaltney and Mike Gwaltney; close cousins, Cole King and Hannah Bowen; also a multitude of good people -- family, friends, co-workers, first responders, his band of brothers in law enforcement and the Marine Corps, Jeepers, bikers, car guys and supporters from across the country. A most sincere thank you to all and God bless.
A celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Brown-Butz-Diedring Funeral Service & Crematory in Anderson with Dr. James Harless and Pastor Tom Wiles officiating. A procession to Maplewood Cemetery will follow the service.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
The family invites you to continue your remembrance of Kurtis at a dinner being hosted by Fall Creek Christian Church, Pendleton. Each of these events is intentionally informal and attire is casual.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made directly to Tierany Holland, the love of Kurtis' life, to support her continuing efforts in obtaining her nursing degree.
Post online condolences at www.brownbutzdiedring.com.
Published on April 20, 2017