Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Charlie Gaskill, 67

Last night we attended Charlie Gaskill's funeral at our Lytham Road campus of UALC. The sanctuary seats 750, and there were people standing in the narthex for the 90 minute service. Cars covered the neighborhood, and the parking lots were full. Charlie was a much loved and respected man who had battled chronic lymphocytic leukemia since 2006. What struck me was the many stories and metaphors about sports. In fact, the day Charlie got his diagnosis, we were told, he'd been on a 3 mile run. At 6'8" he played basketball at Capital University 1969-73, a Lutheran college in Bexley (Columbus). At one point, former team members were asked to come forward while a Catholic deacon who had been on the team was eulogizing him . We were sitting so far back and under the balcony I could hardly see, but it looked like about 15 men in their mid to late 60s went forward. There were many stories by his children, friends and the pastor about his thoroughness, kindness and athleticism. All 3 of his children had been active in sports, and Charlie and Susie cheered on and cared about the teammates of their kids too. They literally never missed a game from elementary through college sports. There were many young adults in the pews and some had flown in or driven long distances to be there to cheer Charlie on for the next big event.

Charlie's disease had visibly attacked his body, yet even after a very tough bout in the hospital, there he was at worship on Sunday, or offering his time, talents and worship to God's service. And so the verses he chose to be read were especially meaningful, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, "We do not lose heart though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are renewed day by day. . ."!/Obituary

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