HOWLAND - "Eternal Father Strong to Save" called veteran sailor Alfred M. Gaskell, 90, Howland, to his home port on Friday morning, March 14, 2014.
He was born Aug. 8, 1923, in Livingston, Mont., the son of Ernest and Florence Schofield Gaskell.
He lived his early years on a ranch with his brothers, Walter (Buelah), Wallace and Clarence (Dorothy) Gaskell, and his sisters, Evelyn (John) Sundquist and Marie and Alsoria Gaskell, all of whom preceded him in death; and one surviving brother, Ralph (Ruth) Gaskell of Roseville, Mich.
Al served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theatre and served on the seaplane tender USS Curtiss during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Following Al's military service, he met his future wife of more than 66 years, LouRene E. Jones, when as young people they both happened to be at the Vienna Airport. Al was there to meet his aunt, who was married to LouRene's uncle, and LouRene was returning from a trip to New York City. The two of them soon found they had more than just relatives in common and were married April 12, 1947.
From that union, two daughters, Karen (Douglas) Haryu and Lesley Gaskell, were born. Survivors also include three grandchildren, Julie Haryu, Karina (Daniel) Repp and Douglas (Abigail) Haryu Jr., and the blessings of five great-grandchildren, Alexis Conti, Bradley and Colton D. Curtiss Repp, and twins Genevieve and Quinn Haryu (born this past summer). Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Al was a retired 50-year member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 33, working for many years for Liberty Erection Service and the Woodward Company in Warren. After retiring from the trades, he worked as a driver and associate with Roberts-Clark Funeral Chapel in Warren for several years.
Al was a member of Christ Episcopal Church for more than 60 years, where he served as an acolyte verger and usher.
He was a life member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association local chapter, where he was past president and past secretary. Al was a lifetime member of VFW Post 1090, member of the American Legion Post 700 in Howland, past master and 50-plus-years member of Old Erie Masonic Lodge 3 F&AM, a 32nd degree Mason in Warren Chapter 10, Council 58 and Commandery 39 of the York Rite, and an honorary member of Carroll F. Clapp Lodge 655.
He also had served as a volunteer firefighter with Howland Township.
Al enjoyed yardwork and loved English bulldogs.
Al's many friends and lodge brothers were a great source of comfort and encouragement, as Al sailed through life's rough waters. One of his greatest joys came from the "children" of friends (many of those friends long since passed) who looked to Al for continued fatherly love.
A celebration of Al's life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Christ Episcopal Church, where the family will receive friends for one hour prior to the service. The Rev. J. Jeffrey Baker will officiate.
Following the service, military naval honors will be accorded at the church.
Arrangements were entrusted to Lane Family Funeral Homes, Roberts-Clark Chapel.
The family would like to thank the hospice nurses of MVI Hospice Care for their much needed advice and support and his VA nurse, Becky Laird, for her loving care. The family would have been lost without these angels of mercy.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Christ Episcopal Church, 2627 Atlantic St. N.E., Warren,OH 44483 or to MVI Hospice Care, 4891 Belmont Ave., Youngstown, OH 44505.
Online condolences may be made to the family and the obituary viewed at www.robertsclarkchapel.com.