Deceased July 15, 2011
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The ranks of members of the Class of 1940 were unhappily further thinned by the death of Ben Gaskell on July 15, 2011, in Roswell, Ga. He had moved thence at the end of his long, active life as a minister.
The Rev. Benton Searle Gaskell, Ph.D., his final full title, was a native of Worcester, Mass., the son of Walter and Mabel Gaskell.
At Amherst he joined Delta Tau Delta fraternity and became active on the staff of the Olio, of which he became assistant business manager. He was also a member of Touchstone.
Ben’s degrees were: bachelor of divinity from Hartford Seminary, 1944; B.A., Amherst, 1946; and honorary doctorate of divinity, from the Pacific School of Religion, 1954.
Ordained as a Congregational minister, his first church was in Coventry, Conn. World War II intervening, he served in the U.S. Navy as chaplain of the hospital ship Haven until 1946.
His pastorates took him to a wide range of communities across the country. These included San Mateo, Calif.; Detroit; Belvedere Tiburon, Calif.; and Pomona, Calif. He also served as an interim minister in Alaska and on Mackinac Island, Mich., before retiring, first to Palm Springs, Calif., and then to Roswell, Ga., in 2005.
Ben’s survivors include his daughter Deborah, a stepson, two grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and three great-grandsons.
—Louis P. Dolbeare ’40