Conrad Anthony (Gus) Gaskin died March 25. He was 82.

He was born June 3, 1934 to Lionel Charles Gaskin Sr. of Guyana and Lillian Wilkins Gaskin of New York. The family moved from Harlem to the Bronx, where Gus met the love of his life, Frances Christian Gaskin, while both attended the St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church and Elementary School. He went on to Bishop du Bois High School and upon graduation enlisted in the United States Air Force for four years. He spent 20 months in Anchorage, Alaska at Elmendorf Air Force Base during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged on Sept. 11, 1956.

Returning from the shores of the Pacific back to the Atlantic, Gus and Fran married at St. Augustine’s in Vineyard Haven on Sept. 14, 1957. They were blessed with three healthy, beautiful children, the loves of their lives. They moved from the Bronx to Lindsay Park Housing in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, where they resided for the next 25 years, overlooking the skyline of New York city and downtown Brooklyn. Gus found a spiritual home at Our Lady of Charity Roman Catholic Church, pastored by Reverend James E. Goode.

Gus was not only the consummate mathematician but also an athlete. To support his family, he initially studied Engineering at New York City Community College, The City University of New York but found few employment opportunities available to men of color. Under the G.l. Bill, he pursued the special baccalaureate program at Brooklyn College in liberal arts and a Master of Arts degree at Antioch University in early childhood education. He was a computer programmer at Ticketron, and also accepted directorships at Quick Start Head Start and Shirley Chisholm and Acquadilla Day Care Centers, in tandem.

While at Lindsay Park, he organized the swimming pool and social committees; he coached the boys basketball teams at Most Holy Trinity Elementary School, and also assisted with the St. John’s Finmen, the boys and girls swimming teams, leading them to victory at various meets. Because he treasured something in everyone and everyone meant something to him, Gus helped to shape school age boys and girls into responsible men and women through sports and mentoring. He was forever a loyal and faithful fan of the New York Giants and the New York Knicks. And oh, how he loved to tell a story.

For the next 48 years, Gus and family traveled to Oak Bluffs. There, he found a Roman Catholic Church home at the Good Shepherd Parish, pastored by the Rev. Father Michael R. Nagle. He enjoyed the congeniality and conviviality of extended family and friends, going to the beach, scintillating conversations in the Circle, a group of beach lovers who sat in a circle, running the Chilmark Road Races, swimming with the Polar Bears at 7:30 every morning from Memorial Day to Labor Day, participating in fundraising activities with the Cottagers, Inc., conversing at his Inkwell family bench, and feasting on Monday morning breakfasts at Inkwell Beach. Though it all, Gus advised youth, listened to their dreams and aspirations regarding their future educational careers, and counseled adults about retirement planning.

Subsequent to the family’s completion of their college programs, Gus sought a career change and he and Fran relocated to Albany, N.Y., where he accepted the position of information officer at the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System. Again, he found a church home at the Black Catholic Apostolate of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York, pastored by the Rev. Father Kofi Ntisful-Amissah and exhilarated by the magnificent Hallelujah Choir. He was an active member of the mens club and contributed greatly to the Usher Board.

He travelled extensively throughout New York, providing information to educators for 19 years before his own retirement. When problems arise people still hear WWGD, or What Would Gus Do? Although Gus delighted working with adults, he did miss teaching youngsters.

Although a diehard New Yorker, Albany presented Gus and Fran with novel and exciting challenges: forming new and lasting relationships, joining different clubs, being exposed to upstate activities and learning other cultural norms. Although legally blind, Gus never lost his insightfulness. The Albany health care system via the VA and private medical practices were unparalleled.

Gus and Fran went on another watery journey to the beaches of the Caribbean Sea to St. Croix of the Virgin Islands, the homeland of Fran’s now deceased parents, Clement J. Christian and Therese Farrelly Christian. They savored the warmth of family and friends during winter months for 18 years. He engaged in many activities, including finding Catholic Church homes at Holy Cross and Saints Joachim and Ann at Barron Spot shepherded by Bishop Herbert A. Bevard, swimming with the Lit’ Bay Posse at Little Bay and the pool, studying at the University of the Virgin Islands-steel pan, exercise classes, early childhood education courses, presenting medals and ribbons at the Special Olympics, attending meetings on cancer and the aging population, attending lectures and the theater, visiting schools to speak students, and watching the sunrise and shine its brilliance creeping over the hills, spreading from east to west over the flowers and fauna.

Gus is survived by his wife of 59 years. Dr. Frances Christian Gaskin; their children Trace L. Gaskin of Virginia Beach, Va., and Troy A. Gaskin I and his wife Angela McLeod; grandchildren Conrad 3rd, Briana, Kayla, Troy 2nd and Soleil; his siblings Ida (Mitzi) Gaskin-Cleare, Bernice (Honey) Gaskin-Shepard, Stewart Gaskin and Oscar Gaskin; his brothers in law and sisters in law Christine A. Christian Gilmore, Frederick Shepard, Barbara (Millie) Gaskin, Anna Reyes-Gaskin, Major and Eileen Christian Thomas, Jesse and Claire Christian Harris, Clement J. Christian and Marlienne Christian; as well as by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, coworkers and neighbors in New York city, Martha’s Vineyard, Albany, St. Croix and beyond. He was predeceased by their son Conrad A. Gaskin 2nd and his brother Lionel (Deets) Gaskin.

A ceremony will be held on Monday, July 3 at 10 a.m. at Inkwell Beach in Oak Bluffs. All are invited to come and bring a covered dish to share. A Eucharistic celebration will be held on July 2 at 4 p.m. at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven. In a private ceremony the family will spread the cremains in the Atlantic Ocean. In case of inclement weather, proceedings will be held at the Good Shepard Parish Center, 55 School Street, opposite the Oak Bluffs Library.

In memory of Gus pray for one another, tell a story, and make someone laugh.