Bob Gaskin

November 20, 1933 - January 29, 2024

Bob Louane Gaskin was born in Beaumont, Texas on November 20, 1933, and died on January 29, 2024. He and his late twin brother, Jerry, were the children of John Louane Gaskin and Beulah Brashear Gaskin.

Bob graduated from Beaumont High in 1952. For several years he was a rodeo bull rider before being drafted into the U.S. Navy for two years. He then settled down to raise three children with his first wife, LaNorma. He worked 35 years as a lab technician for Fina Oil. Bob was a problem solver—he put together a piece of German distillery equipment that everyone assured his supervisor could only be done by a specifically trained person. He opted to work evening and graveyard shifts in order to attend classes at Lamar University. While working full time, he earned a degree in Psychology and then a Masters in English.

Bob taught his kids the love of fishing at Lake Sabine. Every summer he used his vacation time to take his family on camping and hiking trips to the hill country, New Mexico and the Colorado Rockies, fostering in his kids a great appreciation for the outdoors.

In 1986, he married Joyce. They made many annual trips to Germany where Bob enjoyed speaking German with the locals. He loved the history of the German resistance to Hitler and pursuing details of specific resistors such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and members of the White Rose. Following retirement from Fina, Bob taught English at Lamar University for 15 years. His ability to reduce complicated ideas to simple, understandable concepts made him well-suited for success as an ESL instructor for his international students. He soon became co-director of Lamar’s Language Institute.

Bob was an accomplished, yet very private poet. Many of his poems were published in university press magazines. He was especially proud to have one published in the NYC based religious journal First Things. For a number of years, he had been compiling a collection of his poems which will be published as a book by the end of the year.

In 2001, Bob and Joyce bought Red B4 Books. Here was another place for Bob to share his interests in philosophy, psychology and history. Along with running a bookstore together, Bob and Joyce spent years trekking back and forth to Houston to attend plays, movies, and concerts. Also in Houston Bob ran two marathons. When he no longer ran, he coached and supported Joyce’s running.

Bob is survived by his wife, Joyce, and by his children: Venita Gaskin, Bart Gaskin and wife, Masako, Malcolm Gaskin and wife, Ferlie; step-daughter, Melanie Adams and husband, Peter; and by his grandchildren: Daniel Gaskin and wife, Anna, and their three children; Seth Gaskin and wife, Mary, and their two children; Anna Gaskin, Samuel Gaskin, Kieu Le, Donovan Adams, and Jon Adams.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Doctors Without Borders,  P.O. Box 5023, Hagerstown, Maryland 21741; Some Other Place, P.O.Box 0843, Beaumont, Texas 77704; St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Emergency Relief, 680 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, Texas 77701; or a charity of your choice.

A memorial service for Mr. Gaskin will be 4:00 p.m., Monday, February 26, 2024, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. His cremation arrangements were handled through Broussard’s Crematorium. View live streamed service.


Download Program

Memorial Service

Broussard’s Mortuary Major Dr.
  • 1605, North Major Drive, Beaumont, Texas, 77713,
  • February 26, 2024
  • 4:00 pm

Comments (20)

    Connie Bradley says:

    Joyce I’m very sorry for your loss. I’m grateful to have had Bob’s friendship. Our offices were across the hall from each other when we taught at Lamar. I quickly realized he was a deep thinker, and although soft-spoken, Bob had much to say if I would just stop talking and listen! Even after I moved away, he was a good friend who talked me through some dark times. He was also always eager to hear about my joys over the decades. He is deeply missed.

    Jannetta Boden Ned says:

    As you and I discussed today, I am so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. My mother and I enjoyed the lunches we shared with you and Bob during her visits to Beaumont,TX. I truly enjoyed working with Bob at Fina Oil and Chemical Company in the late eighties. God blessed me with the friendship of two wonderful people, you and Bob.

    Elton and Laquita Higgs says:

    Out of his wealth of knowledge, Bob always had sometihing to add to a discussion. And he was always probing to find meaning in what he observed. We found Bob to be a good companion whether visiting him and Joyce at home or traveling abroad with them. Bob generously gave a reading and critical suggestions for Elton’s book of poems and encouraged his pursuit of the project. We will miss Bob’s quiet voice of friendship.

    Atan Liu says:

    I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Bob, who was not only my English teacher but also a guiding light in my life. His lessons extended far beyond the realms of English literature, touching the hearts and shaping the minds of all who had the privilege to know him. Bob, you will be profoundly missed, but your teachings will forever resonate within us. Rest in peace.
    Here is the link, I wrote for you 12 years ago.

    Lila says:

    Prayers for peace and comfort for all.

    Mary Beth Bowling says:

    Joyce and Family, very sorry for your loss of a very colorful, accomplished and much loved husband, father and grandfather. He surely multiplied the gifts that God bestowed upon him and now he leaves them here with you.
    My condolences and prayers.

    Ricky Tate says:

    I was saddened to hear about your Dad passing. After reading his obituary another piece of the puzzle about your passions fell into place. You, Masako and your family are in my prayers. My sincere condolences.

    Ricky Tate

    Carol Corbin says:

    I haven’t been to Red B4 Books in a while, but I well recall pleasant conversations with Mr. and
    Mrs. Gaskin on my visits to their shop. What an interesting and fulfilling life Mr. Gaskin led! I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

    Sam Gwynn says:

    Bob and I shared many a poem over the years. He was a fine man.

    Jim Sanderson says:

    Joyce and family,
    I am certainly sad to hear. For years, I enjoyed Bob’s good humor, kindness, and gentle nature at school and the gym. I feel a loss at his not being here.

    Chuck Taylor says:

    I always enjoyed talking to Bob and hearing his poems, many of which I still recall. My best to Joyce and the rest of the family. 90 amazing years!

    Erin Williamson says:

    I enjoyed getting to know Bob at St. Mark’s Church when we were both in the Curate Committee for Fr. Justin Briggle. Sending prayers of comfort and peace to his family.

    Peggy Scarborough says:

    Bart, I so understand your broken heart with the loss of your dad. Sending my love, prayers, and kind thoughts to all from across the miles.

    Susan strandberg says:

    Joyce and family: Rich and I are very sorry for your loss. We always enjoyed seeing Bob at Redb4 Books. Bob was kind, smart, and had a dry wit that I always appreciated. I also enjoyed working with him at Lamar U. He will be missed but always fondly remembered. Thinking of you and yours during this difficult time. Bless you.
    Su-San and Rich

    Gaye Lokey says:

    BART, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my prayers.

    Alfred de la Rosa says:

    Our condolences to you and your family, Joyce, from my family and me. We are so sorry for your loss.

    Yvonne Juarez says:

    My dear sweet friend, our hearts are saddened at your loss and ours. You and your family are in our prayers.
    Yvonne and Joe

    Jeanne Hilliard says:

    I am going to miss my “Dapper” friend.
    Our conservation were long and interesting. He made me smile all the time. My prayers are with you and your family Joyce .

    Lisa Jernigan Ray says:

    My family and I will be praying for y’all. Haven’t seen Bob in years but he was always kind to me when I was a child. May God bless all of you with wonderful memories to share and much peace over the coming days.

    Ginny Welch says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad, Bart. I just heard. Please accept my condolences and know you and your family will be in my prayers.

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