Theodore Alfred Gaskin, 95, of Scarsdale, died Dec. 28.
Born in Long Branch, New Jersey, on June 3,1925, in the months after Pearl Harbor, while still in high school, at the age of 17, like many other young men of the day he and several of his friends went to Perth Amboy to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Mr. Gaskin earned a position as a member of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion (Edson’s Raiders), widely recognized as the first special forces in the United States military. They fought exclusively in the Pacific Theater. Mr. Gaskin trained at Parris Island and then fought in Guam among many other places in the South Pacific. While serving in Guam, he was on combat patrol with 11 other Marines. One of them stepped on a land mine and was killed instantly. As a result of the explosion, Mr. Gaskin was blown off the side of a hill and suffered severe injuries. Both his legs were broken, both shoulders were dislocated, and his hip was fractured. He was sent to recover on a hospital ship and was honorably discharged in 1945.
Mr. Gaskin attended Seton Hall University on the GI Bill and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. He went on to earn a master’s degree in education administration from Columbia University. With a grant from the National Science Foundation, he earned an additional master’s degree in basic sciences from the University of Colorado.
He taught in Pelham and at Marymount College. He was managing editor of My Weekly Reader, published by American Education Publications, and was director of science programs for the Scarsdale School District. He held a patent for one of his science inventions. Ever the adventurer, Mr. Gaskin even earned his commercial pilot’s license.
On Sept. 3, 1946 he married Alice Zahradnick.
Mr. Gaskin’s lifelong spiritual devotion led him to become ordained as a deacon in the Catholic Church in 1991. He served at St. Pius X in Scarsdale as well as serving as chaplain for the Scarsdale Fire and Police departments and the American Legion Scarsdale Post 52. He established a Praesidium of Legion of Mary and held the position of spiritual director. In addition, he was Curia president in charge of all Legion of Mary groups in Westchester.
Mr.Gaskin is survived by his wife of 71 years and their three children, Jeffrey (Lisa) Gaskin, MaryBeth (James) DaBramo, Ted Jr. (Louise) Gaskin and five grandchildren, Matthew Gaskin, Michael DaBramo, Miles Gaskin, Walt Gaskin and Cate Gaskin.
Calling hours were Dec. 31 at Edwin L. Bennett Funeral Home in Scarsdale and a Mass of Christian Burial will take place Saturday, Jan. 2, at 10 a.m. at St. Pius X Church, 91 Secor Road, Scarsdale, followed by burial at Mount Calvary Cemetery in White Plains.
Mass cards in Mr. Gaskin’s name may be made at St. Pius X Church.
Donations in his name may be made to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, 909 North Washington St., Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314, or the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516.