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Raymond W. Gaskin

September 18, 1949 ~ February 10, 2022 (age 72)

Obituary

The Lord Giveth and The Lord Taketh Away.  Very quietly the Lord reached out for Raymond Gaskin on February 10, 2022.  Raymond was born on September 18, 1949, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Evelyn Gaskin and Joseph Faust.  As the eldest of 6 children, Raymond was a leader within the family and always sought to gain more knowledge.   His zest for learning, led him to have interest in playing music.  His mother, Evelyn, was also musically inclined, so she purchased a piano and taught him how to play.  Raymond attended Simon Gratz High School where he played the violin as well.  He was a musical prodigy, as he excelled in these instruments.  His mother, knowing that her son had such a talent, had him apply to Settlement Music School for professional training.  Raymond was accepted and attended the music school while going to high school.   As an academic honor student, Raymond was asked to play at his high school graduation.  He excelled in all school subjects from elementary school through high school and with his academic honors, he won full scholarships to several colleges, choosing Lincoln University.

Each Sunday, Raymond, Vivian (sister) and Zachary (brother) would walk to seek out different churches since Raymond wanted to play the piano for a church.  He would sit through the services to listen to the choirs and musicians.  One day they discovered Second Baptist Church of Nicetown and were so excited to tell their mother.  After informing her they wanted to join Second Baptist, the rest was history.   The church was the foundation of his music career.  He started out playing for the Rosette Choir, then the Young Adult Choir and finally the Adult Choir.  All three choirs excelled in singing under his direction.  He loved to go to church so much he met a beautiful young lady name Muriel Graves who also sang on the Young Adult Choir.  Their passion for music soon led to the creation of a new traveling singing group that included Muriel, her sister Gaile, and their friend Sandra Carr.  They traveled to many churches and became well known within the church community.  Raymond also created the Inspiration Choir before becoming the choir director/pianist/organist at Philippian Baptist Church and later at Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia.  He brought high value to any music ministry he was involved in and was known to make the organ “talk”.  Raymond loved gospel music, but he also had an appreciation for other types of music.  Some his favorite artists included Bloodstone, Switch, Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago and Stevie Wonder. 

Raymond and Muriel were married in 1971 and their union produced two children, Keeya and Gabriel.  Subsequently, Raymond’s honorary daughter, Nicole and his third child, Keyara, were born.  Although Raymond and Muriel’s union did not last, they maintained a close relationship for the sake of their children and grandchildren. 

Raymond worked for SEPTA for 31 years and retired in 2003.  During his career, he was presented several awards for his service and safety record. In his continued love of learning, Raymond took various computer classes for his personal enrichment. 

Raymond’s grandchildren called him “Poppy” and they looked forward to his eclectic assortment of birthday and Christmas gifts.  After he retired, his hobbies included recording videos, reading, taking photos of family and friends and bragging about his grandkids.

Raymond was preceded in death by his father, Joseph, mother, Evelyn and great-grandson, Nicholas.  He leaves behind 3 children, Keeya Gaskin-Martin (Carlis), Gabriel Gaskin (Kimberly) and Keyara Cunningham, honorary daughter Nicole Moore (James), 5 siblings Vivian Anderson, Zachary Stephens (Joy), Marilyn Stephens, Marian Stephens-Mayhem (Aaron) and Dominque Stephens, 7 grandchildren, Azariah, Devin, Janell, Darius, David, Kendall and Anna, 1 great-grandson, Axle, and a host of nieces, nephews, other family and friends.

 

Submitted With Love,

The Family

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Services

Memorial Service
Friday
February 25, 2022

11:00 AM
Vision of Hope Baptist Church
908 West Avenue
Jenkintown, PA 19046

Private Interment

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