March 31, 2021

Obituaries 3/31/2021

Norman Edward Gaskins, Jr.

Norman Edward Gaskins, Jr. died unexpectedly on March 4, 2021 at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Muhlenberg, PA. He was 77 years old and was retired. He was admitted to the hospital on February 24, 2021 and was immediately put onto oxygen to try to bring up his levels. One week and a day later, he passed away from pneumonia as a result of COVID-19.

Norman was born on April 19, 1943 in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of the late Norman Edward Gaskins, Sr. and E. Ermalene (Hall) Gaskins. With the passing of his father, the family moved to Princeton, New Jersey, after living on the campus of Lincoln University, outside of Oxford, Pennsylvania, where his father was a Professor of Organic Chemistry for over 20 years. Lincoln’s campus had many children about and one of Norman’s friends was Julian Bond and his brother James, and they would roam the campus making up games and boys just being boys.

Norman graduated from Princeton High School, where he played football and played the clarinet and saxophone in the Princeton High School Band. He attended Lincoln University and served in the U.S. Army for nine years, training in Minnesota and then onto the island of Crete in Greece, working with Nike Missiles. Later he served in Furth and Ansbach, Germany, a base the U.S. Army took over after World War II. Within this time frame, he married the late Marlyn (Funk) Gaskins of Minnesota.

He was later employed by the company GE/Betz, Inc. of Trevose, Pennsylvania, and Addison, Illinois, where he retired. He also enjoyed playing music with a few old friends, organizing a jazz band of sorts. Later he went back to a beloved hobby of his collecting, designing, and building scaled model trucks, “18 wheelers,” and when he was growing up, how he loved his farm tractors … those “green” John Deeres.

Norman is survived by his wife, Sandra (Fuchs) Gaskins, of Easton, PA, and their two children, Jennifer G. Niederer and her husband John of Hamburg, NJ, and Jeremey Gaskins and his wife Nicole S. of Kissimmee, FL; and his four children with his first wife Marlyn, Norman E. Gaskins III and his wife Jennifer A. of Minnetonka, MN, Melonie G. Elvebak and her husband Mitchel of Waconia, MN, Robert Gaskins and his wife Jennie U. of Brooklyn Park, MN, and Gregory Gaskins and his wife Michele D., Brooklyn Park, MN. He is also survived by a brother, Owen Hall Gaskins of Hamilton (Princeton), NJ; an aunt, Mary E. Hall Sibley of Los Angeles, CA, and an uncle, Richard G. Hall of Blue Bell, PA; 11 grandchildren; and a host of cousins and many dear friends.

A committal service at the graveside of his parents at Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, NJ, to be determined.