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Saying farewell to ‘Mr. Mayor’

SOUTH POINT — The community came out on a snowy Wednesday to say farewell to their friend, Bill Gaskin.

Gaskin, South Point’s longtime mayor, died Friday at the age of 80 following an illness. He was serving his eighth term as the leader of the village at the time of his death.

The sanctuary of First Baptist Church in South Point, where Gaskin worshipped, was filled with community leaders, law enforcement and fire department personnel.

“The family appreciates your love and support and the many kindnesses you have shown,” Pastor Lou Ashworth told the congregation.

“We are all sad this afternoon, but there is also the joy of knowing the victory of a life well-spent,” Ashworth said. “This was a life well-spent.”

Gaskin was praised for his dedication to his adopted hometown. The Feesburg native, who served 30 years as the mayor, was instrumental in the formation of The Point Industrial Park, president of the Ohio Municipal League and the Ohio Association of Mayors as well as serving on the Ohio Public Works Committee, the Lawrence Economic Development Corp. and the Huntington/Ironton Empowerment Zone.

“When I think of Brother Bill, I think of two characteristics, strength and the beauty of the character of Brother Bill,” Ashworth said. “Bill Gaskin was a man you could count on. He had integrity, honest to the core. Bill loved this community and these people. The great crowd last night (at the visitation) and today is a tribute to Bill Gaskin. Bill Gaskin was the kind of man we should all aspire to be.”