Mr. John Russell Gaston Jr., affectionately called “Russ”, was born to the late John Russell Gaston, Sr., and Josie G. Gaston on April 16,1956 in Fairfield County, South Carolina. He died to this life unexpectedly on Saturday, January 31, 2022. A caring and godly man, Russ touched and blessed the lives of many, through his commitment and dedication to his family and his service to the church, the community and beyond.
Mr. Gaston was baptized as a child at Shiloh First Presbyterian Church where he served until his death as a ruling elder, church treasurer, technology technician, maintenance engineer, events planner, choir member, food service specialist and doing whatever was needed for the good of the church. He was a devoted student in Sunday School and bible study. He worked tirelessly to ensure Shiloh’s needs were met in any way he could.
Mr. Gaston graduated from Winnsboro High School and attended Benedict College where he received his Bachelor of Science degree. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Mrs. Jannita Creswell Gaston, to whom he has been married for forty years. Mr. Gaston had a long and successful career as a recreational specialist with the South Carolina Department of Corrections where he facilitated recreational sports for inmates and taught them significant life skills for re-entry into life beyond corrections. While working in corrections, Mr. Gaston made many life-long friends who continued to share time with him in laughter and often helping others. Mr. Gaston was widely known for his culinary skills and served many meals at events across the state to include high school reunions, church events, family gatherings, football tailgating, and community events.
Being involved in the life of the community was important to Mr. Gaston, which was demonstrated by his life Membership in the NAACP, a member of the United Masonic Lodge 401 and his volunteer spirt. He was politically savvy and remained up to date on current events to include what was happening in the State Legislature on a daily basis when in session.
Mr. Gaston was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Alexander Gaston.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, the Honorable Jannita Creswell Gaston; son, Javon Gaston; daughter, Sojourner Jennings (Alvin); brother, Alvin Gaston; six grandchildren; one nephew; aunts, uncles, many other relatives and a host of friends. His humor and laughable statements along with his no nonsense approach to many real-life issues will be greatly missed.
Though he is no longer with us in the flesh, “Russ” will forever live in the memories and spirit of his surviving family members, friends, community and church family. For he loved God by loving
A Memorial Service Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Mr. John Gaston Jr. will be 12 noon Friday January 6, 2023 @ Sion Presbyterian Church USA, 116 W. Washington St. Winnsboro SC 29180. Visitation will be Thursday January 5, 2023 from 3 pm to 5:45 pm and Masonic Rites start @ 6 pm @ Russell-McCutchen Funeral Home, 324 S. Vanderhorst St. Winnsboro SC 29180.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the following in memory of John Russell, Gaston, Jr. to one of these funds.
Shiloh First Presbyterian Church
For: The Church Memorial Fund
Make Check payable to: Shiloh First Presbyterian Church
Shiloh First Presbyterian Church
Mail to PO Box 231
Winnsboro, SC 29180
For: Hudson-Langford Scholarship Fund
Make check payable to: Trinity Prersbytery
c/o Alleen Ernst
554 Davega Drive
Lexington, SC 29072
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