Herschel "Gat" Gaston, passed away peacefully on August 24, 2023, after an extended illness, in Birmingham, Alabama. Born in Hillside, New Jersey, on October 26, 1966, Gat was a loving and dedicated family man, a respected veteran, and a valued member of his community.
Gat is survived by his loving wife, Pearleen Gaston, and his adoring daughters, Tiffany Williams, Destiny Lewis, Yaminnh Lewis, and Jasmine Lewis. His legacy also lives on in his sisters, Inayah Wafiyyah Abdussalaam (Wynel Avia Gaston) and Donna Gaston, and his cherished nieces and nephews, Tatiana Williams, Khalil Abdulrahim, Fatimah Abdulmateen, A'ishah Abdulmateen, Khadijah Abdulmateen, Inayah Abdulmateen, and Elicia Gaston. The profound impact of Gat's life extends to a host of aunts, uncles, and other relatives who mourn his loss but celebrate the richness of his life. He is preceded in death by his parents, Roy Gaston and Katie Mae Barnes.
As a child, Herschel was very outgoing and friendly. He loved sports, his dogs, and his family and friends. He played little league baseball for most of his younger years and in high school he transitioned to football. He had a strong work ethic even as a child. He had a paper route that he worked hard on. Then as a teenager he was able to get a job working with his father at a vitamin factory.
After high school, he joined the Army Reserves, were he served 5 years. After his discharge, he went on to have numerous jobs that he worked hard at and paved his way into the management sector, without the benefit of a college degree. He believed hard work and good character would take you as far as you wanted to go. He eventually ended up at the NBA as inventory manager for the corporate office. He loved this position and all that he was able to accomplish in it.
Throughout his youth, Herschel believed in having fun and meeting people. He had a strong sense of community and belonging to things that matter. This led him to the Masonic Brotherhood. If there was ever an organization that meant everything to him, it was the Masons. He was a proud member and strove hard to rise in the ranks. He was able to achieve his 33rd degree in his early twenties and eventually was able to obtain the title of Worshipful Master.
Despite his sometimes-intimidating appearance, Gat was a gentle soul, often described as a big teddy bear by those who knew him well. His kindness and warmth were matched only by his wisdom, which he generously shared on the Real Talk radio show. Gat was known for his concentrated focus, likened to that of frozen orange juice, a testament to his ability to delve into matters with depth and precision.
In every aspect of his life, Gat exemplified a spirit of service, dedication, and love. His gentle nature made him a beacon in his community and a pillar in his family. His life was a testament to the power of perseverance, kindness, and love. Gat's legacy will continue to inspire his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched.
A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 am, Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at Sunset Memorial Park Chapel. The family will receive friends from 10:30 am until 11:00 am prior to the services.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Sunset Memorial Park.