Welcome to the memorial page for

Robert W Gaskin

July 23, 1941 ~ December 19, 2017 (age 76)

Colonel Robert Waddell Gaskin, USAF Ret., 76, of Miramar Beach, FL, passed away December 19 from complications of pancreatic cancer diagnosed in 2010. Born July 23, 1941, in Sumter, SC, to Marguerite and Joseph B. Gaskin, Jr., Robert attended Camden High School and was an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Clemson University in 1966 with a double major in History and Economics. After a short stint with the DuPont Company in Chattanooga, TN, he joined the Air Force to pursue his true passion – flying fighter jet planes. Robert flew O-2's as a Forward Air Controller in Pleiku, Vietnam, in 1969 where he met the love of his life, Sally Deale, an Assistant Field Director with the American Red Cross. He served 28 years in the U.S. Air Force as a T-38 Instructor Pilot at Randolph AFB, a U-2 pilot at Beale AFB, an F-4 pilot at Seymour Johnson AFB, Kunsan AB, and Clark AB, and as Squadron Commander of the 19th TASS at Osan AB. In his last assignment he “flew a desk” in the Office of Net Assessment for the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon, and created the Joint Air Force Component Command (JFACC). Upon retirement from the Air Force, he became Vice President for Government Relations & Legislative Affairs for Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and the American Logistics Association (ALA). From 2000 to 2010 he was Executive Director of the Emerald Coast Science Center in Ft. Walton Beach. He was an avid reader of everything about history, religion, politics and espionage fiction. He loved Twitter, playing golf and taught himself astronomy and astrophotography ( On clear nights he’d roll his huge telescope out on his driveway and teach sidewalk astronomy to anyone who was interested. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sally; their two daughters, Becca Webb and husband David, Sarah McKinney and husband Buck; seven granddaughters; and his brother, Jay Gaskin and wife Sandy. Colonel Gaskin will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Emerald Coast Science Center of Fort Walton Beach in memory of Bob Gaskin. Expressions of love and sympathy can be viewed or submitted online at

Charitable donations may be made to:

Emerald Coast Science Center
31 Memorial Pkwy SW, Fort Walton Beach FL 32548
Tel: 1-850-664-1261

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