Edward Gasque, 84

Tractor operator

February 18, 2007

Edward Gasque, a retired Bethlehem Steel tractor operator and a trustee at Mount Winans First Baptist Church, died Wednesday of complications from pneumonia at Union Memorial Hospital. He was 84.

As a young man, he left his hometown of Dillon, S.C., to join an older brother in Baltimore and work for Bethlehem Steel at Sparrows Point.

He and his wife, the former Alice Shaw, moved to the Mount Winans neighborhood in Baltimore. Later, they settled in Irvington, where they raised four children.

On Thursdays, when Mr. Gasque was paid, he would bring home fresh doughnuts and chocolate milk for his children, a daughter, Vivian Glass of Ellicott City, recalled. On weekends, he often took them to roller skate or listen to music at friends' homes.

After operating a tractor for Bethlehem Steel for 39 years, he retired in 1983. After he retired, he enjoyed listening to gospel music on the radio and watching the Orioles.

He was a member of the Mount Winans congregation for decades, serving as an usher and a trustee.

A sharp dresser, he never left the house without a hat, said daughter Patricia Johnson of Randallstown. "He wore a shirt and tie even to the grocery store," she said.

"My father was a very quiet man but a very wise man," she said. "He didn't do much talking, but when he spoke, you listened."

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Mount Winans First Baptist Church, 2417 Puget St. in Baltimore.

In addition to his wife of 63 years and his daughters, survivors include another daughter, Belinda Anderson of Baltimore; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A son, Melvin Gasque, died in 1995.

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