Judge Samuel Norwood Gasque Sr.(1918 - 2011)



LATTA, S.C. - Judge (Ret.) Samuel Norwood Gasque Sr., 93, died Saturday, December 10, 2011 at Marion Medical Center in Marion, S.C.

The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, December 14 at 3 p.m. at Latta United Methodist Church with the Rev. Lee Phillips and the Rev. Paul E. Gasque officiating. Burial will follow in Magnolia Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13 at Kannaday Funeral Home in Latta.

Born July 1, 1918, Judge Gasque, the son of Cordie Allison and Jennie Bell Price Gasque, was reared on a farm in Marion County, one of 12 children. he was a graduate of Zion High School in Zion, S.C. and the National University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

He was married to Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Benton Gasque for 60 years, and to this union, five children were born. Judge Gasque was employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations from 1939 until 1943. He served in the United States Air Force during World War II. He was employed by the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C. from 1947 until 1950.

He moved to Latta in 1951 and started his law practice. He was a member of the Dillon County Bar, South Carolina Bar, South Carolina State Bar, and American Trial Lawyers Association. He was licensed to practice in Federal Court and before the U.S. Supreme Court. He had served as the town attorney for Latta and Lake View. Judge Gasque served in the South Carolina Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives from 1974 until 1977 when he was elected as a Family Court Judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit. he was the first statewide judge and the first Family Court judge elected from Dillon County.

Judge Gasque was a Mason (Dalcho Lodge); Shriner (Omar Temple); a member of American Legion Post No. 32; a past member and past president of Latta Rotary Club; past president of Latta Industrial Corporation; and a past member of the Board of Trustees for the Latta Area Schools, where he served as chairman for 17 years. He was a member of the Latta United Methodist Church, where he had served as chairman of the administrative board, teacher of the Men's Bible Class, and various committees. He was an avid Gamecock football fan.

In March 1990, the bridge at the intersection of U.S. 301 and S.C. 38 in Dillon County was names the S. Norwood Gasque Bridge in his honor.

Survivors include sons, Samuel Norwood (Marilyn) Gasque Jr. of Flat Rock, N.C., and Rev. Paul E. (Laura) Gasque of Latta; daughter, Nancy G. (Buzzy) Finkea of Latta; grandchildren, Jesse J. Brigman III, Nancy E. "Betsy" Finklea, Belva F. (Andy) Britt, Tracy F. Finklea, Conan Gasque and Lauren E. Gasque; great-grandchildren, Savannah V. Brigg, Madison E. Brigman, and Christian T. Britt; special nieces, Diane (Bob) Lee and Vickie Lynn (Claude) Graham; two sisters-in-law, Mabel L. Gasque of Marion and Glenna B. Oksanen of Halifax, Massachusetts; and other nieces, nephews and relatives.

He was predeceased by his wife, Betty; son, James Robert Gasque; daughter, Judith Ann Gasque Moody; six brothers, Hugh G. Gasque, Burnette Gasque, Henry C. Gasque, Senator J. Ralph Gasque, Aubrey C. Gasque, and Guy S. Gasque; and five sisters, Vermel Gasque, Essie Bell Gasque, Jennie Beatrice Gasque, Victoria G. Buster, and Mildred G. Simmons.

Memorials may be made to the Harvest Hope Food Bank, P.O. Box 451, Columbia, SC 29202-0451 (designate Pee Dee Branch), www.harvesthope.org.

You may sign the online guestbook at www.kannadayfuneralhome.com.


Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Dec. 13, 2011