In a Graveside Memorial Service Saturday, September 30, 2023 At the Forest Hills Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama, legendary U.S. Team Spacemodeling Champion and NAR Birmingham Rocket Boys Club Member; George Gassaway, was finally laid to rest with his parents as he requested.
Vince Huegele, and his wife Sharal, from Huntsville, Alabama attended George’s Memorial. Vince opened the Service with an inspiring New Testament Bible reading and words of reflection about George and how he was impacted by his life. Rocket Boys Club Member and Minister, Carol Witherspoon, also gave her reflections about George and his mother Margaret, and how George had become like family to her. Carol closed by praying an inspiring prayer and then turned the service over to me for the eulogy. As an Ordained Minister I was able to fulfill George’s request when he asked me in 2008 to officiate his mother’s Memorial Service, and to eulogize her.
In my eulogy of George I spoke of those last days I spent with him back in January of this year when he visited us. After helping him empty his storage unit of all of his rocket stuff, and loading it into his uhaul trailer to take back to his home in Minnesota, we had some quality time together. The Saturday before he left he attended our monthly Birmingham Rocket Boys Club rocket launch. George had been a member of our club for several years and had served as Vice President at one time. Little did I know then that it would be the last time that George would ever fly with us or that it would be George’s last rocket flight ever.
In honor of George, Birmingham Rocket Boys Officer, Rick Peek, assisted me in laying a wreath on his parents grave as I gave the committal of his cremains.
I want to say thanks to the Birmingham Rocket Boys for purchasing the wreath for George, and for assisting me to perform this service, and to Ed LaCroix and Keith Vinyard for securing George’s cremains so we could give him a proper Christian burial, and lay him to rest. Rest in Peace George my Brother and Friend until when we one day meet again……Ron Witherspoon