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Andy Gaskin

If it is true that heaven is where all your past pets come running out to greet you, then there was quite a hullabaloo up yonder on January 19th.

World War II veteran Andrew "Andy" Claude Gaskin, 88, who never met a dog or cat he didn't adore, passed away January 19, 2014 in Medford.

A memorial service in his honor will be held beginning at 2:00 p.m. today, at the Eagle Point National Cemetery chapel. Interment will follow in the cemetery.

Born in Bokoshe, Okla. December 25, 1925, he, like many of his WWII brethren, fibbed about his age and joined the U.S. Army Air Force on September 2, 1942 in Spokane, Wash. He was just shy of 17. Despite his youth, he served honorably. He was sent to the China-Burma-India theater, serving in central Burma and India from January 18, 1945 to January 6, 1946. He was a medical technician attached to the 133rd Army Air Forces Base Unit, rising to the rank of corporal.

He received the Distinguished Unit Badge, World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and American Campaign Medal.

He completed his hitch at the end of February, 1946. Like many WWII veterans, he didn't talk much about his service. Instead, he got on with his life. He attended the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls on the GI Bill, becoming a body and fender worker and an insurance adjuster.

His survivors include brother, Marvin Gaskin of Okla.; sister, Bernice Gaskin Clow of Calif.; Arthur "Art" Choate of Springfield; daughter, Teresa Gaskin Helton and son-in-law Jim Helton of Grants Pass and daughter Maureen Gaskin Fattig and son-in-law Paul Fattig of Jacksonville; and grandchildren Blaine, Blair, Rick, Rosalee, Derra, and Sheena. He was preceded in death by his parents, Franklin Raymond Gaskin and Lola Richardson Gaskin; and siblings Hubert Gaskin, Edna Gaskin Barton, and Allen Choate.