Wayne Henderson Gaston was born April 7, 1916 at Bora, Kan., the son of Hubert and Edna (Samuelson) Gaston.
As a teenager, Wayne made a commitment to follow Christ and faithfully served him throughout his life. He graduated from high school in Centralia, Kan. in 1934 and had the special experience of attending his 70th class reunion in 2004 with his two sisters, brother, and daughter for a wonderful time of reminiscing and visiting their childhood homes.
After high school, Wayne attended a mechanic school in Kansas. After his parents lost their farm in the Dust Bowl and Depression days, the family moved to the Peterson area to be near relatives.
Wayne did body and fender work in Storm Lake and Jackson, Minn. for a short while, then worked for various farmers in the Aurelia and Alta areas. It was while he was working in the Alta area that he started attending Elk Baptist Church north of Alta where he met his future wife, Bernadine. Wayne entered the Army on Feb. 19, 1942 and served in North Africa and Italy until his discharge on Aug. 15, 1945. When he returned from the service, he and Bernadine were married at Elk Baptist Church on Nov. 14, 1945. They farmed in the Peterson area for three years and then finished their farming years north of Aurelia, retiring in 1980 and moving to Aurelia.
Wayne was active in the United Methodist Church where he and Bernadine, along with Carl and Naomi Fuhrman, initiated a scholarship loan program to college bound students. He was a faithful member of Kiwanis and American Legion and a Peer mentor in the early 90's; he enjoyed mowing, planting flowers, and watering trees at the church; and for many years he planted and watered the flowers at the town gazebo. He was given a Governor's volunteer award in 1989. Wayne was very civic minded and enjoyed helping wherever he saw a need. He was excited to be part of the WWII veterans who experienced the Siouxland Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in 2007. He was humbled to be named Aurelia's Citizen of the Year in 2007.
Wayne died Sunday, July 3, 2011 at the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, Storm Lake.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Jim Gaston, brother Bill Gaston, and his beloved wife, Bernadine Nelson Gaston in 2002.
Those blessed to have been a part of his life include his daughter, Carol and her husband Lyle Rasmussen of Waverly, daughter Dr. Janet Gaston and her husband David Fattig of Alamo, Calif., daughter Kay and her husband Randy Jipp of Aurelia; grandchildren: Paul and Paula Rasmussen of McGregor, Jill and Eric Groezinger of Wheaton, Ill., Joshua and Amber Jipp of Atlanta, Ga., Emily Jipp of Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Fattig and Greg Fattig of Alamo, Calif., and Brian Fattig of Davis, Calif.. Great-grandchildren are Taylor Rose and Nora Rasmussen, Nathan and Brooke Groezinger, and Josiah Wayne Jipp.
Other survivors include his sisters, Betty Mugasis of Pueblo, Colo. and Gracia Davenport of Sioux City, sister-in-law Janan Gaston of Wauwatosa, Wisc., brother-in-law Rev. Alvin and Ardys Nelson of Albert Lea, Minn., sister-in-law Marian Nelson of Lady Lake, Fla., and many nieces and nephews.