Cover photo for James Elam Gaskins, Jr.'s Obituary
James Elam Gaskins, Jr. Profile Photo
1968 James 2023

James Elam Gaskins, Jr.

April 17, 1968 — September 9, 2023


James Elam Gaskins Jr. April 17, 1968 – September 9, 2023, The Man, the Myth, the Legend, the one and only Pappy. James Elam Gaskins Jr., affectionately known as ‘Pappy,’ was a dedicated and unwavering farmer. Born on April 17, 1968, he was the beloved son of James “Jimmy” and Margaret Gaskins. From his earliest days, it was clear that James had a special and steadfast care and love for the connection to the land and animals, coupled with his passion for literature and history. 

His dedication to his family and the farm equipped him with the knowledge and skills needed to rebuild the family farm back to its former glory, transforming it into his sanctuary and carrying forward the legacy of his father and grandfather. His connection with the animals was only surpassed by his profound love for his family. This love was unwavering.

He was a devoted husband to his wife, a loving father to four children, and an enthusiastic Pappy to his three grandchildren. His romance for his family blossomed through the years. He married the love of his life, Penny, on October 13, 2006, and gained two brothers, Don Griffin and Tommy Griffin, and four children. James and Penny raised their children together: Victoria Green (Alex), Joseph Herold (Miranda), McCoy Herold (Shannon), and Callie Herold (Mya). James instilled the values of hard work, stewardship, and respect for nature. 

James’ love for his children was indescribable and grew with the welcoming of his grandson Braxton Green and his two granddaughters McKinlee and Everly Herold. James shared his tender heart with his three grandchildren. Better known as ‘Pappy,’ he dedicated his farm, Coochee Creek Farms, LLC., to providing an exciting place for the children to learn, grow, and play. 

His humor and practical jokes were first played on his loving sister, Tammy Paulk (Jim). He shared these shenanigans with his niece, Tracy Griffin, and nephew, Ashley Paulk. The two received their uncle’s jokes with bellyfulls of laughter. 

His best friend, John Lindsey, became the Daffy to his Bugs. After learning to walk together, the two of them grew into intelligent and caring adults whom the neighborhood kids referred to as Uncle Hub and Uncle Garth.

As the years passed, his family expanded larger than he could have hoped for and imagined. After years of wondering and praying, in 2020, James met his three biological brothers, Marty Anderson, Randy Small, and Troy Small. From the moment they met, their bond was unlike any other. It seemed like they had known each other all their lives. They were in constant contact with each other from that moment on. 

He was inducted into the National Society of the Descendants of American Farmers. He was a proud Georgia man with a great knowledge of the local area. 

He was employed at Langboard Inc. as a millwright for nearly 19 years and enjoyed each of the special coworkers he met along the way. 

On September 9, 2023, James Gaskins, loving husband and father, bid farewell, joining the Lord and Savior in the promised land. The celebration of life was held at the family church, Willacoochee First Baptist Church, with Rev. Joe Taft officiating. Special music included “Jealous of The Angels” and “I’ll Fly Away” rendered by cd, and “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” rendered by Jason and Amy Hunkapiller. James left the church in the hands of pallbearers and brothers Marty, Randy, Troy, and Don. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, James E Gaskins Sr. & Margret Lott; brother Rusty Anderson, biological father Charles E Small; and brother-in-law Tommy Griffin. 

He leaves a host of family, great neighbors, and special friends to live on his legacy. 

In James’ words, “That’s All Folks!”


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