‘Truly a gem to our city’; Charlotte pastor, community leader Darryl Gaston dies at age 59

‘Truly a gem to our city’; Charlotte pastor, community leader Darryl Gaston dies at age 59
Charlotte pastor and community leader Darryl Gaston has passed away at the age of 59. (Source: City of Charlotte)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte pastor and community leader Darryl Gaston has passed away at the age of 59.

Community members and elected officials remembered Gaston for his generous spirit, positive attitude and dedication to the North End community.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles says Gaston was “truly a gem to our city, one we will always be grateful for.” Mayor Lyles spoke about Gaston during Monday’s city council meeting.

Councilman Larken Egleston read a proclamation for Darryl Gaston Monday night.

“He made Charlotte a better place for all of us and he will be missed dearly,” Egleston said.

Councilman Larken Egleston read a proclamation for Darryl Gaston Monday night.
Councilman Larken Egleston read a proclamation for Darryl Gaston Monday night. (Source: City of Charlotte)

According to his obituary, Gaston was born in Charlotte, NC on June 24, 1961. He has served as the pastor of Smallwood Presbyterian Church for the last eight years.

According to his obituary, Gaston became a licensed master barber stylist and educator and had a successful career as a business owner and entrepreneur. In 1996, he sold his businesses to become a full-time caregiver for his ailing mother.

Gaston was active in Charlotte particularly in the Druid Hills and North End communities. He was committed to homeless ministry and helping to eradicate individuals experiencing homelessness.

He was board member of the Resident Leadership Council for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, a former Board member of the Charlotte Area Fund, a member of the Central Division of the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Advisory Council and Neighbor Works America. He was a member of the Mecklenburg Audubon Society and a certified Wildlife Habitat Steward. In partnership with the Mecklenburg Audubon Society, Druid Hills Neighborhood Association hosted the first  Annual Birds and Nature Festival in 2019.

Darryl met his wife, Melissa, while serving as community advocates. They were married May 27, 2014. She was the second half of “Team Gaston” as they were affectionately known throughout the City of Charlotte.

Darryl leaves to cherish his memory, his wife Melissa, a stepson Michael Lowe, and a sweet grandbaby Ava, brother William T. Gaston, his special uncle-brother Raymond Holman (Margie), his best friend James Robinson, numerous aunts, nephews, nieces, great nieces, great nephews, cousin, and friends.

“Darryl was blessed with an inner and outer beauty. He was warm, dignified, classy, friendly, very sensitive, and enjoyed helping people. He loved his family and was caring, understanding, faithful and greatly devoted. Darryl was indeed a wonderful person. Although our hearts are heavy laden with sorrow, we can never forget that God in His infinite wisdom and graciousness, gave us the greatest gift of all. The endless love of a wonderful man who walked through life with us as a husband, son, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, friend, and most of all a servant leader. God has called him home to a kingdom of perpetual sunshine, but his bright, happy, loving spirit will forever be with those of us who knew and loved him. Rest well my love, you will never be forgotten, your work here is done,” his obituary reads.

A celebration of Gaston’s life will also be held on June 24, which would’ve been his 60th birthday, at Camp North End.

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