Memorial Service Reflects on Life of SLU Alum Sam Gaskill

Courtesy of the Gaskill Family.

Courtesy of the Gaskill Family.

This past Monday, Sept. 30, friends, family and faculty gathered in the Spring Hall chapel to remember the life of Sam Gaskill. Those in attendance recounted stories of Gaskill and listened to music to foster an atmosphere of remembrance for those who knew him. Many of Gaskill’s friends and acquaintances wore tie-dye, a nod to Gaskill’s love for the pattern. 


Members of the Communications and Theological Studies departments shared their experiences and offered time for reflection on Gaskill’s life. In speaking about him, a common theme was the positive light that Gaskill had brought to the lives of those around him.


Gaskill, who passed away on Sunday, Sept. 1, graduated from Saint Louis University’s College of Arts and Sciences in the spring of 2019, with a major in communication and a minor in political science. While at SLU, Gaskill was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association Honor Society. He was also a member of the University News team. 


Gaskill’s love of St. Louis and people was evident throughout the memorial service, and his passion for social justice and the SLU mission was present in all he did.

Dan V. Kozlowski, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Interim Department Chair for the Department of Communication at SLU, noted Gaskill’s passion and impact he had on those he met.

“Sam was a terrific student who was well liked by his teachers and his classmates. He was earnest and thoughtful and was committed to making the world a more just and equitable place,” Kozowski stated.


Gaskill’s desire for community engagement and social justice led him to discover a passion for teaching after he graduated. 


In his obituary in the Daily Memphian, Gaskill was said to have discovered this calling after “he was accepted into the San Antonio cohort of Teach for America and spent four weeks at the TFA Institute at the University of Houston.”


This time at Teach for America inspired Gaskill to “spend several years giving back by teaching young people,” according to the Daily Memphian.


In a statement on SLU’s website, the University announced the memorial service and stated that “the University community continues to mourn Sam’s passing and extends its deepest sympathies to his family and friends.” Students struggling with his passing are encouraged to visit the University Counseling Center on the second floor of Wuller Hall or call 314-977-8255 (TALK) if they or someone they know is in crisis. 

Whether it be in Spring Hall chapel or his hometown of Memphis, his life of service and dedication to people will not be forgotten.

“In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Memphis Humane Society, MIFA or Just City,” stated the bottom of his obituary in the Daily Memphian. Even in death, Gaskill’s legacy of giving lives on.