Somehow if heaven isn’t the perfect place that people have been led to believe, Chuck Gatson upon his unexpected arrival there this month will cry out: “Hey, Jesus! We need to talk.”
Then expect a deal to be made to build better places in that Great Beyond. Gatson certainly did all of that and more in Kansas City during his 64 years on Earth before complications after coronary bypass surgery brought about his untimely death on Dec. 1.
A memorial service for Gatson was held Thursday night at the Victorious Life Church, 3400 the Paseo, with speeches and singing. The place was packed with hundreds of people, including many current and former city officials whom Gatson worked with to help build up the town’s urban core.
One speaker during the service, Emmett Pierson, credited Gatson with making sure that millions of development dollars went to minority contractors. Several speakers, including his wife, Alice Wadsworth, quoted one of Gatson’s favorite sayings: “Make a deal; dig a hole,” to prepare to pour concrete for the foundation of the actual development.
Too often, work done in the inner city fails to include African American businesses and workers. Gatson helped ensure that there was more economic equity in the projects he made into bricks-and-mortar reality.
More Gatsons are needed now in this community. But for sure, he is continuing his heavenly work to make that other place even better.