Cover photo for James Lamar Gafgen, Sr.'s Obituary
James Lamar Gafgen, Sr. Profile Photo
1941 James 2019

James Lamar Gafgen, Sr.

September 12, 1941 — October 16, 2019

Morrisville, PA

JAMES GAFGEN, SR., AGE 78, A RENOWNED SCULPTOR, AND LIFE LONG RESIDENT OF MORRISVILLE, PA., PASSED INTO THE ARMS OF OUR LORD, JESUS CHRIST ON OCTOBER 16TH, 2019, FOLLOWING A LENGTHY BATTLE WITH CANCER.  MR. GAFGEN WAS BORN IN TRENTON, NEW JERSEY AND WAS RAISED IN MORRISVILLE WHERE HE ATTENDED HIGH SCHOOL, AND PLAYED FOOTBALL FOR THE 1959 UNDEFEATED TEAM.

SON OF THE LATE HAROLD AND DOROTHY ADAMS GAFGEN AND BROTHER OF THE LATE JERRY GAFGEN,  JAMES IS SURVIVED BY SIBLINGS RUTH AND HUSBAND JOHN MARGISON OF LANGHORNE, DOROTHY AND HUSBAND DONALD BOUGH OF PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA AND NEPHEW SCOTT GAFGEN AND WIFE JACKIE.  HE IS ALSO SURVIVED BY HIS LOVING WIFE DORIS JUNE HOFFMAN GAFGEN, CHILDREN JAMES LAMAR GAFGEN II AND WIFE BARBARA OF YARDLEY PA, LISA GAFGEN MACMAIN AND DAVID MACMAIN OF CHADDS FORD, PA., AND FIVE GRAND CHILDREN ALONG WITH TWO GREAT GRAND CHILDREN.

JAMES WORKED AT U.S. STEEL AND JOHNSON ATELIER SCULPTURE INSTITUTE AND WAS ALSO A FOOTBALL STRENGTH COACH AT THE NESHAMINY AND PENNSBURY HIGH SCHOOLS AND DELAWARE VALLEY COLLEGE.  HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE MORRISVILLE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, MORRISVILLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, THE ARTISTS OF BRISTOL, AND THE BUCKS COUNTY VINTAGE FORD CLUB.

HIS TREMENDOUS ARTISTIC TALENT APPEARED EARLY IN LIFE, AND HE WAS HONORED TO HAVE HIS WORKS ON DISPLAY INTERNATIONALLY.  HIS MOST BELOVED WORKS INCLUDE THE OVER-SIZED BRONZE SCULPTURES OF ROBERT MORRIS (ROBERT MORRIS PLAZA, MORRISVILLE, PA), THE ESTEEMED CIVIL WAR MONUMENTS OF HARRIET TUBMAN (BRISTOL, PA RIVER FRONT) AND MICHAEL DOUGHERTY (BRISTOL, PA), AND RENOWNED FOOTBALL COACH JOHN PETER CUSKIE ON DISPLAY AT NESHAMINY HIGH SCHOOL.

JAMES WAS HONORED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPRENTICE, AND LATER SERVE AS HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT AND SENIOR SCULPTOR IN MODELING AT JOHNSON ATELIER INSTITUTE OF SCULPTURE OF HAMILTON, NJ.  AT THE ATELIER, HE HAD THE UNIQUE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING AS PART OF A TEAM OF INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS ON MANY GREAT WORKS OF ART INCLUDING THE KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL, ALONG WITH MULTIPLE MONUMENTS DISPLAYED AT LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LANDMARKS.  SOME LANDMARKS INCLUDE THE WATERFRONT BASEBALL STADIUM OF TRENTON, THE HAMILTON TRAIN STATION, THE FORMER TRUMP TAJ MAHAL IN ATLANTIC CITY, HOPE COLLEGE OF HOLLAND MICHIGAN, THE ENRICO CARUSO MUSEUM IN BROOKLYN, THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE OF N.Y., AND EVEN THE NETHERLANDS.   IN 1994 JIM ALSO RECEIVED A COMMISSION TO CREATE A BRONZE STATUETTE TO COMMEMORATE THE U.S. WORLD CUP SOCCER TEAM.   ONE OF HIS FAVORITE HOBBIES WAS WORKING FOR SEVERAL YEARS TO FULLY RESTORE AND MAINTAIN HIS NATIONAL AWARD WINNING 1940 FORD OPERA COUPE CAR NAMED AFFECTIONATELY “MINNIE”.

JAMES LIVED AN EXEMPLARY LIFE, AND WILL BE FOREVER REMEMBERED AS A FAITHFUL SERVANT OF JESUS, A WONDERFUL AND GENEROUS FRIEND TO EVERYONE, AND A LOVING HUSBAND AND FATHER.  MEMORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE MORRISVILLE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.  TO HONOR AND REMEMBER JAMES, A CELEBRATION OF LIFE SERVICE WILL BE HELD ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17TH AT THE MORRISVILLE METHODIST CHURCH AT TAFT AND MAPLE AVENUE IN MORRISVILLE, PA. VISITATION BEGINS AT 2:30 PM FOLLOWED BY THE SERVICE AT 4:00 PM.


Charitable donations may be made to:

Morrisville United Methodist Church
501 W. Maple Ave., Morrisville PA 19067
Tel: 1-215-295-9593
Web: http://www.mumcpa.org


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