Stephen Ray Gatlin
Oct. 20, 2019 brought a profound loss in the passing of Stephen Ray Gatlin, 62, of Carbondale.
He was born on Feb. 20, 1957, in Paducah, Ky., the second son of John Thomas and Lurena Joel Golden Gatlin, both now deceased.
He was also preceded in death by two younger brothers, James Lewis Gatlin and Kenneth Scott Gatlin, both formerly of Paducah.
He is survived by one older brother, Thomas Wayne Gatlin of Cobden.
While still living in Paducah in the 1970’s, he worked for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as a road construction survey rodman.
The 1980’s found him living in the Southeast, including Mississippi and Georgia, where he was a technician working with geosource survey and mapping companies.
In the 1990’s he moved to Houston, Texas, where he found love and was married to Cynthia Burge of Houston.
During this period, he did sampling and testing of construction materials for the highway department.
Later he moved to Bullhead City, Ariz., where he continued materials testing in the booming Las Vegas area. (He was always proud of the fact he had helped build the Pyramid in Vegas.)
His career in construction in no way defined him. His lifelong passion was music, especially the music of The Beatles.
Playing guitar from about the age of 12, he became an accomplished musician and could play lead, rhythm or bass guitar on most of The Beatles’ enormous musical catalogue.
He had started back in Paducah playing in several “garage bands” with Grand Funk Railroad featuring prominently in their repertoire.
Much later while in Arizona, he at times played professionally at clubs and coffee shops with his second wife, Charisma Lynn Gatlin, and they often wrote and performed original material.
But in spite of these occasional public performances, his overriding motivation and purpose in life has been the sheer joy of playing music with friends and family with whom he reunited, in moving to Carbondale in 2003.
Since then he has reconnected with old friends and made many new ones through his personal charm, warmth, generosity, whimsical style and quirky sense of humor. He made the world a better place.
Arrangements for his cremation are with Rendleman & Hileman Funeral Home. Memorial services will be announced at a later date.
Memorials can be made to the PAWS Place Animal Adoption Center, 139 E. Vienna St., Anna, Ill. 62906; 618-833-3647.
To view the obituary and to leave online condolences for the family, visit www.rendlemanhilemanfh.com.
Rendleman & Hileman Funeral Home in Cobden is in charge of arrangements.