Raymond Doyle Gaines, age 88, passed away Friday, January 13, 2017, at Macon County General Hospital.
In 1964 he was elected Superintendent of Schools and served in that role for sixteen years. For the next ten years he served in the Tennessee Department of Education as Assistant Commissioner and as Executive Director of the State Special Schools. In 1990 he was elected Macon County Executive and served in that position for twelve years. Doyle retired in 2002. He had a passion for Macon County, its people and its history.
Gaines helped with the book on the Korean War which the Historical Society is currently working on.
He also compiled stories from World War II Veterans across Tennessee, and with the help of the Historical Society, turned the stories into a book called Macon County Veterans of World War II.
June Shrum, Secretary of the Historical Society, commented, “He was one of the finest people I’ve ever known. He was friendly, outgoing, and a good storyteller. I’m glad I got to know him. He has done so much for Macon County. He helped so many people. He’d come in singing, and when he’d leave, he’d always say ‘Adios!’”
Shrum said Gaines once told Mayor Steve Jones, ‘Don’t ever forget the Historical Society.’ “He saw what we were doing and where we were going. He saw how important it was for the County to back us.”
Shrum also added that he loved his family and the WWII book meant more to him than anything.
Mr. Gaines had commented in a April, 2015 interview with the Macon County Times that he played basketball at Red Boiling Springs High School. Gaines had commented, “We were undefeated, we even beat Lafayette three times. I played as a forward. I was quick as hiccups!” He then became a teacher at Macon County High School. He taught Biology, PE, coached boys and girls basketball and was an assistant coach in football.
During that same interview his wife said that he enjoyed handing out Hershey Kisses to folks at Walmart and he would always bring her candy home, as well. He left her some Hershey Kisses on the bathroom sink every day.
He is survived by his wife Shirley, and four children: David Gaines and wife, Kathy, Dale Reid and husband, Ronnie, Dawn Thompson and husband, Paul, and Diana Hernandez and husband, David.
See Mr. Gaines’s full obituary on page 2A.