Lewis Henry Gaines, Sr. was born in Riverside, Texas on April 10, 1923 to Frank and Emma Gaines. He went to be with his Lord on Monday, July 4, 2016 at Conroe Regional Hospital with family and friends around him.
His early years were spent in the Chita, Dodge and Riverside communities and he graduated from Trinity High School in 1940. He eloped with his only true love, Ila E. Gaines, on August 1, 1942, and they were married at First Methodist Church of Conroe, Texas. After joining the Navy, he served in World War II on the USS Indiana in the South Pacific as a gunner's mate. Following his discharge he and Ila settled in Huntsville, Texas where they raised a son, Lewis, Jr. and a daughter, Carolyn. He worked as a pressman and foreman for The Huntsville Item until 1961 when Lewis and Ila purchased part ownership in Key Print Shop. Eventually Lewis and Ila purchased the remaining interest and, keeping the name, added office supplies. Key Printing and Office Supply continued to be owned and operated by them until they retired in 1997.
Lewis was a member of First Baptist Church of Huntsville for 58 years. A quiet, stedfast, and gentle man he served as Chairman of the Deacons on several occasions. He taught Sunday School, acted as Sunday School Superintendent for the Adult Department, led the youth Training Union group along with Ila and served on numerous ministry teams over the years.
Although not one to seek recognition, he faithfully and lovingly supported all of Ilas's endeavors as an active participant. He was equally supportive of the activities and accomplishments of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His words of wisdom, encouragement, counsel and love will be forever remembered.
Lewis is preceded in death by his parents; his beloved son, Lewis Henry Gaines, Jr.; 3 sisters, Ruby Bell, Evelyn Speights, and Alice Johnson; and his father-in -law and mother-in-law, Tollie Roy and Willie Mabel Gaines, who loved him as a son.
He is survived by his wife of almost 74 years, Ila G. Gaines; daughter, Carolyn Gaines; daughter-in-law, Mary Gaines; granddaughters, Cindy (Tim) Grant, Kelly (Daniel) Vergimini, and Kelly (Jeff) Corliss; grandsons, Clayton Gaines and Jamie Mulligan; great grandsons, Jake (Caitlin) Holden, Corey (Stormey) Holden, Mason Holden and Tyler Decker; great great grandson Jackson Gaines, and; great great granddaughter Madison Gaines.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 7, 2016 from 5-7 pm at the Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home. Services to celebrate his life will be on Friday, July 8, 2016 at 2 pm at the First Baptist Church, 1229 Avenue J, Huntsville, Texas with Reverend R. Byron Orand and Reverend Jason Bay officiating. Interment will follow at Brooke Cemetery.
Those wishing to make donations in his name may give to the Nursery Project at First Baptist Church or to the charity of their choosing.
Full obituary may be viewed and memorial condolences made to the family at www.shmfh.com.
Published on July 6, 2016