Richard Kenna Gaines Jr.

Born September 26, 1932

Gaines, Richard Kenna, Jr. - “Dick”: September 26th, 1932- August 18th, 2013

Beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at Northeast Florida Community Hospice, with his dear wife of 55 years, Windy, rubbing his back. Dick attended Lawrenceville Prep School, and was president of his house, graduating in 1951. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1955, served as a line officer on the USS Ranger, then joined the US Naval Reserves, serving as a Blue and Gold officer and instructor at NAS JAX. He retired from the USNR as a Lt. Commander after 25 years of devoted service.

While a reservist, he also worked as a full-time educator, starting his career at Landon Junior High, then teaching math at Ed White Senior High School for 20 years. In the evening, he worked as a math professor at FCCJ. In 1975, Dick earned an M.A. in Math Education from the University of Florida, and continued work there towards his PhD. in Educational Psychology.

His real passion was the piano, playing by age 4. Forever a lover of jazz, he formed his own jazz combos, (“The Sleepless Knights”, “The Dick Gaines Combo”), played for the Knights of Columbus, serving as the Grand Knight in 1971, and played in the First Coast Dixieland Band. In his spare time, he taught music professionally in his own studio, and was the organist at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church.

Dick was a mathematician, wordsmith, lover of puzzles, collector of cards, devout Catholic, artist, non-stop curmudgeon, and a brilliantly funny man. His warm and compassionate philosophical humor and acerbic observations will be missed.

He is survived by his children: Mark Gaines, Julia Gaines, Tina Torrance, Rick Gaines, Kitty Anderson, Walter Gaines, and John Jenkins. He is also survived by 7 grandchildren, and by his 3 younger sisters: Carlyle Sullivan, Maud Tarrant, and Annalou Wren, who all adored him unabashedly.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Northeast Florida Community Hospice. Memorial services will be held at a later date yet to be determined at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia. Arrangements are entrusted to Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home 429 S. Edgewood Ave. Jacksonville, FL. Please share a memory or leave a message of condolence at


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Richard Kenna Gaines Jr.

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Terri Salmon

July 14, 2014

So saddened to hear this news,,,almost a year later! Mr. Gaines was a great teacher. He reached out to me during a time of rebellion,,,,and he taught me all those proofs in Geometry,,,when I didnt care anything about proving those challenges. May God bless the family. The heavens have a special ED WHITE COMMANDER angel!

Janet Bailey-Laforest

November 27, 2013

Such a wonderful teacher

Sabrina Ferguson

October 12, 2013

Mrs. Windy Gaines, Mark and Family, I am so very sorry for your loss, for I too know the pain of loss. Please know that God is taking care of all matters. Mr. Gaines is now at peace, in a perfect place with God. May we all pray to trust in God's will for our lives. I know that He loves us dearly. God gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ever lasting life. GOD LOVES US.

Cathy Armour/Roth

October 11, 2013

Mr. Gaines, Thanks for all the Math help and for being the best home room teacher at Ed White. R.I.P. Prayers to your Wonderful Family.

Amy D'Angina

September 13, 2013

I was so sad to hear that you had lost your dad. Reading these entries certainly illustrates why he was such a special person in your life. My prayers are with you and your family during this time of loss.

Claudia Wood

September 11, 2013

My sincerest condolences to the family. I was sorry to hear of his passing. He was one of my favorite teachers and his sense of humor will always be remembered. I am eternally grateful that he and his band were a part of my wedding. I made it all the more memorable.

Martha (Mazza) Cameron

September 6, 2013

Mr. Gaines was a favorite of mine as well as many of my classmates. We still talk of him when we get together. Probably gave him a few grey hairs though. He could be so strict but yet so very funny at times. You could tell he really cared about his students. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP Mr. Gaines.
Marti Mazza Cameron
Class of '81

Gretchen Vodrey Titshaw

September 3, 2013

Dearest Windy and Family! I am sorry I didn't realize how sick Dick was, and I am deeply saddened by the loss of your Precious Dick! Our heartfelt condolences go out to you and all the kids & Johnny! He was an amazing talented, brilliant, a one-of-a kind guy, that I feel honored to have known and loved. Fortunately, much of who he was and you are, Windy, is very visible in each of your beautiful/handsome and talented children, to carry on his legacy and memory for years:))! His humor and hugs will be missed, but his music and art will always bring joy! We so honor and appreciate him for his remarkable Naval service to our country as well as his years of commmittment to educating young people! Windy, you are especially in our prayers and thoughts as we pray for your family each day! Much Love, g&B

August 31, 2013

Rosemary and I were unaware of Dick's failing health and were shocked and saddened by his recent death. We know he will be missed by his large and loving family and legions of friends. We offer our sincere condolences to Gail and family. Dick will remain in our hearts and memories.
We send you our deepest sympathy and love.

Cousin Pete & Rosemary

Tommy Ryan

August 30, 2013

My deepest sympathy goes out to the Gaines family on their loss of a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and brother. I have missed seeing "the professor" at church and his quite humorous ways to get me laughing. Thank You Professor Gaines for all your help getting me certified to teach Math and making an interesting career in teaching. You will be missed greatly!
Tommy Ryan