Ernest W. “Bill” Gaines, Jr. went to be with the Lord on Monday, May 24, 2021 after a seven year journey with Alzheimer’s. He is survived by his wife, Julia West Gaines “Judy” of sixty-one years, daughters, Debbie (Michael) Reich and Dana (Michael) Hronchek; grandchildren, Christopher (Kaci) Reich, Julia (CR) Cumbee, Walker Hronchek, and Cooper Hronchek; and great grandchildren, Ashland Reich, Reese Ann Reich, Rohan Cumbee and baby boy Reich due in July.
Born on September 26, 1941 in Clarkston, Georgia, Bill attended Clarkston Elementary and graduated from Clarkston High School. It was there he met his wife and high school sweetheart, Judy. He attended Georgia Tech for two years, graduated from Reinhardt University, and entered the Sears management trainee program.
Bill worked at Sears for 34 years. He had numerous positions throughout his career which took him to Atlanta, GA, Tallahassee, FL, Dalton, GA, and Fredericksburg, VA. His last position was as store manager in Fredericksburg.
After an early retirement, Bill worked in management at Circuit City and served on the boards at Rolling Green Village and the South Carolina Southern Baptist Convention. Bill and Judy enjoyed traveling and spending time with their family.
Bill loved the Lord. We fondly remember him saying, “I prayed for you today”…and we know that he did!
He dearly loved his wife Judy and was very proud of his children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. His family was so special to him.
He enjoyed a good game of golf with his friends, playing putt-putt with his grandchildren and going to the beach and finding shells. Bill loved greeting members and visitors alike each Sunday morning at church with a handshake and a smile. He loved teaching the young children to shake hands! Bill served as a deacon, ministering to families in his church.
The family appreciates all of the love and care expressed from friends, family, Interim Healthcare and Hospice, Agape Hospice, and SC House Calls during this time. We are especially grateful for God’s goodness and mercy.
Memorial donations may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 950 W. Faris Road, Greenville, SC 29605; or to Rocky Creek Church Senior Adult Ministry, 1801 Woodruff Road, Greenville, SC 29607.
Graveside services with visitation to follow will be held 10:00 am Thursday, May 27, 2021 in Graceland East Memorial Park, Woodruff Road at Highway 14.