- February 1, 2018
Robert Joel “Bob” Gaines Jr. died of cancer on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, at Orlando Health Hospital. He was born October 29, 1942, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Robert Joel Gaines and Edna Dillon Gaines.
He graduated from SS Simon and Jude School, Allentown Central Catholic High School and received a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University. Bob was an accomplished musician, playing the trumpet professionally during his high school and college years.
While at Vanderbilt, he was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and the Vanderbilt Band. Bob was a public high school teacher in Tennessee when he left education and joined the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam conflict.
Following his service, he was employed with Allied Stores Corporation for 28 years. He retired from Steinbach Department Store in White Plains, New York, in 1996 and started his own business selling toys and collectibles.
He and his wife, Marlene O’Neill Gaines, resided in South Plainfield, New Jersey, for 38 years. Upon his wife’s death in 2012, he moved to Ocoee, Florida.
Bob is survived by his sister, Kathryn Gaines Welsh, and his brother-in-law, Daniel Patrick Welsh, who reside in Winter Garden, Florida. He was a wonderful uncle to two nieces, Wendy Anne Welsh of Winter Springs, Florida, and Shearon Marie Welsh of Orlando, Florida; and two nephews, Nicholas Patrick Welsh of Kaiserslautern, Germany, and David Anthony Welsh of Gotha, Florida. He is also survived by an uncle, Edward Gerard Dillon of Vacaville, California. Bob leaves behind his loving companion, Christine Dupont, of Sorrento, Florida.
A memorial celebration was held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, 428 E. Plant Street, Winter Garden FL, 34787. He will be interred with his wife at the National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, friends may make a donation to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) at 424 E. 92nd St., New York, NY 10128.