Richard “”Dick”” Thomas Gaines, DDS, MS, age 88, passed away peacefully on March 30, 2022 from pancreatic cancer in the care of Halifax Hospice. His personality was larger than life and he lived with passion and no regrets.
He was born in December of 1933 to Betty Curci and Odell Gaines in Hallandale, Florida. He graduated from St. Leo College Preparatory School in 1950. He attended Emory University for undergraduate studies and dental school and graduated in 1957. He served as a dentist in the U.S Air Force for four years as a Captain stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. After the service he completed a residency in oral surgery at Miami Jackson Hospital and Georgetown University where he earned his Master’s degree in dental surgery.
Moving his family to the Daytona Beach area in 1963, he partnered with Dr. Philip Fleuchaus, practicing oral and maxillofacial surgery for 52 years. At the time, they were the only oral surgeons in Volusia County. He and Dr. Fleuchaus both served on the Hope ship, a floating hospital, twice, in Nicaragua and Brazil.
He served as President of the Florida Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Captain of the Daytona Quarterback Club, member of the Rotary Club and Halifax Sport Fishing Club. He was an Examiner for the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for 6 years.
He loved his faith and family, oral surgery, and fishing. Hobbies included St. Louis Cardinal Baseball, all Gator sports, and the stock market. He never met a stranger.
He and his wife Shirley spent many summers in the Bahamas aboard their boat “”No Problem”” and they have many friends there as well.
He is predeceased by his grandparents Rose and Frank Curci, his father Odell Gaines, his mother Betty Parks, his stepfather Norman Parks, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins in the Curci family who were pioneers in the Hallandale, Florida area.
He is survived by Shirley, his wife of 65 years; his six children, Caren Wilkie (Richard); Judi Root (John); Rick Gaines (Susan); Lisa South (Todd); Carla Snider (Kevin); and Kevin Gaines and eighteen grandchildren; Liam and Patrick Wilkie; Lyndsey (Erin), Steven (Meghan), Meredith and Chapman Root; Ryan (Molly), Kyle, and Kristen Gaines; Scott, Dual, Tyler (Shannon), and Wyatt South; Caraline, Gretchen, and Natalie Snider; and Chase and Gage Gaines and several cousins of the Curci family.
In accordance with Dick’s wishes, we have chosen to forgo a funeral and ask that you celebrate the relationship that you had with him. Celebrate his humor, generosity, spirit, and his kindness. Please keep him in your hearts and remember him with a smile.
He loved you all and was blessed by your friendship. If you wish, we ask that donations be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, P. O. Box 729, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170, Halifax Hospice, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, FL 32129 or a charity of your choice in his name.