Mr. Roy Edward Gaines

Mr. Roy Edward Gaines, age 94, of Toccoa, passed away Sunday, May 17, 2020 at the Oaks at Scenic View in Baldwin, GA

Born April 14, 1926 in Hartwell, GA, he was the son of the late Samuel Crayton and Dessie Eugenia Cash Gaines. Following the stock market crash and subsequent depression in 1929, the family moved to an 85 acre red-dirt farm in Grady Community of Franklin County. Roy graduated from Lavonia Georgia High School in May of 1944. He then joined the United States Navy in June 1944 and went to Peary, VA for basic training. Following Boot Camp, he was assigned to a battleship, USS New York (BB-34) and served in the FM Division (Fire Control Main Battery) which directs and fires the ship’s ten 14 inch guns. He served in two major engagements in the Pacific, Iwo Jima and Okinawa; served seventy nine consecutive days and nights in the Okinawa campaign. Following discharge from the military service, he came to Toccoa in 1946 to work for the R. G. LeTourneau Radio Station WRLC. In 1956, Roy and his brother, Chuck founded Radio Station WNEG in Toccoa. In 1984, Stephens County Broadcasting Company brought local television to Northeast Georgia with WNEG-TV, Channel 32.

In his sixty plus years as a citizen of Toccoa/Stephens County, Roy always believed you have a responsibility to give back to the community that gives you the opportunities it affords. He tried to do that through various civic and community projects such as: serving on the local Salvation Army Advisory Board; the Advisory Board of Emmanuel College; former member and Board of Directors and Past President of the Toccoa/Stephens County Chamber of Commerce. He chaired the Toccoa/Stephens County 2000 Committee, a community-wide long range planning effort; served on both local and State Boards of the American Cancer Society; and was one of the founders of the Georgia Mountains Planning and Development Commission and served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Roy was a former member of the Toccoa City Commission for 9 years, serving as Mayor in 1971, 1974, and 1977. He led the delegation that resulted in Toccoa being named All American City in 1976. Roy received the W. Herschel Lovett Foundation State Award for Meritorious Public Service in 1977; was named to the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002; was former member and President of the Toccoa Rotary Club; lifetime member of the American Legion Post 104; past member of the Bank of Toccoa Board of Directors; and was a member of the B.P.O.E. #1820.

Roy received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America; and a Life Time Achievement Award from the Toccoa/Stephens County Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Toccoa First United Methodist Church.

In 1947, Evelyn Paralee Fowler and Roy were married in Royston, GA. Their family continued to grow through the years. Roy and Evelyn were blessed with a daughter, Connie Gaines and a son, Stuart Gaines. Later the family grew again with the addition of a daughter-in-law, Kim Gaines; and then came the grandchildren, Crayton and Vanessa Gaines; soon to follow were the great-grandchildren, Owen Gaines, Bella Gaines, Josie Gaines.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn Fowler Gaines; brothers, Sam Gaines, Chuck Gaines, and Henry Gaines; and his sister, Martha Gaines Wood.

Due to the conditions concerning the health and well-being of our community, the family will not be receiving friends or having a public service at this time.

A private family cryptside service will be held at Stephens Memorial Gardens Mausoleum with the Rev. Brent White and the Rev. Rick Gillian officiating.

Ken Brady, Herb Masten, David Austin, Ron Matheson, Steve Bell, Charles Head, and Buzz Tatham will serve as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Toccoa First United Methodist Church, 333 East Tugalo Street, Toccoa, GA 30577.

Please remember to keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at
Whitlock Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements.