AUGUSTA, Ga. - John Emanuel (Chappy) Gaines battled Multiple Myeloma Cancer for 2 1/2 years and peacefully succumbed on April 5, 2012 at Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, California. He was an evening Golf Ball Diver, Fighter Pilot, General Contractor, and Rocket Scientist. A true Ramblin Wreck from Georgia Tech. John (Chappy) was a graduate of Academy of Richmond County, joining ROTC as an Officer. He attended Georgia Tech where he was a Chi Phi fraternity member. He was part of Flying Club, student branch of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Internal Affairs Committee, Chairman on Graduate Senate. He received his Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering Degree from Georgia Tech where he then earned his Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1974. Family consists of a loving wife, Mary Anderson Gaines; two daughters, Christa Deering (Paul) and Tiffany Anne Gaines; twin granddaughters, Georgia Emanuelle and Eleanor Grace Deeringer; sister Bobbye Gaines. He is predeceased by parents Mr. and Mrs. Robert (Whitey) J. and Virginia Gaines. Employed with the Aerospace Corp. as Project manager, Western Range Directorate, Space Launch Operations, Shuttle Launch, mentored by Leo Krupp of Rockwell Corp. and Commentator with Dan Rather covering shuttle launches for CBS Network. They brought Chap into Operations Rooms later on. My brother and I grew up on the corner at 341 Berckmans & Cherry Lane. He climbed trees in the front lawn waiting on President Dwight Eisenhower to golf on Fourth Hole across Berckmans Rd. to our home place. He greeted him shouting, Hi Ike! So timely his passing parallels Masters. We attended from 1958 up until Mama passed away in 2008. Perhaps the timing of John s passing was not coincidental. As a native of Augusta, Georgia who grew up feet from the Augusta National Golf Club, John always had a special connection with, and love for, the Masters. We like to think that John, as someone who lived for being outside in the open air, couldn t stand the thought of watching the Tournament from a hospital bed. Instead, he took his leave and decided to grab the best seat in the house--a completely unrestricted view of the course his father helped build.
Published in The Augusta Chronicle on Mar. 27, 2016