Paul Martin Gaines
1966 - 2021
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Paul Martin Gaines transitioned to our Heavenly Father on May 19, 2021. He was born in Harbor City, California on March 15, 1966. His early years were spent in San Pedro, California where he graduated from Mary Star of the Sea High School in June of 1984. Paul was part of the Mary Star CIF 1984 playoff basketball team. After high school, he attended University of California, Irvine, earning a Bachelor's degree in Social Ecology, followed by a Master's degree in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach. In 1993, Paul began his 27+ year career as a Social Worker for Child Protective Services in Riverside County. Protecting children from abuse and finding appropriate foster homes for children was his passion. Paul relied on his faith in God as he navigated many challenging days. Early on, due to his strong work ethic and integrity, Paul was promoted to Supervisor for the Family Reunification, Emergency Response, and Court Dependency Program where he guided other social workers in their management of cases. In 2018, Paul stepped down from his supervisory role to reduce his stress as he approached retirement age. As an extraordinary advocate in the protection of children in Riverside County, Paul received many recognition awards. But equally important, he was an exceptional encouragement and champion for his coworkers, both as a friend and as a union steward for SEIU, protecting the rights and benefits of all county employees. Paul went the extra mile for others. Paul was well-known for his amazing interest, passion, and memory in statistics of a variety of sports, a human "Google" of information on sports history. Ask Paul of a game result a decade or more ago or a game you attended with him and you would get an accurate answer in no time. Paul had a particular love for basketball, baseball, and football. Most importantly, Paul was honored to identify himself as a follower of Jesus Christ. He was raised in a loving Catholic home and accepted Jesus as his personal Savior during his senior year at UCI, after reading through the Bible for the first time. He later met Kimberly at a singles' Bible study at Mariner's Church in 1990. They both knew from the start that they wanted to marry and spend the rest of their lives together. Paul proposed on their one year anniversary and they were married on August 7, 1993. Paul was a very involved father, even taking 16 weeks of paternity leave when his first child was born. Paul was very proud of each of his children and did everything he could to help them to use their unique gifts and to pursue their dreams. Paul enjoyed traveling and recently went to Pismo Beach and Morro Bay, where he and Kimberly celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary. The highlight of 2021 was being discharged from the hospital to attend his son's wedding on April 30, 2021. Paul's last hurrah this side of eternity! Paul's survivors include his wife, Kimberly Gaines of Menifee, California; his three children, Chad (Carissa), Gabrielle, and Ashlyn; his parents, Jerry and Lorraine Gaines of San Pedro, California; and his brother, Mark (Kellie) Gaines of Murrieta, California, as well as his father-in-law, Gene Holloway, and three sisters-in-law, Karen (Dane) Aaker, Kathy (Ric) Lebrecht, and Kayleen Leong; his uncles, Steve (Kathy) Gaines and Joe (Kathy) Gaskill, and his aunt Betty Paulson, along with several cousins, nieces, and nephews. A memorial and celebration of life for Paul will be held on Friday, June 11th, at 11:00 am at Centerpoint Church, located at 24470 Washington Ave, Murrieta, CA, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to: Mary Star High School (Memorial Gifts) 2500 N.Taper Ave., San Pedro, CA 90731 (; Nightingale's Hospice 41690 Ivy St., Suite B, Murrieta, CA 92562 (, or Fight For Colorectal Cancer, 134 Park Central Square, Suite 210, Springfield, MO 65806 (

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Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on May 30, 2021.
Celebration of Life
11:00 AM
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2 entries
June 16, 2021
I grew up a few houses from Paul. I fondly remember playing with him and his dog Charlie. Together with a few other kids, we'd play "pickle" with our ball and gloves, using the neighbor's palm trees as bases. Even at that age, he could spout off baseball statistics! We grew apart after he switched schools, as kids do. I'm so happy he had time to raise a wonderful family; he had such a positive impact on the lives of so many children. He leaves the world a better place.
John G Bechtol
June 2, 2021
I met Paul 25 years ago when I first started working for the County of Riverside. He was kind and passionate about making things right for the children in our community that needed help, and there were many. He and I both were active in our union and shared the drive to improve our workplace environment and rights. He was a good person and I send my condolences to his family.
Chris Sweigert
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