Carolyn Jane Gaines
A Life Story
Carolyn Jane Gaines, age 96, died peacefully on November 24, 2013 at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. A church service is planned for 11:00AM on Friday, November 29, 2013 at the Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, 2015 Fleischmann Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308 with burial at Oakland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, or to Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation (http://www.sjogrens.org/
). Survivors include four God-children and their spouses, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Other survivors include several cousins and their families in other states; and numerous loving and helping church friends as well as life-long friends out of state and overseas. She is also survived by devoted and helpful friends and staff at both Westminster Gardens (formerly Georgia Belle Apartments) and Westminster Oaks Health Center.
Carolyn Jane Gaines was born in Tavares, FL on March 10, 1917, but left there in infancy with her parents, Charlie Roy Gaines and Sarah Ardelia (Delia) Adams Gaines. The Gaines family returned to their home state in Georgia, where Carolyn's sister, Mary Lillian Gaines, was born in Dublin, GA in 1918. The family lived on the old Gaines family farmstead in Dooly County, GA, where Carolyn attended the old Franklin Grammar School in the Drayton community, making first and second grades in one year. The family then moved to Oconee, GA, where she and Lillian attended the elementary school at nearby Gardner, GA. They moved to Arcadia, FL during the "Florida Boom" in 1925, not long before the Wall Street Crash in 1929. The crash ended the "Boom" and ushered in the Great Depression.
Carolyn and her sister attended schools in De Sota County, FL from 1925. Carolyn graduated from High School in 1934 with first honors. Lillian graduated in 1935 with top honors also.
Carolyn began teaching in Nocatee Elementary School in 1936, after taking a battery of 17 exams over 3 days. These exams were a prerequisite to attending Florida State College for Women (FSCW) during intervening summers and to work on earning the 2-year Licensed Instructor degree. She did this for seven summers and completed her Licensed Instructor degree.
During World War II the State's Merit System offered a battery of exams, seeking candidates for workers to come to Tallahassee to fill vacancies caused by the exodus of men who were drafted in military service. Carolyn was promptly offered a beginning job in the old Florida Industrial Commission and went to work on August 19, 1942. She received regular promotions as she attended night classes at the old Lively Business School as well as correspondence courses from FSCW and the University of Florida. She rose to the position of Accountant III in the Fiscal Department.
During the War, all State annual leave was frozen. Carolyn used her accumulated leave to attend classes at what is now Florida State University, to work on her B.A. degree in Arts and Sciences (Spanish). She graduated cum laude from FSU in 1961 with Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Delta Pi honors.
She worked another year and half at the Industrial Commission on a half-day basis in order to spend a half-day on campus. She earned her Master's degree in Library Sciences in December 1962. She was offered a job at Strozier Library upon finishing and began working in Stroziers' Reference Department as an inter-library loans librarian for two and half years.
The University of Florida (UF) offered her a job in their Catalog Department, which she accepted in July 1965. Carolyn worked there until 1978 when she retired from the State of Florida after 43 years of service at the age of 61.
She worked a number of short-term jobs to supplement her Florida retirement income, until also she reached the age for Social Security retirement. Some of these jobs include: 1 year at Georgia Tech Institutional Library in Atlanta, GA; H&R Block tax preparer for 5 tax seasons; and 7 years at the Southern Scholarship Foundation.
In January 1990 Carolyn resigned for the last time since entering the work force in 1936. She liked to say that she must have been a slow learner to take 25 years to get through school. Since then Carolyn has lived continuously in Tallahassee, FL on Bryan Street (now Stadium Drive), Circle Drive, Georgia Belle Apartments, and Westminster Oaks Health Center.
She was preceded in death in 1939 by her father Charlie Roy Gaines (1884-1939); her mother Delia Adams Gaines in 1979 (1889-1979); and her sister Mary Lillian Gaines in 2000 (1918-2000). Survivors include four God-children and their spouses: Clara Sue Sampey-Hart Galvin (Timothy), Patrick B. Sampey (Mary Frances), Richard E. Sampey, and Albert E. Sampey (Derry). Plus eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Other survivors include several cousins and their families in other states; and numerous loving and helping church friends as well as life-long friends out of state and overseas. She is also survived by devoted and helpful friends and staff at both Westminster Gardens (formerly Georgia Belle Apartments) and Westminster Oaks Health Center.
Carolyn often said that when she looked back in retrospect, that the hard times and the good times both were fulfilling, and it was hard to tell which had benefitted her more, with the Lord's help all the way.