Thomas Gaines

02/26/1947 — 03/30/2021

From Richland, WA

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Celebration of life

Sat, April 10, 2021, 11:00 am
Sat, April 10, 2021, 12:00 pm
Richland Church of Christ
933 Thayer Dr Richland ,WA 99352

Thomas Gaines

Thomas Daniel Gaines, 74 left this earth on 03/30/21 surrounded by his loving family, after a short battle with Covid.  Tom was born in Richland, WA on February 26, 1947 to Doumas and Ardie Gaines and graduated from Columbia High School, go Bombers.

Tom married the love of his life Shelly in 1981, then spent the next 40 years together, Tom had three beautiful children Tom Jr. (Monica), Heather Gaines and Ashley Harris (Derrick).  And three special grandchildren, Tommy, Aceson and Henna.

Tom worked for Battelle PNNL for many years and retired in 2010.

He loved to spend his free time working in his yard trying to keep it the greenest in the neighborhood and was very proud of it.

One of his favorite hobbies was to find old clocks working or not, repair them to working order and the challenge was to keep them running.

He was the best Papa to Aceson and Henna and to all the neighborhood kids. It was always a big deal when he came by and surprised the kids with his magic tricks.

Tom also would be willing to help anyone at the drop of a hat when asked, he was a kind soul and will be truly missed.


When I come to the end of the road,

And the sun has set for me, I want no rites in a gloom filled room,

Why cry for a soul set Free?

Miss me a little but not for too long

and not with your head bowed low,

Remember the love that we once shared.

Miss me. But let me go…

For this is the journey that we all must take.

And, each must go alone.

It’s all part of the Master’s Plan, A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart,

Go the friends we know

And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.

Miss me, but let me go.


As you all know Tom was baseball hat, a white T-shirt and jeans kinda guy, so please feel free to wear your best white T shirt and jeans and baseball hat, he would not want it any other way.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the Richland Church of Christ, 933 Thayer Dr., Richland, WA  99352.

Guestbook for

Thomas Gaines

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  • I am really shocked to hear this sad news. I grew up with Shelly who was a neighbor, met and worked with Tom at the laboratory small world. Tom was an exceptional work colleague; I was the new guy to the group he was always very helpful. He would smile and laugh; you have to love that laugh—and talked about Shelly and the kids all the time. I remember working with Tom for some time before he mentioned his wife’s name and I finally put two-n-two together. Well there aren’t many Shelly’s around, we had a huge laugh when that happened. He was always in a good mood, positive and very professional. The one thing I really likes is that you always knew where you stood, he didn’t hide that! Tom really had a way with people. There are some people that make work worth it on the dreariest of days—that was Tom. Rest in peace, our thoughts and prays go out to Shelly and family!

    Jim Sportelli
    April 12, 2021
  • I can give you a great testament to the kind heart this man had. My husband and I’d just moved here from another state. Everything was so new to us when only a month into our new adventure my husband was diagnosed w/an aggressive cancer. The last month of my husbands life Tom, w/o me asking, took upon himself to sit w/us every day , most days all day. I remember in the evening when he’d leave I could see his hesitation, worried my husband might pass in the. night. Tom enticed my husband to eat when I failed by bringing him Sonic hotdogs. On my husbands last birthday Tom and Shelly made sure it was an enjoyable one filled with his favorite pie, hotdogs and gifts. I did not know anyone but thanks to Tom and his lovely wife they became our friends and when my husband passed Tom for a month after helped me w/everything, took me where I needed to go and he and Shelly did their very best to give me comfort. Unfortunately my husbands time w/Tom was very short but he immediately liked and trusted Tom. I only had the privilege of knowing Tom five years. But even in that short time I saw what a devoted husband he was, a loving father and grandfather he was and so proud of his son-in-law, no different than any father towards a son. I never got to meet his son but I heard stories about him with love and pride in Toms heart. Tom had great work ethics which is evident in how he cared for his home and yard, but mostly in how he provided for his family. Tom was a good, good man. A man who is already greatly missed. May he rest in peace until he a=is reunited with all his loved ones in Heaven with our precious Lord Jesus. Praying for Godspeed to his family for healing and mending of broken hearts.

    Cathy W.I
    April 9, 2021
    Kennewick , WA
  • Thinking of you all during this difficult time. Sending love, prayers and hugs! He sounds like such a great guy! I’m glad I was able to at least meet him! Love the poem! May Jesus hold you all in his arms and may you have many that support you well in the process of grief and honoring who Tom is!

    Tony and Susie Savino
    April 9, 2021
  • I met Tom in 1980, we lived across the street from each other. Tom always had the best lawn in the neighborhood, the competition was for 2nd place. I really believe that Tom knew every blade of grass, shrub, and landscaping rock by name. Fate happened to bring us to the same neighborhood again in 2014, nothing had changed, Tom’s lawn was still the best. I know when I get into God’s Kingdom all I have to do is look for the house with the great lawn and that’s where I’ll find Tom. Miss ya, Tom.

    David Boothroyd
    April 8, 2021
  • So sorry, Shelly💛

    Sue Gano
    April 8, 2021
  • I am so profoundly sorry for your loss.

    Cathy Wright
    April 7, 2021
  • Shelly, so very sorry. You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts & prayers for comfort & strength.

    Dawn Johnson
    April 7, 2021
  • Shelly and family, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I am praying you find peace and comfort in one another and with your beautiful memories of Tom. My heart is with you.

    Mehg Gray
    April 7, 2021
    Richland, WA
  • So sorry to hear of Toms passing. I worked with Tom for years; he was a wonderful person to work around and with. Prayers for the family at this time of great loss.

    Laura Fuher
    April 6, 2021
  • Tom seems like a lovely man, and wonderful father and grand father. My deepest condolences are with you, Shelly and family. You are in my thoughts daily.

    Michelle Froh
    April 6, 2021
  • Shelly, Ashley and the rest of the Gaines family,
    My heart is with you at this time and I pray you all find peace. I’m so very sorry for your loss, but I hope you are able to cherish all the beautiful memories of Tom and hopefully they will bring you solace.

    Kristen Grubenhoff
    April 6, 2021
    Kennewick, WA
  • Tom has been our next door neighbor for 18 years …..more than that, Tom was a great friend. We miss him dearly but we know that the lawns of heaven are greener and neater than ever. May God Bless this great man and his family. He was truly a special person.

    Kerry Prindiville
    April 6, 2021
    Richland, WA
  • I feel so grateful to have known Tom and will remember him always. He made a difference in so many lives, I know will be remembered with love. May all your happy memories of Tom give you peace and comfort during this sad time. A kind person, a sweet soul Tom was and he will be truly missed.

    Betsy Thulien
    April 6, 2021
  • Our beloved Tom, I can’t tell you how our hearts ache – you left us too soon. Each life is written in God’s book from the time we are conceived and only God knows our number of days, but that doesn’t make saying good-bye any easier. God has a plan for each life and we are so blessed that He made you a part of our family’s plan. Know that we and the Bottineau sisters will always look after Shelly and the kids when they have need. You are forever loved and will be deeply missed. Always there to offer a helping hand when we needed something done that we couldn’t do for ourselves. I am really left without words. Papa Jack loved you like a son and his heart is broken.
    Love and miss you,
    Mama Lyda and Papa Jack

    Lyda and Jack Zeller
    April 5, 2021
    Richland, WA
  • I admirec the way Tom adored Shelly..#goals. She always spoke so lovingly about him…her eyes would light up whenever she spoke of him…

    Sarah Reinhardt
    April 5, 2021
  • I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and so honored to have known Tom. What an amazing gentleman who loved his family dearly. Heaven gained an angel, but earth also lost one. Love and prayers

    April 5, 2021
  • He was always so friendly when I would see him and he raised two special girls. What a nice man he was. I’m so sorry . ❤️ and hugs to you all.

    Mary sue Kelly
    April 5, 2021
    Kennewick, WA
  • Our deepest condolences!😥 we send our hugs 🙏

    Raquel Garcia
    April 5, 2021