Oscar Derwood Gaines, 85, of Odessa, Texas, passed away on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at the Midland Memorial Hospital Hospice Unit.
He was born September 30, 1925, to Oscar Alvie Gaines and Mellie Mae Estes in Eureka, Navarro County, Texas. Derwood was raised on a farm and graduated from Mildred High School in Corsicana, Texas, where he enjoyed playing football as a halfback and spent many hours working on the farm.
He married Neva Dorothy Craig on August 27, 1947, in Crane, Texas, at the home of her parents. They are the parents of three children, 10 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren.
In May 1944 during World War II, Derwood joined the Navy. He served on the U.S.S. Neches, which was a tanker used to fuel the battleships. He actually witnessed General McArthur signing the peace treaty on the U.S.S. Missouri after Japan surrendered. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in May of 1946.
Derwood was hired by Gulf Oil Corporation in July 1946. After working almost 39 years for Gulf at several different natural gas plants in west Texas, he retired as Plant Manager in Breckenridge, Texas in June 1985.
He was always a hard worker and taught his children to be honest and to work hard, as well as to play hard. His life was centered around his family, and he always supported them in whatever they were involved and went to as many of their activities as possible. He loved his family and put their needs and wants before everything else.
He and his wife spent many years square dancing, making many friends and acquaintances along the way. They greatly enjoyed this time together, and it kept them active and young for a long time. When Derwood was younger, he enjoyed playing golf, traveling, hunting, camping, and being in the outdoors.
Derwood's absence will leave a huge void in our lives, but the legacies he has imparted to his family and friends by his living example can live on through each of us.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Craig Gaines, also of Odessa, one son and two daughters: Gary Gaines (Sharon) of Odessa, Dana Howland (Gene) of Spanish Fork, Utah, and Tamra Reidhead (Jim) of Show Low, Arizona; ten grandchildren, Bradley Gaines, Nicole Gaines Strader, Jared Howland, Chad Howland, Jenalee Howland, Kailee Howland, Ryan Reidhead, Rustin Reidhead, Taralee Reidhead Porter, and Danica Reidhead Claridge; and thirteen great-grandchildren, Ainsley Gaines, Avery Strader, Bailey Strader, Parker Strader, Jude Strader, Christiaan Howland, Laura Howland, Adelaide Howland, Joseph Howland, German Howland, Brody Porter, Dorothy Porter, and Cole Claridge. He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, and one brother.
The family would like to thank Hospice of Midland, Buena Vida Nursing Home, and Emeritus at Sherwood Place, along with family and friends for their love and support.
Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 8, 2011 at the Shaffer-Nichols Funeral Home in Crane. A viewing will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2011, and one hour prior to the services at the funeral home. Interment will be at the Crane County Cemetery.