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Memories & Candles

“Dear Nancy, Rich and I are so sorry for your profound loss. ”
1 of 13 | Posted by: Pamela O'Donnell - Essex, MA

“I loved being in Mr. Joyce's homeroom! Richie was a part of that. Having lived in Massachusetts for the past 24 years, I am sorry I didn't know that...Read More »
2 of 13 | Posted by: Judy Powers - Acton, MA

“Rcihard, thanks for our freindship during our years in high school. Though it's been years since we last saw each other ,you will be greatly missed. ”
3 of 13 | Posted by: W. Paul Wilcox MD - Meridian,, MS

“I remember Richie as a good friend and a real good BBall player at the Newburgh YMCA, but I lost track of him after our days at NFA. From his obit',...Read More »
4 of 13 | Posted by: Don Embler - Lithia Springs, GA

“I REMEMBER RICHARD FROM HOMEROOM WITH MR JOYCE. HE WAS A SMART YOUNG MAN. SO SORRY TO HEAR OF HIS EARLY PASSING.MY SYPAMTHIES TO THE GAINS FAMILY...Read More »
5 of 13 | Posted by: Betty Gemma Lanning - cedar city, UT

“saddened me to hear of Richards passing.We shared a few classes during our time at NFQA until graduating in 1962,Ny prayers go out to the family. ”
6 of 13 | Posted by: Joe Blazick - San Diego, CA

“To our absent classmate of NFA 1962. ”
7 of 13 | Posted by: David M Williams - Newburgh, NY

“i would like to pass on my Condolences to Rich's family. ”
8 of 13 | Posted by: Charles Hager - calabash, NC

“Richard was a great mentor whose abiding faith in journalism as a force for good will never be forgotten. He loved to communicate that faith to...Read More »
9 of 13 | Posted by: Peter Canellos - Boston, MA

“Richard, you inspired so many of us. Your quest for truth, and fairness for those that could not find it, will continue. You are with us eternally in...Read More »
10 of 13 | Posted by: Ed Jones - Rochester, NH

“Words fail... I will miss you. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Pamela Lafreniere ”
11 of 13 | Posted by: Pamela Lafreniere - MA

“Richard: I will miss our long talks and your relentless energy and enthusiasm for cutting through the bull, getting to the truth and educating...Read More »
12 of 13 | Posted by: Stephen Ouellette - Gloucester, MA

“Rachel, Our condolences to you and the Gaines family, John and Gerry CSG ”
13 of 13 | Posted by: Gerry Dickhaut - MA


On many a morning, Richard Gaines would walk through the front doors of the Gloucester Daily Times, exchange a few brief hellos, and then walk briskly to his desk in the far left corner of the newsroom, sit down and make the first of what would seem like hundreds of phone calls. "I'm going to cause some trouble today," he'd proclaim. He would mouth those words with both a twinkle in his eye and a profound sense of pride. For Gaines, gone suddenly at 69 after being found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, relished causing trouble for officials and others who had wrongly caused trouble for residents — and especially, in recent years, for Gloucester's, New England's and the nation's fishermen. A 40-year journalist — primarily covering Statehouse and Gloucester City Hall politics — and an 11-year veteran of the Gloucester Daily Times, Gaines was remembered Monday by state and local officials and especially by fishermen and advocates for the industry for his persistent and expansive coverage of fishery issues once he jumped into a coverage beat created at the Times in 2008. "The fishermen — Gloucester fishermen and fishermen everywhere — have lost a real, true friend," said longtime City Councilor John "Gus" Foote, who dealt with Gaines for years on City Hall issues and paid a visit to the Times Monday to extend condolences on Gaines' passing. "We didn't always see everything eye-to-eye, but we respected each other. He was a good, good man." An 'extinguished light' "It's like a light has been extinguished — a light that always kept looking for the truth," attorney and former New Bedford Mayor Scott W. Lang said. "He not only was a great investigative journalist, but he could present what he had found in a way that changed and forged public opinion." "Richard had an unusual ability to separate right from wrong," said Brian Rothschild, a noted marine scientist and charter professor of marine science and technology at UMass-Dartmouth. "He could explain the differences. He could articulate the ethical and moral issues that impeded progress, (and) he did all of this with grace and skill. Richard's skill magnifies the vacuum created by his passing." Gaines, who grew up in Newburgh, N.Y., but whose family were regular summer visitors to Gloucester, honed his skills and passion for journalism as Statehouse reporter with United Press International in the 1960s and '70s. A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., he then moved on to serve as political writer and later as editor-in-chief at The Boston Phoenix from 1979 through 1989, when, under his leadership, the alternative publication carved out a niche in investigative political coverage, placing as a runner up for a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Along the way, he also authored a book profiling then-Gov. Michael Dukakis' rise to challenge then-Vice President George Bush in the 1988 presidential election. The book, titled "Dukakis: The Man Who Would Be President," drew a lot of attention and sold well in paperback form, Gaines' wife, Nancy, recalled Monday. He then shifted to political consulting, working with a U.S. Senate run by James Rappaport, who challenged then-Sen. John Kerry in 1990. And he moved to Florida, working on a congressional campaign and both journalistic and marketing projects there before returning to the Boston area. He joined the staff of the Times in 2002, covering City Hall and other local political races, including for state offices, Congress and U.S. Senate. Tough questioner "He was always an insightful and penetrating questioner," said Salem Congressman John Tierney, who drew pointed questions from Gaines over the years, yet worked well with him in getting out word about recent fishery-related legislation. "He was just a good guy with a good heart and a good soul." In that sense, Gaines was an old-school journalist. He endured but constantly struggled with changes in technology. He was also an avid sports fan and proud family man, deeply committed to his wife and her work as a journalist, too, whether as a Times correspondent or for her work as co-founder of Boston Business Journal and writer with Improper Bostonian. "Richard and I spent many hours together talking over the past 10 years," Mayor Carolyn Kirk said Monday. "Never did he seem happier though as when speaking of his grandchildren, or his daughter's joy of being a (high) school basketball coach, or being able to tune into Internet radio to hear an interview given by his son across the country, or when speaking of the accomplishments of his wife Nancy. "The city of Gloucester offers its sincere condolences to Richard's family," the mayor said. "Their loss is our community's loss, too." Calling hours Friday In addition to his wife, he leaves a son Benjamin of Utah, a daughter Rachel of Boston, three grandchildren, and his stepsons, Eric Pomerene of Holbrook and Samuel Pomerene of Dennis. There are, as of yet, no firm plans for a memorial service, but there will be calling hours Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St. Gaines seemed to find a new level of journalistic passion in 2008, when he embraced the opportunity to cover the harborfront and the commercial fishing industry on a daily basis. From the delayed U.S. Coast Guard response to the fishing boat Patriot in January 2009, to the uncovering of wrongdoing on the part of NOAA law enforcement and the federal-led push for a catch share management system that has brought about a recognized "economic disaster" in New England's groundfishery, he wrote proudly about Gloucester as a "co-capital of fishing nation" in addition to being America's oldest seaport. And he gave voice at every turn to rank-and-file fishermen and their dealings with federal regulators. "I received calls from a number of fishermen whose hearts were broken at the news that a family member had passed," state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante said Monday. The push by her and state Sen. Bruce Tarr for fishery reforms was well chronicled by Gaines

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Greely Funeral Service
212 Washington Street Gloucester, MA 01930
Tel. (978) 283-0698
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