2015 Gaither Reunion to be Held in Chattanooga


The 2015 Reunion and Annual Meeting of the Society of John Gaither Descendants, will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee May 28th - 31st. This will be the 32nd Annual Meeting since the founding of the Society in 1984.

Nicknamed the Scenic City, Chattanooga is one of the South’s top travel destinations. In fact, the New York Times named Chattanooga one of the “Top 45 Places to go" in the World. Only four US destinations were named and the Scenic City was the only placeDowntown Chattanooga outside of California.  And it’s no wonder. Tucked between the mountains of Southeast Tennessee, along the beautiful Tennessee River, Chattanooga TN is one of America’s most breathtaking cities.

The Reunion and Annual Meeting Planning Committee has been busy making this an exciting and enjoyable event for all attending.

We look forward to seeing you in Chattanooga.

Obituary – Ida Mae Claiborne

Ida Mae Claiborne, 89, of Joplin, Missouri formerly of Baxter Springs, Kansas, passed away on Monday, February 16, 2015, at Joplin National Health Care. She was born January 18, 1926, in South Coffeyville, Oklahoma, to William Baker and Lura (Coursey) Gaither. She was united in marriage to Dr. Richard Henry Claiborne III, on June 11, 1949, in Coffeyville, Kansas.

Ida's lineage is William Baker Gaither - Charles Wesley Gaither - Rudolph Gaither - Harrison Basil Gaither - Basil Gaither - Benjamin Gaither - Edward Gaither - Benjamin Gaither - John Gaither II - John Gater

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Obituary – Marie Burton Long

Marie LongMarie B. Long, 74, of Manor Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at Lancaster General Hospital surrounded by her family. She was born August 13, 1940 in Harmony N.C. Marie is the daughter of Mattie Mae Gaither in the line of Robert Franklin Gaither - John Martin Gaither - Greenberry Gaither - Jeremiah Gaither - John Gaither V.

Marie was the wife of Paul E. Long to whom she had been married for 51 years. Previous to moving to Lancaster County, they had resided in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. She enjoyed playing bridge, ballroom dancing, attending theatre and was a member of the Coterie Club, Unwind Dance Club, and the Couples Dance Club. Marie was a longtime member of the Society of John Gaither Descendants and will be missed by all.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by sons, Dr. James E. Long of Reston, Virginia and Darren E. Long of Spotsylvania, Virginia; daughters, Margo V. Furlong and Tracey E. Gullaksen, both of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and 10 grandchildren.

Private remembrance services and scattering of ashes are being planned by the family for the near future at a location in North Carolina chosen by her.

Contributions in her memory may be made to Hospice and Community Care, 685 Good Drive, P.O Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604.

President’s Message


  • an instance of two or more people coming together again after a period of separation
  • a social gathering attended by members of a certain group of people who have not seen each other for some time

We will come together this May for the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society of John Gaither Descendants to not only conduct the business of the Society, but also to REUNITE, as in REUNION. We will not only RENEW old friendships with our cousins, but we will likely make new acquaintances within our extended family. We can also use this opportunity to REMEMBER those that have passed.

As you can see, REUNION is just one of the many words that begin with “RE”. To me, many of these words are inspirational and REMIND us of how we can improve and be better. How appropriate that our REUNION is in the spring, the season in which vegetation begins to appear again and flowers begin to bloom.

To carry this further, we will REJOICE together that John Gater chose to migrate to this great country. We also will give our RESPECT to those previous generations of Gaithers that have kept our country free and to our REMARKABLE young men and women that continue to do so. REGENERATION is the circle of life and our children are its fruit.

Throughout the REUNION there will be many opportunities to examine our RELATEDNESS, to RE-EDUCATE ourselves of Gaither genealogy, and perhaps even discover a new REVELATION in our family’s history. We should also take time for RECOGNITION of those that founded the Society and those that have continued to be RESPONSIBLE for maintaining it. However, we as today’s members and officers must be RESOURCEFUL and RELIABLE to guide the Society to be RESILIENT to the pressures on a small family organization such as ours. In this complex world, we must use all RESOURCES at our disposal to guarantee the future of our Society for the benefit of future generations.

I highly RECOMMEND that you join your extended family in Chattanooga this year. I guarantee, you will come away RENEWED, REVIVED, and REJUVENATED in your pride of being a Gaither, and you will REALLY have some fun, too.

Obituary – Catherine “Kitty” Gertrude Hartman Teasley

Kitty and her father, Charles Hartman, 1947

Kitty Teasley, 91, of Durham, North Carolina died on Thursday, January 8, 2015, in her home surrounded by family. She was the daughter of the late Charles Eugene Hartman and Gertrude Gaither. She was descended from Gertrude Gaither, William Henry Gaither, Elijah Gaither, Zachariah Gaither, Benjamin III, John IV, John III, John jr, and John Gaither.

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Obituary – George W. Gaither, Jr.

George W GaitherGeorge William Gaither, Jr. 84, Indianapolis, passed away December 18, 2014. He was born March 7, 1930 to George and Christine Stober Gaither. He married Donna Jeannine Cattin on April 7, 1951 and together they had 9 children, Steven (Jane), William (Lori), Cheryl (Rob), Thomas (Sarah), Michael (Brenda), Donald (Kim), John (LeeAnn), who are all surviving; and deceased daughters, Susan (Cade) Verner and Judith Ann Gaither; George is also survived by 22 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; brother, Robert Gaither; sisters, Mary Ann Bays, Dolores Kuhn, Loretta Utterback; and was preceded in death by his sister, Thelma Carolyn Doss.

George was a 1948 graduate of Cathedral High School where he played football. He was an original Indianapolis Colts season ticket holder and a huge Colts fan. He served in the US Army Reserves. George was employed at American Fletcher National Bank, and more recently, Carpenter Real Estate Company. He was a member of St. Roch Parish and a former member of Holy Name Parish. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 10 a.m. in St. Roch Catholic Church with burial in Calvary Cemetery.

Obituary – Paul “Delphey” Gaither

Pual Delphey GaitherMr. Paul "Delphey" Gaither 87 of Brunswick MD died on Sunday November 25, 2012 at Frederick Memorial Hospital. Born August 19, 1925 in Brunswick MD. He was the son on the late Paul William Gaither and Mame Ruth Barger and the loving husband of Betty Lee Walker for 66 years. They were married on December 21, 1946.

Mr. Gaither known to many as Delphey or Coach graduated from Brunswick High School class of 1942 and the University of Maryland class of 1951. He taught in Howard County from 1951-1959 and at Brunswick High School from 1959-1979. Delphey taught track, crosscountry, baseball, basketball and soccer. He also worked for 25 years at the Charlestown Race Track. Some of his many hobbies were cracking walnuts, metal detecting, slots and mushroom hunting. He was a member of the Brunswick VFW and the First Baptist Church of Brunswick. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1946 and saw combat duty in the South Pacific Naval Air Corp as a plane Captain on the B-24 Liberator Bomber. He loved the Naval Reunions.

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Obituary – Patsy Umphers Gaither

Patsy Umphers Gaither, resiPatsy Gaitherdent of Hernando, Mississippi, former resident of Fayette County and wife of the late Billy Gaither, departed this life Sunday afternoon, December 1, 2013 at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis where she had been a patient for two and a half weeks. She was 79 years of age and died following a brief illness.

Mrs. Gaither was born March 23, 1934 in Golden, Mississippi. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence A. Umphers and Pearl Williams Umphers. She received her education in the Mississippi and Tennessee Public School Systems and was married June 12, 1965 to Billy O’Neal Gaither. Mr. Gaither was a sales representative of industrial supplies for Mid-South Tool Company in Memphis for a number of years before his retirement and died June 20, 2011.

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Obituary – Roy Alexander Gaither, Jr.

Alex-Gaither-119x150Roy Alexander “Alex” Gaither, Jr., 65, of Harmony, passed away Thursday, November 6. 2014 at the Gordon Hospice House. He was born in Iredell County on August 4, 1949 to the late Roy Alexander Gaither, Sr. and Mary Templeton Gaither, who survives.  Roy Jr.'s line is Roy, Sr.; Alexander Milton; Noah Spurgeon; Milton; Zachariah; Benjamin III; John IV; John III; John II, and John Gater.

Alex attended Harmony School and North Iredell High School. On January 11, 1974, he married Jane O’Neal and they had over 40 years of marriage before his passing. He was a member of Clarksbury United Methodist Church and was self-employed as a farmer. He was a member of the V-Point Ruritan Club and enjoyed all outdoor activities especially if they were with his family.

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Calling for Volunteers

The Society of John Gaither Descendants needs volunteers in positions critical to increasing membership and improving communications. If you or someone you know can fill any of the following roles and are willing to give a few hours per month to help, we would appreciate your help.

Membership Promoters - Responsible for making phone calls to prospective members and assisting the Membership Director in other ways.  Put on your "Thinking Cap" and let's find the best way to grow the Society's membership.

Genealogy Researchers - Responsible for reading documents such as marriage and death certificates, deeds, and wills recording key information. This work is fundamental for the Society to create an accessible, searchable library of family documents, photographs, and history for current and future generations of Gaithers.

Graphic Designers - Responsible for conceptualization and design of direct mail membership materials as well as all other Society print materials such as brochures, posters, and invitations.  Other responsibilities may include creating graphics for the Society website.  This position is critical for future growth of the Society.

Website Managers - Responsible for operating, maintaining, and enhancing the Society’s web site.  This person will be in forefront of moving the Society forward technologically for the next generation of Gaithers.

If you or someone you know can fill any of these positions critical to the Society's viability, please complete the form below.  We will be in touch soon. Thank you.