August 7, 1942 - June 10, 2020 Gaines was born August 7, 1942 in Autauga County Alabama to Nora Vivian Overstreet Smith and Gaines Sherman Smith. He died on June 10, 2020 at 5:10 pm. His maternal grandparents were William Asbury Overstreet and Mary Edwards Cox Overstreet. Paternal grandparents were Leona Beatrice Caffey Smith Cherry and Gaines Sherman Smith. Surviving are his wife, Joan Wanda Love Smith of Auburn; daughter, Heather Smith Medeiros of Auburn; sons, Jaison William Smith ( Whitney Fairbanks) of Durham, North Carolina and Collin Gaines Smith of Jackson, Wyoming. Step son Kevin Wade Harper (Michelle) of Birmingham. Grandchildren are Owen Smith and Taylor Smith of Jackson, Wyoming and Webb Harper and Anne Ellis Harper of Birmingham. Survivors also include his brother, Merrill Wayne Smith of Evergreen Community (Billingsley, AL); nephew J. Chris Smith (Wendy) of Billingsley, AL and niece Kimberly Smith Reynolds (Frank) of Plantersville, AL; Aunt Mary Roberta Overstreet of Montgomery, AL. Upon graduation from Hicks Memorial School in Autaugaville, Gaines entered Auburn University where he earned a degree in Animal Science. He was an employee and or student of Auburn University for his entire professional career while earning additional degrees in agricultural science and public administration. First as Assistant Superintendent of the Lower Coastal Plains Research Station in Camden, AL; then as Extension Farm Agent in Jefferson County, followed by serving as District Extension Agent for West Central and Southwest Alabama in Selma; followed by more than 20 years in Auburn in the central administration of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. Gaines served as State Director of ACES for 12 plus years. Significant changes that occurred during his tenure as Director included the unification of Cooperative Extension Programs at Alabama A&M University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service of Auburn University into the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Gaines became a 4-H member in the 4th grade at Hicks Memorial and maintained a strong belief in and commitment to in 4-H throughout his lifetime, most recently serving on the board of the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation. Among the honors Gaines received are the Ruby Award, the highest national recognition for Extension Professionals Epsilon Sigma Phi; the naming of the environmental science center building at the Alabama 4-H Youth Development Center as the W. Gaines Smith Environmental Science Education Building; and induction into the Auburn University Agricultural Hall of Honor. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions in memory of Gaines. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, 224 Duncan Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849. Outdoor Celebration of Life will be held at his home in Evergreen Hills on Saturday, June 13 at 10:30 am at 2228 County Road 40 West, Billingsley, AL. Graveside Service at 11 am at Evergreen Baptist Cemetery. Dress is casual and comfortable.

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