Ronald D. Gaines, 79, Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN, NY — Ronald D. “Mayor” Gaines, 79, passed away early Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at his home on Mechanic Street in Copenhagen.

Born Dec. 28, 1940, in Adams to parents Kenneth and Ida (Patterson) Gaines, he attended Augustinian Academy in Carthage.

In 1958 be served in the United States Navy until 1964 when he was medically discharged.

From there he began his career as a civilian employee on Fort Drum where he worked for 31 years as the supervisor of supply maintenance and the director of logistics.

After retiring from Fort Drum, Ron went to work selling cars for FX Caprara. This was a job he loved and was known as “Honest Ron”.

Ron married Barbara Booth on June 4, 1966, at St. Mary’s Church, Copenhagen.

Besides his wife of 54 years, he is survived by a son, two daughters and five grandchildren; his son, Ronald Gaines Jr. Copenhagen, Lisa (Kerry) Freeman, Rutland, Natalie (Eric) Scott, Copenhagen, grandson Brandon Scott, Copenhagen, grandson, Nathan Freeman, Rutland, granddaughter, Madison Freeman, Rutland and grandsons Gavin and Collin Gaines of Watertown. He is also survived by his brother and sister in law, Kenneth and Phyllis Gaines of Copenhagen; and a sister in law, Sharon Boni of Carthage. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and extended family. However, one special was a nephew and his best friend, Mark Gaines of Copenhagen was always there for him.

He was predeceased by his parents and several brothers and sisters. His brothers include: Martin, Claude, Ralph and Earl Gaines and Cecil, Fred and Clifford Burke. His sisters include: Anna Harper, Mary Towne, Doris Nevills, Blanche Hammill, Dorothy Bloss, Ilene Giovo, Merline Porter, Agnes Castleman, Loraine Ploof, Leona Duffy and Elizabeth Oatman. Also, passed before him was a nephew Brian Gaines and a brother in law, Thomas Boni.

Ron liked to be involved in his community. He was a lifetime member of the Carthage Elks Lodge # 1762. He also was the treasurer of the Copenhagen Fire Department for 17 years. He served as the mayor of Copenhagen for 10 years and was still known as “ the Mayor” by many. He was an original member of the Copenhagen Civic Club that started the medical center in the village. He was also a member of the DAV, American Legion and the Eagles Club. He could always be seen with a pocket full of raffle tickets to support a local organization.

Ron was a huge sports nut. His favorite teams were the N.Y. Yankees, N.Y. Giants, Syracuse Basketball and all of the Copenhagen Central School sports teams. He attended the Big East Tournament for 20 years consecutively.

The family would like to acknowledge how lucky they are to live in a community as special as the village of Copenhagen. Between  EMT Mark Souva, the fire department, local businesses, friends and neighbors; they all took such good care of Ron. We cannot thank everyone enough for all they have done for him through the years, especially the last few. We are extremely blessed and appreciate it.

Graveside services with military honors will be held 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Copenhagen. Visitation will be held privately by the family at the Bezanilla-McGraw Funeral Home, Carthage.

Memorial donations may be made to the Copenhagen Fire Dept., PO Box 364, Copenhagen, NY 13626.

To leave an online condolence, go to