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August 22, 1946 ~ September 30, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Mallory Dillard Gaines of West Orange, NJ was born on August 22, 1946 in Bronx, New York and was the youngest son of the late Albert and Edythe Gaines and the only sibling to Richard D. Gaines. He departed this life Saturday morning, September 30. In 1964, Mallory graduated Montclair High School in Montclair, NJ and went on to attend Toledo University in Ohio where he excelled in foreign languages. He majored in French and was inducted into the French Honor Society in 1967. While in college, he became actively involved in the civil rights movement with the goal of improving the chances of college admission of African-American students from the Toledo Public School system.
After graduating from college in 1968, Mallory began his career as a teacher in the New York City public school system. He later moved to the Newark, New Jersey school system at Malcom X Shabazz High School where he primarily taught French but also Spanish. Mallory was an exceptional teacher and was nominated by many of his students as the teacher who was the most influential in their lives which led to him being nationally recognized in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He also tutored people who had left the school system before graduating from high school to assist them in preparing for and successfully passing the GED test to obtain their high school equivalency diploma.
In addition to his teaching career, Mallory also pursued his interest in music. He was a baritone and sang all types of classical music professionally and performed as a guest soloist at many churches in the New York and New Jersey area. Even through his recent health challenges he continued to find joy in playing the piano and studying music theory.
Mallory lived a very active life. He loved to play tennis and even postponed getting his hip replaced because it would interfere with his tennis playing. He was also passionate about cycling and logged thousands of miles exploring and photographing different places on his bike. By his own admission, he was a party animal who loved to socialize. Mallory’s friendships were incredibly important to him and he maintained friendships from as far back as elementary school. One of the most special things about Mallory is that he made sure his friends always knew how much he cared about them.
His only child, Amber Lyn, was the light of his life. He always told Amber that she was “the best thing he’d ever done.” He was her biggest supporter and reveled in her every accomplishment. He was so proud of the woman she’s become. Their bond was strong and unshakeable. They weren’t just father and daughter. They were friends.
To cherish his memory, Mallory leaves his daughter, Amber Gaines, his brother, Richard Gaines and his sister-in-law Camari Gaines. He also leaves his cousins, Tyrone Ramsey and his wife Gloria, Diane Gower and her husband James, Hans Ramsey and his wife Madiana and Steven Jones. He was deeply loved and will be missed by his nephews and niece – Cory, Daryl, Derek and Tami, their children, and a host of extended family and friends.