Alice Faye Bradshaw Gaines, age 66, of Brentwood, Tennessee passed from this life on Sunday, October 18, 2020 at Centennial Medical Center after a courageous 6 1/2-year battle with peritoneal cancer.
Alice was born on December 21, 1953 in Lebanon Tennessee, the younger daughter of Charles Nelson Bradshaw and Willie Johnson Bradshaw.
Alice is survived by husband Dr. Donald Lee Gaines, sister Linda B. (James F.) Key, Lebanon, special cousin Bettye Jean Bradshaw Henderson of Tampa FL, additional cousins, fur children Bubba and Scooter, loving friends, neighbors, and members of the Robert I. Moore Sunday School Class at Brentwood United Methodist Church. She is predeceased by her beloved parents and fur children, Bouncer, Missy and Max.
Alice’s family moved several times as her father trained and showed American Saddlebred horses. During this time, Alice learned to ride, owned several three-gaited horses, and particularly enjoyed showing Lady Hardwick and Southern Beau Rambler at the Ohio State Fair, among other shows. Oh! How she loved the competition!
Playing alto saxophone her sophomore year as a member of the award-winning Grove City, Ohio high school marching band and as drill choreographer/leader of the 20-member Flag Corp her senior year, Alice continued to enjoy competition. A member of the National Honor Society, she enrolled in David Lipscomb College for two years. Beginning her career in the Operating Room at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, she moved to Nashville when her dad retired and continued her career at Parkview Hospital (now Centennial Medical Center). Alice completed her nursing degree at Middle Tennessee State University and advanced to Associate Director of Surgery at Parkview. Before long, Donelson Hospital recruited her as their Director of Surgery. Building on her experience at Mount Carmel, she equipped a state-of-the-art surgical suite at the new Summit Medical Center. Alice retired as Director of Surgery at Summit.
In her free time with her competitive spirit, Alice enjoyed playing golf. Traveling, cooking, growing/arranging flowers, observing nature, and feeding birds were additional interests. How delighted Alice was this year when one of her bluebird pairs successfully raised 2 broods in a newly placed nesting box in her backyard! Her baking skills were enjoyed by family and friends. She loved Don’s grandchildren and great grandchildren -- baking birthday cakes, preparing dinners for them and attending their sporting events. Christmas was a special time with carefully selected gifts, homemade cookies, and their favorite foods. Her plain cookies were available for a granddaughter to decorate when she visited from out of town.
For the last 3 ½ months, loving neighbors brought nightly meals, took her to weekly lab work, routinely walked “the boys”, Bubba and Scooter several times a week, and ran errands. Friends from church also brought meals, snacks, and gifts; special friends, Bob and Kathy did the same and also built a patio railing for “the boys” to enjoy secure and unsupervised freedom, and installed handicap equipment for Don.
Throughout the course of her illness, Alice fought with patience and determination. She never complained. One of her surgeons described Alice as “an exceptional lady” then added, “we all talk about her.” A friend wrote: “Alice rejoiced in God’s creation and saw the good in all. Her smile radiated from her kind heart, and she shared it with everyone she met.” Another wrote, “she lived with so much dignity and never once showed selfish needs in any way. She considered others to have bigger needs than herself.” Others have described Alice as “such a sweet person, very loving, caring, thoughtful of others, kind, compassionate, very humble, much loved by all the neighbors, very dear to us all, loved by all her chemo nurses, self-sacrificing.” “When it came to Don, she found the strength!” One of her physicians said Alice was “completely dedicated to her husband, to a fault, she always put his interests and care above her own.” He advised her to put herself “first, at least occasionally.” In fact, some of her last words were directed towards Don’s care. She loved him with every ounce of her being. A consummate peacemaker from early childhood, Alice embraced the Methodist faith upon her marriage to Don.
Alice will be greatly missed by Linda and Jim and all who knew her. Those closest to her already miss her encouragement, her ever-ready smile, her gentle touch and big hugs, her positive attitude, and her charming, gracious spirit, but are at rest in the knowledge she is no longer suffering.
In lieu of memorial contributions, please reach out to any that are down in heart with an act of kindness in loving memory of Alice.
No services are scheduled. Inurnment will be private at Brentwood UMC Columbarium Prayer Garden at a future date. Sellars Funeral Home, Lebanon TN, 615.444.9393.