Eva Gaither was born in Grayson County, Kentucky in 1935, and passed away in 2013. The only child of Floyd and Ruby (Hayes) Gaither, she married her childhood sweetheart Charlie Thornberry and lived in Louisville, Kentucky. With three children, 7 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren she still had time to pursue many interests, but highest among those interests were the genealogy bug she caught from her father, an avid historian. The Society is extremely grateful that this talented woman, of tremendous energy, applied her enthusiasm as a founding member of the Society.
Eva contributed over 16 years directly to the Society, in addition to the many years of prior research she and her father had conducted. Eva’s significant contributions as “Gaither Connection” Newsletter Editor, Society Historian, Genealogist, and Treasurer, made the Society what it is today. All you have to do is read the early “Gaither Connections” Newsletter to see Eva’s contributions and influence. Anyone who had a Gaither question could usually get an answer from Eva. She generously shared her knowledge and committed to completing every line back to John Gater. Building upon her Father’s genealogical records, Eva’s commitment to genealogical research was truly inspiring. Current and future generations of Gaithers will forever be beneficiaries.
To quote Society member Larry Campbell, who knew Eva well and said so aptly in his 2014 Memoriam, “My Time With Eva”, - - “Eva’s efforts dwarf anything that has come since.” For all of these reasons, and more, the Society is very pleased to recognize the significant contributions of Eva Gaither Thornberry to this Society.
Those honoring Eva at the 2015 Gaither Reunion in Chattanooga were fortunate to have Eva’s husband Charlie and one of her daughters, Kelly in attndance. The Society was also extremely grateful that Charlie and his family agreed to contribute Eva’s collection of family history records and papers to the Society a most valuable of gifts.