John Francis Gaither, 98, of Evansville, Indiana passed away Tuesday, August 29, 2017, at St. Vincent Hospital. He was born October 26, 1918, in Louisville, KY, to Thomas R. Gaither and Maurice Francis Gaither. John was the grandson of Thomas Richard Gaither in the Gaither line of James Edward, John Richard, Edward Brisco, Greenberry, Edward, Benjamin, John II, and John Gater.
John served on the first Board of Directors of The Society of John Gaither Descendants, and was the third President of the Society. He has the distinction of serving the Society in official positions longer than any other member. The Society will miss his service and dedication.
As a teenager, John was a pilot in the early days of aviation. He graduated from University of Notre Dame in 1941 and was captain of the Fencing Team. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a communication intelligence officer.
John settled in Evansville following WWII, initially as a divisional controller (Evansville) at Seeger Refrigerator Co., now Whirlpool Corp. He spent most of his career with Gaither Rutherford & Co, LLP, Certified Public Accountants, now part of BKD, LLP. He also served as city controller and deputy Mayor, Evansville and Chairman Indiana Health Facility Financing Authority. He received various appointments and served as a member or officer various commissions and advisory committees, including Indiana Hospital Rate Review Committee (Governor's representative), Transportation Coordinating Board of Indiana; Governor's Select Committee on Educational Finance (chairman); Governor's Advisory Commission on Energy and Utility Regulation (chairman); Mayor's Energy Commission and Citizens Commission for Cable TV (chairman); Community Advisory Committee Indiana University School of Medicine (chairman); Indiana Association of Cities and Towns Controller's Division (president); Evansville Economic Development Commission; Board of Trustees, Brescia College; Board of Trustees St. Benedict's Convent; Sisters of St. Benedict Development Council; Indiana Intergovernmental Personnel Board; Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Advisory Committee; and Vanderburgh County Republican Central Committee (treasurer). Professional affiliations included American Institute of CPAs, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky Associations of CPAs; American Management Association; International Platform Association; International Association of Financial Planning; and National Association of Accountants. He is the author of multiple publications and speeches in accounting and finance.
He was active in various community and civic organizations, including past president Buffalo Trace Council, Boy Scouts of America; past officer or director of YMCA; Downtown Kiwanis Club; Rotary International; United Fund; Cancer Society; Serra Club; East Central Region – BSA; Chamber of Commerce; Junior Chamber of Commerce. For his services he received various awards including Silver Beaver Award, Boy Scouts of America; St. George Award, Boy Scouts of America; Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash; Kentucky Colonel; Executive in Residence, Southern Indiana University Evansville; Einsiedeln Society, St. Meinrad Archabbey. He was a member of Evansville Country Club (past president), Indiana Society of Chicago (vice president); Society of John Gaither Descendants, Inc. (past president); Kennel Club; First Families of Virginia (Indiana Burgess); Sons of American Revolution; and International Society of Descendants of Charlemagne.
John is survived by his son, James M. Gaither, M.D., and James wife Pamela; his son, John F Gaither, Jr., and John's wife Chris along with their daughter, Maria T. Gaither, and their son, John F. Gaither, III, and his wife, Juliana Gaither and their children, John Charles and Adeline as well as his friend and companion Tracey Rowley.
John is preceded in death by his wife Marjilee "Pam" (Schaeffer) Gaither and his second wife, Catherine W. (Cox) Gaither as well as his parents. Burial was in St. Joseph Cemetery, Evansville.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556