Our Staff

Kaye Gaines

Kaye Gaines

CEO/President

Kaye Evans-Gaines is a native of Cleveland.  She was educated within the Cleveland Public School District.  She attended Cuyahoga Community College and is currently matriculating through her undergraduate studies where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s  of  Science Degree in Interdisciplinary  Studies  at Liberty University; the largest Christian University in the world.

 She has held her credentials as Funeral Director from the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors since 1992. Widowed since 1991, she is the proud mother of two, Tyrone and Tasmine Evans.  She is Grandmere to Shatya and Charleston.

She is fondly and affectionately known as the “Diva”  of the funeral industry. Kaye is looked upon as the trend setter among her peers within the industry.  The Gaines Funeral Home is family owned and operated, established since 1972. Kaye is the second generation, serving as the Chief Executive Officer.

Under her leadership, the dream and vision of her parents to have a second location was accomplished on the birthday of the late Mrs. Rosa Gaines in December of  2015. Only after surmounting tremendous obstacles that seemed to be endless; when asked how she made it through Kaye simply replied  “God is Able”.  She is a pillar of the community and works diligently to serve her families during the loss of their loved ones, while gently guiding them to the process of healing.  The Ohio Funeral Directors Association will acknowledge with an award,  Kaye's 25 years of service as a licensed  Funeral Director, May 17, 2017.  This is an amazing milestone in her career, that demonstrates her commitment to her community. This is truly the ministry she has been called too. Her memberships of good standing include the following:

African American Funeral Directors Association of Cleveland.

 Embalmers Association of Cleveland.

 National Funeral Directors Association.

 Ohio Funeral Directors Association.

 The Academy for Funeral Service Practitioner.

 A Life member status of the National Council for Negro Women.

 The National Association of Professional Women awarded her the standard of excellence and professionalism within her industry.   She was the 2016 recipient of Jae the “Gospelkidd 1st Annual Scholarship Fund Award.”

Her latest membership was extended to her in 2015 when she was invited to the Board of Directors for the Women of Royalty Outreach Ministries.  She had been observed in her role as a Servant-Leader in her community for the past 7 years.

 It was her immense love for God that was apparent and paramount, she possessed the heart of a servant, loyal, committed, caring, compassionate, and her high level of integrity made her an excellent candidate. Her extraordinary service as a board member, secured her recent  appointment to the post of Madame State Ambassador of Ohio.  She was officially installed November 12, 2016.

Her passion to mentor young ladies along with her vision is to open a school where cost will not affect the attendance of any young lady desiring to enter.  Etiquette, Self-esteem, reinforcing academic success through education, overall character building components and modeling are just a few of the areas her ladies are exposed too.  She is currently in the process of launching “The Esther’s of Tomorrow” under the umbrella of the Women of Royalty Outreach Ministries.

 She currently has 6 students enrolled. The miracle of watching them blossom into beautiful young ladies is happening right before her eyes.  To God be the Glory!


Carl E. Kirby - Gaines Sr.

Carl E. Kirby - Gaines Sr.

Former President

Carl E. Kirby-Gaines Sr. was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Gaines. On May 17, 1961 Carl was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Along with his two sisters, Kaye and Sherry. The second generation maintained operations of the funeral home in the year 1999 when Mrs. Rosa Gaines retired with over 30 years of funeral experience.

Carl's duty as President, was to oversee daily operations and to establish that the funeral home was in full operation 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

People in the state of Ohio, that knew Carl, knew that he was a kindhearted person. Carl showed compassion to all that entrusted their loves ones to the funeral home.

Carl's memory will live on forever in our hearts, and our minds. Carl's legacy lives on in his wife, Renee of 18 years, and his two children India and Carl Jr.

Operations at the Gaines Funeral Home has not come to an end, the way we will honor Carl is to complete the work that he started all those years ago.


Renee Kirby Gaines

Renee Kirby Gaines

Chief Financial Officer

Renee Kirby Gaines,  is a graduate of Erie View Catholic High School. After High School Renee advanced her education and enrolled in beauty school at Beatrice School of Beauty and there she completed her education as a beautician. 

After completing beauty school, in 1981, she gave birth to her oldest child, India.

In 1991, She married Mr. Carl E. Kirby Gaines Sr., and shortly after she gave birth to her 2nd child, Carl E. Kirby- Gaines Jr. 

 After the birth of her son Carl Jr., She joined the Gaines Funeral Home in 1995, serving as a member of our administrative staff. 

In 2009, she became a widow after 18 Years of marriage to Carl Sr. 

In 2015, after years of dedication and hard work, Renee began serving the Gaines Funeral Home as Chief Financial Officer.

Renee is the mother of India and Carl Jr, and proud grandmother of Tyshon, Jaida, and Jordyn. 


Sherry D. Ward

Sherry D. Ward

Licensed Funeral Director

Sherry D. Ward, a North Carolina native and a product of both Cleveland County school system in North Carolina and Cleveland Public School district, joined William A. Gaines Funeral Home in the year 1982. Sherry brings with her a background in political science and holds a Funeral Directors and Insurance License in the state of Ohio. 

Sherry has worked with such organizations as V.O.I.C.E.S., a community activist group, and as past president for the Lady D. Drill Team, just to name a few. She is a member of The National Funeral Directors Association, the Buckeye State Embalmers and Funeral Directors Association, and the Cleveland Embalmers Association.


Keli M. Bonner Gaines, MSW, LSW

Keli M. Bonner Gaines, MSW, LSW

Licensed Funeral Director, Certified Funeral Celebrant & Grief Consultant

Keli M. Bonner Gaines comes to us with a Masters degree in Social Work. She is the second eldest of the third generation with many similar interests as her grandmother, Mrs. Rosa Gaines.

 Keli's outstanding speaking abilities and her genuine love for people has made Keli a valuable asset to the Gaines family. Her role as a Certified Funeral Celebrant and Family Grief Counseling Specialist is designed to help our families begin the journey of healing while moving through bereavement. This is her heart’s passion and her ministry.

Her credentials as a Certified Funeral Celebrant and Life Tribute Professional enable her the capacity to bring about a place of assurance to the families we serve. She offers her amazing gift of insight to actualize their requests.

Keli has worked alongside her family for over twelve years and more recently, joined as a full time member of the Gaines staff in January 2018. Prior to serving in the funeral ministry, she served ten years as a Clinical Supervisor in Health and Wellness for The Centers for Families and Children (Cleveland, OH). 

Keli’s stellar academic career speaks for itself.  As a native of Detroit, Michigan She received a Bachelor Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) in the year 2006. After much commitment and dedication, Keli went on to receive her Master’s Degree in 2014 from The University of New England (Biddeford, ME).

In March 2018, Keli completed an apprenticeship with the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and is now licensed as a funeral director in the State of Ohio.

Keli is the proud mother of our Junior Greeter, Master Gabriel L. Bonner, her only son and a member of the Gaines Family Fourth Generation.


Carl E. Kirby-Gaines Jr.

Carl E. Kirby-Gaines Jr.

Chief Embalmer/Care Center Director and Licensed Funeral Director

Carl Gaines Jr, is the youngest of the third generation at the Gaines Funeral Home. Since the age of 9, he has had a passion for the funeral industry.

Carl Jr, has studied at The Bowling Green State University. Now, currently he is studying at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. Carl Jr is the only son of the former president Carl Kirby Gaines. Carl (CJ) has the honor of completing the work that his father started and will continue to follow in the footsteps that Carl Sr. has set.

In 2013 he enrolled in Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, in 2015 he graduated with an Associates in Specialized Technology as well as Associates in Specialized Business in addition to being certified as a Crematory Operator by The Cremation Association of North America. 

He has received his Bachelor's of Science in Funeral Services from Point Park University.

In May of 2017,  Carl fulfilled the requirements mandated by Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors for  the The Funeral Director's Apprentice Program.

In March of 2018, Carl was granted his license to practice both Funeral Directing and Embalming.  

Carl is attends St. Agnes Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. 

Carl is also a member of:

Ohio Embalmers Association

Ohio Funeral Directors Association

National Funeral Directors Association

National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association

Ecclesiastes Lodge #120, Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliated

Bezaleel Consistory #15, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction 

El Hasa Temple #28, AEAONMS

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.- Cleveland Alumni Chapter

Nu Phi Zeta Fraternity Inc., National Vice President - 2020-2024

Knights of Columbus, Cleveland Council #733



Telephone: 1-216-641-4802

Email: 


Tyrone Evans-Gaines

Tyrone Evans-Gaines

V. P. Preparatory Affairs/Regulatory Compliance Officer

Mr. Tyrone Evans-Gaines, Tyrone being a native of Cleveland, is the oldest of 2 of Ms. I. Kaye Gaines. 

Mr. Evans being the only son of the Funeral Director, I.K. Gaines, similar to his mother and role model, Mr. Evans's passion for the funeral industry and love for the families, Mr. Evans has the lifelong dream of one day becoming a licensed funeral director.  He is also part of the third generation legacy.

In 2015, Tyrone Graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science with an Assciate's degree in Special Technology. 

He has earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from Point Park University. He is currently fulfilling the requirements mandated by the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors in the Funeral Director's Apprentice Program.

Tyrone is the proud father of Shatya


The Kenneth L. Keith I.

The Kenneth L. Keith I.

Chief Executive Assistant to CEO & Chaplain

The Kenneth L. Keith I., serves as the Chief Executive Assistant to our CEO, Mrs. Kaye Evans-Gaines. The Kenneth L. Keith I., also serves in the capacity as the Chaplain of The Gaines Funeral Home.

Telephone: 

Email: 


Shemika Ward

Shemika Ward

Cosmetics & Restorative Art Specialist

Shemika has been with the Gaines Funeral Home since 2013.



King Hawkins-Keith

King Hawkins-Keith

Jr. Funeral Director

King Hawkins-Keith serves as a Jr. Funeral Director shadowing along side of some of the best Funeral Directors in the Industry. King is full of energy, always ready to learn and loves God with his entire heart.


Gabriel Bonner

Gabriel Bonner

Jr. Funeral Director

Gabriel L. Bonner is a Fourth Generation member of the the Gaines Family.  He is the only son of Keli M. Bonner Gaines. 


Lindsey M. Cannon

Lindsey M. Cannon

Funeral Director and Embalmer

Lindsey M. Cannon has been with the Gaines Funeral Home since 2017.

Lindsey is the Owner and Operator of Cannon LoPresti and Catavolos Funeral Home servicing the Westside of Cleveland. 


Gonelcha Askew

Gonelcha Askew

Director of Operations

Bishop Gonelcha Askew has been with the Gaines Funeral Home since July, 1997. For over 21 years Bishop Askew has been a part  of our Service, Ministerial and Music Staff.

Bishop Gonelcha Askew Sr. was born and reared in Cleveland, Ohio. Educated in the Cleveland Public School system and graduated from the Max S. Hayes Vocational High School with training in Electronic and Computer Repair. Bishop Askew was born and raised in the 2nd Metropolitan Baptist Church. It was there that he developed a love for church music. Sitting by the organ every Tuesday, and watching Almira Byrd play during choir rehearsal sparked a desire that remains even until this day. He began his ministry of music at the age of 11, in March of 1974 at the Sacred Trinity Baptist Church under the pastorate of his cousin, the late Rev. Otice Spears.

Bishop Askew’s ministry of the word and music has taken him to many cities throughout the United States, such as Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Memphis, Louisville, Philadelphia, St. Petersburg, Atlanta, Orlando, Detroit, Brooklyn, Chicago, Fort Wayne, Atlantic City and many others. His ministry has crossed many denominations including, Baptist, Full Gospel Baptist, Church of God in Christ, A.M.E. Zion, A.M.E., Disciples of Christ, Pentecostal, and others. Bishop Askew is a friend and brother to many in the Body of Christ and is a source of inspiration, motivation, strength and empowerment.

Bishop also serves as a member of our clergy. In January of 2012, he was named Director of Operations for The Gaines Funeral Homes Inc.  He is also the Minister of Music of 2nd Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Musician for the Voices of Worship @ Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 9:00 a.m. Bishop Askew is also the former National Minister of Music for the House of God Church, and is also a member of Shiloh Temple House of God under the pastorate of Apostle Steven L. Best.

Telephone: 1-216-641-4802

Email: 


Reggie Corethers

Reggie Corethers

Cares Team Specialist



Tiffany Jones

Tiffany Jones

Licensed Funeral Director

Tiffany was born and raised in Cleveland, OH. She trained to be a licensed funeral director under Sherry Ward and received her designation in May of 2019 and has been with the funeral home since 2016. A proud graduate of Bedford High School Class of 2000, receiving her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Human resources from Wright State University in 2004, and Master's degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources from Cleveland State University in 2007.  Tiffany is also a long time member of Rome Missionary Baptist Church where Rev. Claudie Williams Jr. is the Pastor and is an active member of Delta Theta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


Dorothy Chapman

Dorothy Chapman

Funeral Attendant

Dee has been a member of the Gaines Family since 2000.

Dorothy is a Retired Social Worker for The Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility,

Dorothy decided to pursue an interest in the funeral industry because of her caring of others personality , and her passion to assist families in their time of need.

Dorothy has been a valued asset of the Gaines Family since her arrival.

 


Ozell Dobbins

Ozell Dobbins

Funeral Attendant/Driver

Ozell has been a member of the Gaines family since 2005.

Ozell comes to us from the City of Cleveland Water Department, Retiring with 31 Years of service. 


Robert Gildersleeve

Robert Gildersleeve

Funeral Attendant/Driver

Mr. Gildersleeve has been with the Gaines Funeral Home since 2005.

Mr. Gildersleeve serves on the Deacon Board at New Bethlehem Baptist Church  under pastorate of Reverend Michael Thompson.



Hubert  Jordan

Hubert Jordan

Driver/Funeral Attendant

Mr. Jordan has been with The Gaines Funeral Home for many years.

Hubert came to Gaines after retiring from Ford Motor Company with over 20+ years of dedicated service.

Along with his brother Clifford, Hubert has been an asset to the funeral home since his arrival. 


Jimmy Gates

Jimmy Gates

Funeral Attendant



DeWayne Banks

DeWayne Banks

Funeral Attendant



Kasual King

Kasual King

Funeral Intern



Reginald Kendrick

Reginald Kendrick

Funeral Attendant

 Reginald joined Gaines Funeral Home in August 2017.


Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Funeral Attendant



Roderick  Randle

Roderick Randle

Funeral Attendant



Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Funeral Attendant/Driver



Melvin Davis

Melvin Davis

Funeral Attendant/Driver



Linda Franklin

Linda Franklin

Funeral Attendant/Driver



Kenneth Thomas

Kenneth Thomas

Mortuary Concierge



Charles Sharp

Charles Sharp

Funeral Attendant/Driver



Nathaniel Blair

Nathaniel Blair

Mortuary Concierge



Anthony Stewart

Anthony Stewart

Grounds & Maintenance-Cleveland

Tony has been with the Gaines Funeral Home since 2009.

Tony is the caretaker of our Cleveland Location.


Vincent Mathews

Vincent Mathews

Grounds & Maintenance-Maple



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