Dolores Marie Shelton Gaines was born October 24th, 1929 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the late Robert Shelton and Margaret Harris Shelton. This is also the day that the New York Stock Market crashed, culminating in the Great Depression. Born and raised in the Historic Hill District, Dee attended Watt Street School (now St. Benedict the Moor School) and Herron Hill Middle School (now University Prep). She attended and graduated early from Schenley High School (Schenley Apartments) in 1946. She proceeded to the University of Pittsburgh where she attained her Bachelors and her Masters in Education. During her Undergraduate years, she also joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Iota Chapter and became a Life Member of that organization. In 1949, she met her soon to be husband, the late Charles M. Gaines Jr. Love blossomed and they were married in 1954.
They were the first African American “colored” couple to stay at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. They honeymooned at the Lord Simcoe Hotel in Toronto, Canada. Dee also started her teaching career that year at Letche Elementary School. In 1961, she took a brief pause to give birth to her first child, Angela Maria Gaines. In 1963, Dee resumed the remainder of her teaching career at Lemington Elementary School. In 1969, Dee gave birth to her second daughter, Heather Tara Gaines. She continued her career in education until 1994 when she retired after 42 years of service. After her retirement, she enjoyed spending her time with her grandchildren (Tara, Adrianna and Ian), as well as becoming more involved with her beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She also furthered her education by taking computer classes and traveled to various places making sure to visit with family and friends. Dolores is survived by her two daughters (Angela and Heather), her grandchildren (Tara, Adrianna and Ian), nieces, nephews, cousins and the many students lives she touched with her kindness and love. All who met her will remember her laughter, her stories, and the way she would make you smile.
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