|Birth: ||Jul. 4, 1927|
|Death: ||Feb. 10, 2005|
Lewis & this contributor first met as shipmates aboard the USS Talbot County (LST 1153). He was a Fire Control Technician [meaning that he directed and controlled the firing of the ships guns, NOT that he controlled fires, though ALL Sailors including Lewis receive training in firefighting] & he was in charge of the day-to-day operation of the Gunnery Department.
Lewis, fondly known as "Bull Moose" & "Gate", was the oldest son of six boys and six girls born to Arthur Gilbert (Sr.) & Margaretta (Carter) Gaither and attended the Douglas School as a youth. He later obtained an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice through adult education in the Norfolk area. During his Naval service, in addition to his service aboard the USS Talbot County and several other ships he was the first black to teach Fire Control at Great Lakes Naval Training Center and later continued as an instructor at the Fire Control School at Dam Neck, Virginia. He retired as a Chief Petty Officer after thirty one years of Naval service. Following his retirement he reentered the civilian workforce as a Corrections Officer at the St. Brides Correctional Center, where he remained for an additional seventeen years.
Chief Gaither was known in his neighborhood and at the prison as a person one could confide in who was always willing to lend a helping hand. He always seemed to maintain a positive outlook on life even after he had given you his last dime or shared his bag lunch with you. He enjoyed a wide variety of music and liked to relax by fishing. Lou enjoyed the reunions of his former shipmates and attended whenever possible. He died at 77 years, 7 months, and 6 days and I believe the cause of his death was heart failure. Lou was survived by Helen, his wife of twenty one years, and a large family.
The URL of the website for the cemetery where Lewis is buried is seen below;
Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery
Plot: SECTION 3 ROW 59 SITE 36
Created by: John R. Ashburn (Sr.)
Record added: Jan 21, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13080732