Courtney Knight Gaines Fund

Courtney Knight was born October 6, 1929, in Savannah, the daughter of W.T. “Bill” Knight, Jr., and Grace Schley Knight. She attended the Pape School in Savannah and then Wesleyan College in Macon, graduating in 1951.

Courtney Knight married Ezekiel “Zeke” Baldwin Gaines, Jr., on January 30, 1954, and they had three children: Grace Schley Gaines, E.B. Gaines III, and Courtney Knight Gaines.

Mr. and Mrs. Gaines led an active civic life in Savannah, and she supported many causes with her time and philanthropy. Courtney was a member of Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church for 62 years. She served on the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society and was also active in the Junior League, United Methodist Women, Christian Women of Savannah, Historic Savannah Foundation, and Friends of the Owens–Thomas House, among others. Courtney received an award from her alma mater, Wesleyan College, in 2001 for a lifetime of service to the United Methodist Church.

Courtney traveled every summer to her mountain home in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. An avid cyclist, she biked from California to Florida in 1999 at age 69 after finishing treatments for lymphoma. All her fellow riders were female cancer survivors over the age of 50.

Courtney died on July 14, 2016, at age 86. Her husband Zeke Gaines died in 1980.

In 2000, Mrs. Gaines established the Courtney Knight Gaines Endowment Fund at the Georgia Historical Society, ensuring that her commitment to Georgia history education will continue in perpetuity.