Priscilla Willis Gainer Faulkner, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend passed away July 7, 2020, peacefully in her home.
Priscilla will be buried at the Covington Historic Cemetery in Covington, GA following a family graveside service. A celebration of life gathering will be planned at a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Priscilla was born in Panama City, Fla., on July 23, 1938, to Jessica Willis Gainer and William Augustus Gainer. Priscilla was the valedictorian of her high school class of 1956 at Lakeland High School despite an early proclivity to be “a little too social” in the early grades. She attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur where she majored in Psychology. Priscilla met her husband, Dr. Robert Lee Faulkner, Jr., while in her freshman year at Agnes Scott at a Baptist Student Union mixer.
After graduating from Agnes Scott in 1960, Priscilla taught second and third grades in Panama City before beginning graduate school at Emory where she received a dual master’s degree in audiology/speech pathology and psychology.
After her marriage, she and Bob moved to Covington where he established his medical practice. She worked as an audiologist and speech pathologist for the Newton County School System. She was the first white teacher in the then segregated schools of Newton County. Through her work in the schools, she and Bob began to take in children who needed a home, first as an informal foster home and then later as formal foster parents. They continued in this mission through the next 30 years.
Following the birth of their first daughter, Priscilla Bonner in 1969, Priscilla and Bob travelled to Ghana for a short-term medical mission. Priscilla and Bob had another daughter, Lucinda Chappell, in 1972, and then a son, Robert Lee III, in 1979. Priscilla was an incredibly involved mother shuttling children to swim team practice, riding lessons, drama, vaulting and running Falconwood Farms — the family’s horse farm.
Priscilla used her exceptional organizational and political skills to take on a leadership role in the American Vaulting Association, serving on the national board for many years. She also ran the AVA Friendship Team, a group of vaulters from around the country who performed in demonstrations at various equestrian events including the 1996 Olympics and the 2010 World Equestrian Games. In her role with Friendship Team, Priscilla was truly in her element, organizing dozens of moving parts, playing mother to hundreds of vaulters, and driving horses thousands of miles around the country.
Priscilla was an active member of First Baptist Church of Covington where she was a soprano in the adult choir and led children’s choirs for many years. She particularly enjoyed her Tuesday morning Bible study group.
Priscilla is survived by her husband, Robert Faulkner; children, Priscilla, Lucinda and Rob; son-in-law, Ray Ehrig; and grandchildren, Taries Byrd, Elizabeth Ehrig, Mark Ehrig, Jack Ehrig, Sam Ehrig and Priscilla “PJ” Ehrig.
In lieu of flowers memorial gifts can be given to the Helping Hands Ministries, 4186 Mill St. Covington, GA 30014.