Emily Gaffney (Alexander)
Emily A. Gaffney 1918-2018
Emily A. Gaffney, 99, of Pinnacle Road, Sauquoit and wife of the late Thomas P. Gaffney passed away peacefully on August 13, 2018 at the Sitrin Health Care Center just three months shy of her 100th birthday.
Emily was born on November 11, 1918 (Armistice Day) in Canton/Eddy, New York, and daughter of the late Charles and Grace Wainwright Alexander. She received her education in the Canton schools. In 1940, she graduated with a Provisional Certificate from Potsdam Normal School (later renamed Potsdam State University). She taught in rural elementary schools in Fine, Collinsville and Port Leyden. While teaching in Port Leyden she met her eventual husband, an agriculture teacher and coach.
On December 18, 1943 she was married to Thomas P. Gaffney at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Port Leyden. They lived in Madison, Bridgewater and finally settled on Sauquoit to become dairy farmers and raise seven children.
In 1971, Emily was awarded her bachelor’s degree in education at Utica College of Syracuse University. She was a substitute teacher at Sauquoit Valley and other Oneida County schools for several years.
Tom passed away on April 7, 1975.
In 1977, Mrs. Gaffney began employment in the Family Practice Program at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, retiring in 1988. Since then she volunteered thousands of hours at the hospital in their Thrift and Gift Shop. In 2009 she was honored as the “Volunteer of the Year.” Her dedication to helping others continued as a “Pillow Lady” where she sewed pillows until the age of 99, for the heart patients at St. Elizabeth’s. At last count she helped to make over 1000 pillows.
Emily was a devout member of St. Patrick’s Church in Clayville and its Alter Rosary Society. She was the secretary-treasurer of the Kirkland Milk Producers Co-op, a member of the Sauquoit Community Club and the Village Elders of Chadwicks.
Emily is survived by her seven children (three daughters and four sons).
Charles (Patricia) Gaffney of Sauquoit, Patricia (Aurel) Menard of Virginia Beach, VA, Timothy (Mary) Gaffney, The Villages, Florida, William (Susan Lee) Gaffney, Nevada City, California, Gary (Merideth) Gaffney, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Sarah (Brian) McQueen, Whitesboro, Kathleen (Keith) LaBarge, Paris, New York.
She leaves 16 grandchildren: Ernest Miller (Kim), Sheri Bailey, Tom (Melissa) Gaffney, Michelle (Garrett) Howell, Candace Gaffney; Micheline, James (Robyn) and Joe (Emily) Menard; Conor (Maureen) and Ian (Samantha Abrams) Gaffney; Rowan (Miranda) and Devon Gaffney; Ryan (Erin) McQueen and Andy (Ashleigh), Josh and Pierre LaBarge. 19 Great grandchildren and 6 Great Great Grandchildren. Other living relatives include her brother and his wife, Charles and Margaret Alexander of Canton, New York and her in laws Ilene Gaffney, Cobleskill, Donald Van Waes, New Hartford and countless nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband, one sister, Beth Campbell, in laws Dr. Arthur (Marion) Gaffney, Jack (Ruth) Gaffney, Justin (Kay) Gaffney, Charles Gaffney, Margaret Van Waes and nephew Dr. Edward Gaffney.
The Gaffney Family would like to thank the Loughlin Family, Jim Henck and Dr. Chris and Linda Clark for their compassion and care during their mother’s illness.
Calling hours will be Friday, August 17 from 4-7 at the Smith Funeral Home, 3022 Oneida St. Sauquoit.
Emily’s Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 10:00 at St. Patrick’s-St. Anthony’s Church in Chadwicks. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Clayville.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to: Sauquoit Fire Department, Friends and Neighbors (Clayville, NY) or Believe 271 Foundation, P.O. Box 480, 8530 Old Poland Road, Barneveld, New York 13304.