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William F. (Bill) GaffiganSeptember 18, 1927 ~ November 18, 2016 (age 89)
William F “Bill” Gaffigan, 89, of South St. on the Buckland side, died Friday, November 18, 2016 at the Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.
Born in Buckland on September 18, 1927, he was the son of William P. and Minnie (Vincent) Gaffigan. He attended the former Arms Academy in Shelburne Falls.
Bill was a US Navy veteran serving during WWII. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and served in the battalion that was involved in the occupation of China. While in China he was able to walk on the Great Wall of China.
Bill had been employed by Warner Bros. Construction Co. of Sunderland for several years prior to retiring from Lamson & Goodnow Manufacturing in 1993.
As an avid New England Patriots fan and a veteran, he was honored this past April by the Patriots organization and owner Robert Kraft who presented him with a “We Are All Patriots” pen. Fifteen members of his family were able to be present for the occasion.
Bill was known as “Big Bro” to his hunting and fishing friends, and a kind and humorous man to all who knew him.
He was a member of St. Joseph’s Church in Shelburne Falls for many years.
Bill was the last Charter Member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Shelburne Falls.
He was married to the former Mildred Grandmaison on August 24, 1950 celebrating 66 years this past summer.
In addition to his wife, Bill is survived by his son Thomas (Mary) Gaffigan of Turners Falls, his daughter Deborah (Garrett) Benson of Colrain, a sister Catherine Purdy of Buckland, four grandchildren Amanda Steele, Adam Gaffigan, Joshua Benson and Katelyn Gaffigan Gamelli, two great-granddaughters Skyler Steele and Hailey Benson, and nieces and nephews.
The grandchildren always loved having breakfast with Grammie and Papa !
Bill was predeceased by his sons; Rick in 1974 and Mike in 1994, by his great granddaughter Summer Steele on October 28 of this year, and sisters Margaret Novak, Mary Tatro and Irene Burley.
A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, November 22 at 11:00 am at St. Joseph’s Church, 34 Monroe Ave. in Shelburne Falls. Burial will follow in Arms Cemetery.
A visiting hour will take place prior to the Mass at the Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home from 9:30 to 10:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, Bill’s family requests donations be made to the Summer R. Steele Scholarship Fund, payable to the Mohawk School District, c/o Angel Bragdon, 24 Ashfield Rd., Shelburne Falls, MA 01370