Donald J. Gaffney, 98, of Marshalltown, passed away Friday, November 2, 2012 at his residence while under the care of Iowa River Hospice. Mass of the Christian burial will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, November 8, 2012 at St. Henry's Catholic Church in Marshalltown. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at the church. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery in Marshalltown. Memorials may be directed to Iowa River Hospice or St. Henry Catholic Church. The Main St. Chapel of the Anderson Funeral Homes, formerly Pursel-Davis Funeral Home, in Marshalltown has been entrusted with then arrangements.
Donald was born February 17, 1914, a third generation Irishman, to James B. and Winnifred (Holmes) Gaffney in Deadwood, South Dakota. His family homesteaded on the banks of the North Platte River near Douglas, South Dakota until the claim was "proven up". The family moved to Madison, Nebraska where Don grew up, graduating from High School in 1932. He attended Wayne State Teachers College for one year.
He transferred to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, graduating in 1939, a member of Theta Xi fraternity, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. That year, Don was hired by Fisher Governor Company. Don was united in marriage to Jane Marie Worden April 16, 1941 at St Mary's Catholic Church in Marshalltown. She died in February, 2012. Don was a design engineer but traveled extensively for Fishers, including Europe, South America and the "shakedown cruise" of the USS United States. Don retired from Fishers in 1979 with several patents to his credit. Various hobbies occupied Don's time, from raising horses, boating on the Mississippi, Power Squadron, Big Red football, fishing, driving his Corvette, and his Airstream, traveling to the Florida Keys, Arizona and Texas. He and Jane also traveled to Europe, Japan and took numerous cruises. Don's family was his true passion and his love, support and encouragement was unbounded.
Left to cherish Donald's memory are his daughter, Judy (John) Egnew, son, Jerry (Cheri) Gaffney, both of Marshalltown.; grandchildren, Jami (John Meilahn), Jill (Dave) Thorman, Melissa (Gary) Sargent, Michael (Abbey) Egnew, Morgan Gaffney, Taylor Gaffney, his nephew Michael (Bonnie) Gaffney, niece Patricia (Jon Pearson) Gaffney and numerous great grandchildren. Donald was preceded in death by his wife, Jane, his brother, James (Joem) Gaffney,and three brothers in law, Bob and Jim Worden and Dick Duffy.