GREELEY, CO - Irene Gaffney, 86, formerly from Batavia, IL, died peacefully on December 10, 2018 at Centennial Health Care Center in Greeley, CO. She was born on June 22, 1932 to Joel and Reba (Sher) Greenberg in Philadelphia, PA. After graduating from high school, Irene enlisted in the United States Air Force on June 25, 1952 and was stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL. There she met her husband, James Edward Gaffney, and they were married on April 3, 1954. She was honorably discharged on May 14, 1954 and awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. After her husband's discharge, they relocated to his hometown of Chicago, IL where they raised five children. The family moved to Bridgeview, IL in 1971 and Irene lived there until the death of her husband at which time she downsized to a townhouse in Batavia, IL. After retiring from RR Donnelley as a keypunch operator and tape librarian, she joined the local chapter of the American Legion and served as their Sergeant-at-Arms. Irene was extremely proud of her military service. Irene belonged to a charity group who met to knit and crochet hats, scarves and blankets, many of them for children in foster care. Family members were also lucky recipients of handcrafted baby blankets and sweaters. And Irene was an excellent seamstress as well. As an adult, Irene learned to ride a bike and to swim. She walked her dog, Misty, and attended water aerobic classes. Sadly, after several falls, Irene was diagnosed with dementia, and required a safe and supervised living environment. She moved first to assisted living in Country Club Hills, IL, then to memory care near her daughter in Greeley, CO and finally to a nursing home. Even as the disease progressed, Irene never failed to charm the staff that cared for her.
Irene Gaffney is survived by her sisters: Helen Clanton and Lenora Black; her brother, Harry Greenberg; by her five children: Robert (Lona) Gaffney, Cindy (Douglas) Guilboard, Michael ( Barbara) Gaffney, Patrick (Irene) Gaffney and Christopher (Lisa) Gaffney; and by a huge extended family of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Please join us in celebrating Irene's life and spirit. Visitation will be on Friday, February 15 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM, and a memorial service on Saturday, February 16 at 10:00 AM at SCHROEDER-LAUER FUNERAL HOME, 3227 Ridge Rd, Lansing, IL. Internment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Evergreen Park, IL. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Irene's name to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, www.alzfdn.org.