James J. Gaffney



James (Jim) Gaffney died Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 78 years old.  Jim was born in Ardonan, County Cavan, Ireland on January 19, 1940. He was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and May, and his beloved brother Hugh. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Maura, his son Tom (Sydny Carter) of Seattle, WA; daughters Kathleen of Falls Church and Susan (Ariel Pereira) of Arlington, as well as six grandchildren; Eamon, Mylos, and Una Gaffney and Gabriel, Jack, and Lucas Pereira.  Jim is also survived by his sisters Rita McManus, Kathleen Lennon, and Phyllis Janssen, and many nieces, nephews, sisters and brothers in-law. 


Jim immigrated to the United States in 1960, where he met his wife Maura. Jim and Maura raised their family in Brentwood, New York.  He was a proud graduate of both The Cooper Union and Columbia University. He spent most of his electrical engineering career in the telecommunications industry and enjoyed the opportunity to travel extensively with his work. 


Jim loved his family, both here and at home in Ireland, and enjoyed many life long friends.  He had an abiding curiosity about the world, was a big fan of music and baseball, enjoyed reading, trivia and word games, especially beating (cheating?) his kids at scrabble.  He was fond of a tale, the taller the better, and appreciated a good bourbon over ice.  Jim was much loved and will be deeply missed.


As a proud alumnus, it was Jim’s wish that in lieu of flowers donations be made in his memory to The Cooper Union. Visit cooper.edu/give, call (212) 353-4103, or mail to: The Cooper Union Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, 30 Cooper Square, 8th floor, New York, NY 10003. Please be sure to indicate that the gift is in memory of Jim Gaffney, Albert Nerken School of Engineering, Class of 1968.

Friends may call at Advent Funeral Services, 7211 Lee Hwy. Falls Church, Virginia 22046 on Tuesday, March 27th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Wednesday, March 28th at 10:00 am at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 3304 N Washington Blvd. Arlington, Virginia 22201. Interment private.

6 Responses to James J. Gaffney

  1. Ellen Rowan says:

    Kathleen, my condolences to you and your family on the loss of your handsome Dad. I enjoyed listening to his ‘doings’ over the years and I know you will miss him greatly. Hope to see you soon.

  2. Steve and Tamra Murr and family says:

    My family sends condolences to your family. Jim was a great guy and we enjoyed watching football games and attending the quarterback club meetings with him. He will be missed by all.

  3. Herb Kibler says:

    Maura, Kathleen, Tom and Susan,
    My family and I send our condolences to you and your family.
    I met Jim and Maura during our many years working together at Nortel. Jim and I would share many family things with each other over the past 30 years. He was always cheerful in his Irish ways and a pleasure to work with. Over the years we kept in contact by email and phone. I will truly miss him.

    I believe Jim is in heaven with Jesus today.
    May the good Lord Bless and Keep him and bless his family.

    Herb Kibler

  4. Tom and Jeanie Swanson says:

    Maura, Kathleen, Tom, and Susan,

    Tom and I want to offer our sincere condolences to all of you. We remember some very good times with all of you both in New York and in Allen; of course, more often in Allen. We thought the world of Jim and all of you. He will be missed very much. We talked with him a few months back and caught up on how the family was doing. He was so proud of all of you.

    Tom and Jim worked together at Nortel for a number of years and shared some great experiences. We were very privileged to get to know the family and become friends.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Tom and Jeanie Swanson

  5. Gerald Ferguson says:

    Gerald Ferguson and family send sincere condolences. I remember happy times with Jim , Maura and family. There were great holidays together in Brentwood, Washington , Atlanta and elsewhere. I remember great trips to New Orleans and a holiday in Myrtle Beach. I will miss our telephone conversations .
    Our thoughts and our sympathy are with Maura, Kathleen, Susan and Tom.
    May he rest in peace.

  6. Maggie (Hart) Reuter says:

    Dear Maura, Kathleen, Susan and Tom:

    Our family is so sorry to hear that Jim passed away. He was truly a wonderful man with a big heart and great sense of humor. I can imagine how much he will be missed by family and friends. One of my favorite memories of Jim was when Kathleen and I were in the car with Jim and Maura on the way to the airport for our study abroad in Ireland and we all sang Harry Chapin’s “Taxi” together. Loved his dry sense of humor. God bless Jim. Love you all.

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