Joseph John Gaffney of Riverdale, Maryland died peacefully in his home on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Beloved husband of 70 years to Dorothy Marie Gaffney, (predeceased 2/17/2018), and loving father to his seven children, Patricia (Paul) Mylander, Maureen (Theodore White) Gaffney, Janet (James) Berard, Michael (Melissa) Gaffney, Nancy (Harold) Domchick, Maryanne (John) Hossick and Eileen Gaffney. He was also a beloved grandfather and great-grandfather.
Joe was born in Union City, New Jersey, on April 27, 1924, to Bertha and Joseph Gaffney. He was their only child, but enjoyed the benefits of a close extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. He joined the Navy on May 30, 1942, barely one month after turning 18, serving on the Destroyer Escort, “Edgar G. Chase” throughout WWII. Upon his Honorable Discharge, he worked for his uncle’s refrigeration business, and married Dorothy Marie McMahon on June 8, 1947.
At the Union City Post Office one day, Joe noticed a flyer seeking cadets for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC. After graduating from the Police Academy, Dot and Joe moved to Greenbelt, Maryland, with their two young daughters, and continued to raise their growing family while coming to love their new hometown. In 1971, Joe retired as a Sergeant with 22 years of service in the MPD. He took a brief hiatus before embarking on a new career as a Commercial Building Inspector for Prince George’s County, retiring a second time in 1983.
In 1980, Dot and Joe bought their last property -- a five-acre lot in Riverdale, MD. They remodeled the old farmhouse there, but an electrical fire damaged the home so they had to raze it and rebuild a new home. Joe subdivided the property and as General Contractor built homes for three of his daughters, thereby creating “The Gaffney Compound”, where Dot and Joe delighted in hosting family and friends for over 35 years.
Joe enjoyed reading novels, swimming, and engaging in friendly competition when golfing, shooting pool, and playing chess and poker. He was an avid fan of the Nationals and Redskins.
Joe lived a full and happy life and was a generous patriarch to his entire extended family. He will be forever loved by his family and others who shared in his gregarious friendship and humor.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, June 22, at 10 AM, at St Hugh of Grenoble Catholic Church in Greenbelt, MD.
Flowers for the Funeral Mass or Donations to the Church should be sent directly to:
St Hugh of Grenoble Catholic Church
135 Crescent Road
Greenbelt, MD 20770
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph John Gaffney, please visit our floral store.