OBITUARY

Thomas J Gaffney

July 19, 1941January 9, 2019

GAFFNEY - Thomas J. January 9, 2019. Son of the late Thomas and Teresa Steinhauser Gaffney; brother of the late Mary Ann “Molly” Gaffney; survived by his former wife Diane Gaffney and her children, Gregory (Marietta) Kocialski, Paula (Daniel) Del Regno; grandchildren, Emma, William Kocialski , Megan, Kelly and James Del Regno; dear friend of Ellen Marshall. Mr. Gaffney recently retired as the US Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee. Mr. Gaffney was an active member of the Buffalo Yacht Club, The Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club. No prior visitation. Private service will be held at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. www.denglerrobertspernafuneral.com

Services

  • No Prior Visitation, Services Private
REMEMBERING

Thomas J Gaffney

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Mark Stuhlmiller

January 15, 2019

Tom was a great friend to the Buffalo sailing community and will truly be missed. I remember him most for his no nonsense attitude, his flair for sarcasm and his affinity for beer. (All excellent and admirable qualities of a sailor.) I will miss his passion for preserving the history of the Buffalo Yacht Club and for his enormous heart in offering assistance in many capacities to many sailors over the years (e.g. Race Committee, chaplain services...). Honestly, I may not miss his strong aversion to clothes (or towel) in the JCC men’s locker room - but i have always admired the level of confidence associated therewith.

Tom - you were a great friend and I will miss you.

Mike Kraft

January 15, 2019

Tom was one of the first gentlemen I met when I joined the yacht club back in the mid 80’s as a young kid and just starting out in my “career” .

At the time Tom owned the building at the corner of Linwood & Summer Street, the building was a beautiful old mansion with a winding staircase in the front foyer. Tom leased out small offices in the building to a number of attorneys and when I was looking for my first office made me an offer “I couldn’t refuse” which started a friendship that lasted over 30 years. I was fortunate to have a "real" office and mailing address, was always thankful to Tom for this but he always casually dismissed the help he provided.

I had the great pleasure of spending 2 hours with Tom recently as we jointly “manned” the BYC ballot box during the noon hour for the annual elections. Seemed like the 2 hours went by in minutes as we chatted about Buffalo history , the changing waterfront and how the railroads impacted the dissemination of waterfront lands. Tom knowledge on this “stuff” was incredible.

Tom was a true gentlemen and someone I’m glad to have called a friend and he will be missed .

Bernard B Freedman

January 14, 2019

Tom was always there to help. He would always ask if there was anything he could do. I never heard him say he did not like a person or that person was no good

Jim Willett

January 13, 2019

I only met Tom last year when, no longer able to handle his own boat, our skipper invited him on ours. Even with replacement parts that included two knees and a hip, he insisted on helping in every aspect, even, to our great concern, venturing forward in rough seas. We had to make a rule soon afterwards that Tom was to remain in the cockpit. He was not happy with this restriction but reluctantly agreed, seeing our logic that a man overboard rescue would delay our getting to the bar after the race. Tom was a wealth of knowledge and entertained us with many stories from his fascinating life. He told us that years ago he sponsored a race car and was very active in the race circuit. He said the race community was like an extended family, and often would crash at his home. He said in the morning he would wake up, clear the empties, and count heads so he knew how many breakfasts he and his wife would need to prepare. Other stories were of the companies he owned. As a bankruptcy attorney, he sometimes dealt with companies that he had the opportunity to buy after the proceedings. He bought a machine shop and made a thriving business out of it, getting involved on the shop floor, actually machining parts. It seems he did it all, and lived a wonderfully full life. A toast to you, Tom, you made sailing much richer.

Kathleen Howell

January 12, 2019

I remember when Tom joined our lunchtime runners group at the JCC in the early '80s. He was very knowledgeable about the history of the grain mills and took us on a tour of them. He was an engaging and dependable member of the group which ran through Buffalo neighborhoods and down to the waterfront on our various routes. When the group slowed down due to aging knees we walked every day and had conversations along the way. Tom loved to ski and sail and was an active member of the Yacht Club where he organized our "Runners Holiday Lunch" every year. Tom was very generous with all his friends and solicitous if anyone needed help. We called him "the Iron Man" because he was never sick and mastered knee and hip replacements still being able to walk, ski and sail. He will be missed.

Larry Cobado

January 12, 2019

Tom Gaffney was a great guy. We will all miss him. We had the pleasure of having Tom over for the holidays a few years ago. My father, Tom and I had a lot of fun debating national news, sharing a few jokes an laughs. Then we would see him on the water assisting Chuck on Markset, always friendly. Once you met him he knew you forever. My Dad passed away 2 years ago, now we’ve lost Tom. They just
don’t make them like that anymore.....

Peter Grubea

January 12, 2019

I had the privilege of knowing Tom for 25 years as a fellow attorney. He was a man of discipline, principles, and compassion -- a rare combination into today's world. Truthfully, he always seemed like the type of man who would outlive us all. He will be missed by those who knew and understood him.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY