Edward “Ed” Phillip Gaffney Jr., 81, of Beloit, WI, flew off to be with his Lord and Savior, on Saturday, January 19, 2013 from Beloit Memorial Hospital.
He was born July 18, 1931 in Madison, WI, the son of Edward and Amy (Hoffman) Gaffney Sr. Ed was a 1949 graduate of Verona High School, Verona, WI. After high school Ed joined the United States Navy and was a radio technician aboard a naval destroyer. After his discharge from the Navy, he learned to fly and spent several years’ crop dusting in the South, as an instructor at Rock County Airports North Field and as a corporate pilot for Parker Pen Company.
Ed accumulated the needed hours and became a commercial pilot with Ozark Airlines. His next forward step was to be hired at Eddie Rickenbauchers, then famous company, Eastern Airlines, where he was employed as a pilot of the “Great Silver Fleet” for 32 years. Ed liked to think of himself as a common man but there was nothing common about him. His curiosity drove him to find fascination in almost any subject. His morals were his guide, strangers were his comfort, and life was his hobby. Ed was a great and fearless adventurer, traveling in his small aircraft to Resolute Bay, N.W. Territories and the near North Pole, to Punta Arenas, Chili, the Straits of Magellan and near the South Pole. Ed and his wife of 49 years, Sharon Randall were married on November 3, 1963 in Winthrop, MA.
Survivors include his wife, Sharon Gaffney of Beloit, WI; four precious children, Natalie Seach of Mt. Pleasant, SC, Patrick (Jill) Gaffney of Jordan, MN, Kyra (Mark) Wieland of Beloit, WI, and Loren (Bill) Seres of Columbus, MS; fifteen grandchildren; four great grandchildren; brothers, Richard (Dana) Gaffney of Oregon, WI and Gerald (Louise) Gaffney of Memphis, TN; sister, Elaine Purcell of Madison, WI; several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents and sister, Marge Judd.
A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, January 24, 2013 in St. Jude Catholic Church, 747 Hackett St., Beloit, WI with Fr. John Hedrick officiating. Burial will be at Newark Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 12:30 p.m. until the time of service in the church. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Rd., Beloit, WI assisted the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.daleymurphywisch.com.