William "Gaff" Gaffney, Sr., 82, of Jenkins Twp., passed away peacefully on Monday, April, 12, 2021 in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. He and his loving wife, Eleanor White Gaffney, celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on September 29, 2020.
William was a proud lifelong resident of Jenkins Township, a son of the late Joseph and Johanna Wright Gaffney. He was educated in the Jenkins Township schools. He was employed for 37 years by Topps Chewing Gum, Duryea, retiring in 2002. He was a prominent shop steward, teamster executive board member and representative for Local 229, for over 30 years. William was a member of St. John the Evangelist Church, Pittston.
Sports were a prominent part of his life starting in his childhood. He excelled at football, basketball and baseball. He was a prominent coach and leader of local sports for generations. William served as Jenkins Twp. Little League baseball president and manager, Jenkins Twp. Teener baseball manager, he founded and managed the 13yr. old Jenkins Twp. baseball league. He also coached Junior football for the Jenkins Twp. Purple Riders, Hughestown Highlanders Men's Touch football, Pittston YMCA Youth basketball and Topps Chewing Gum Adult basketball. William was a great teacher of sports and life for so many generations of kids. He always reinforced integrity, honesty, directness, tenacity, fearlessness, being a leader and kindness.
Many of his best memories and experiences were from childhood sports and mentoring kids as an adult. So many of his friendships were due to his lifelong passion for sports.
Last year a street in Jenkins Twp. was named after him (Gaffney Lane), in recognition of his lifetime service to the Jenkins Township community.
William's passions in life were his family, friends and his Irish heritage, along with being an avid Notre Dame and St. Louis Cardinals fan.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, William Gaffney, Jr. and wife, Barbara and their children, Kelly and Johanna Gaffney; brother, Michael Gaffney; sisters, Katherine Kervalis and Jean Stacey; numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Patrick Gaffney; siblings, Anne Gaffney, Joseph and Martin Gaffney and Mary Grace Pineno.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. John the Evangelist Church, Pittston. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. (Please be aware that CDC guidelines will be in place with masks and social distancing required.)