Michael Francis Gaffney, 57, of Newport News, VA, passed away peacefully on June 27, 2015 following a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Michael was born on July 26, 1957 in Orange, New Jersey to Alice and the late Frank Gaffney. In 1975, he graduated from Milford High in Milford, New Hampshire where he was recognized with an award in drafting.
After serving his country in the United States Air Force, Michael then went on to pursue a successful career in HVAC ship design. He held various positions at companies throughout the east, from Bronswerk Marine Corp. in New Orleans, LA, to Austal USA in Mobile, AL, to John J. McMullen Associates, Inc., among several others. He most recently worked at Gibbs & Cox, Inc. in Newport News, VA as HVAC Department Manager. Respected in his field, he had a hand in the design of the Littoral Combat Ships, LCS-1 and LCS-2.
Michael was also an avid fan of music and art. He and his beloved fiancée, Jeri, spent many years collecting beautiful glass art and paintings, and they loved attending art festivals together. Michael himself dabbled in sculpting and glass art and he leaves behind some beautiful work.
Michael is survived by his fiancée and partner of 15 years, Jeri Jens, and their two beloved, rescued Golden Retrievers. Also left to cherish his memory are his mother Alice, his brother Richard Gaffney (Elaine) and their children Amanda and Robert, his sister Laurie Steidle (Frank) and their sons Joseph and Joshua, and Jeri’s daughter Linsey Brandt Seidel (Wesley). Michael will be truly missed by all of his family and friends who were so deeply touched by his life. The family will be holding a life celebration soon in Newport News with a mass to be held at a later date in New Jersey. Cremation Society of Virginia is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gulf South Golden Retriever Rescue, GRREAT Golden Retriever Rescue, or to a cancer research organization of your choice.