William John McGaffin, Sr. (Bill) passed away peacefully on July 22, 2017 at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford. Bill was born on June 8, 1921 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada, son of the late James R. McGaffin Sr. and Nellie Matthews McGaffin. He is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years Eleanor Post McGaffin; ten children: Joyce Gagnon (Allen), William Jr. (Lila), George Sr. (Irene), Richard (Janet) and Elizabeth Wieler, all of West Haven, David of Hamden, Mary Hatt of New Haven, Barbara Krwpinski (Anthony) of Yulee, FL, James (Rebecca) of Poole, GA and Margaret Neff (John) of Concord, NH. He is also survived by his brother David McGaffin of Pittsfield, ME; and sister Emilie Baker of Tiverton, RI; 20 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son-in-laws James Wieler and Vaughn Hatt; daughter-in-law Mary Jane McGaffin; brothers James Jr., Robert, and Hugh; and sister Sarah. Bill moved to Houlton, ME with his family at the age of five and grew up there. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and then came to CT to work at Armstrong Rubber. He was then drafted in to the U.S. Army while living in West Haven. He served in the Army 1st Armor Division under General George Patton driving tanks in Tunisia, Sicily, Naples, Rome and Southern France. He coincidentally met his brother James in Italy and they spent a night together in a foxhole. Bill went on to work for C.S. Mersick Co. and later for Foote School as the head maintenance man until he retired. Bill was an active member of First Congregational Church in West Haven where he served on boards and was an usher for 35 years. Relatives and friends are invited to Beaverdale Memorial Park, 90 Pine Rock Ave., New Haven, on Thursday July 27, 2017 at 10:00 AM for a committal service with Military Honors. A memorial service for Bill will follow at 11:00 AM at the First Congregational Church, 1 Church St., West Haven. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Bill’s name may be made to Book of Remembrance, First Congregational Church of West Haven, 1 Church St., West Haven, CT 06516. To share a condolence with Bill’s family, please visit www.beecherandbennett.com

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline

Guestbook

  1. All my love dear ones. What a hard worker and beloved dad. The written memorial is lovely. Wish I could be there with all of you. Will be thinking of you now and on Thursday.

  2. To Margaret and Family I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your dad, husband, and family member. I have only a few memories of him in the late 1970’s when I would meet Margaret and we would walk to high school. I am happy you had so many years with him and may you cherish those happy times and memories. Prayers of sympathy Laura Bode-McManus

  3. I have many fond memories of Mr. McGaffin & his devoted family from my youngest years at the WH Congregational Church & school days (K-12th grade) growing & learning with my dear friend Margaret. The McGaffins were so kind when my father passed and my Mom was a young widow with an 8-year-old daughter (me!). I have had lifelong admiration for Mr. & Mrs. McGaffin, people of unconditional love for their 10 children and all those who were invited into their home; people of enduring faith in God; and people of conviction in showing kindness, being humble, and doing good in their world. Their children were of greatest importance, bringing up all ten as the individual jewels and reflections of themselves. It is impossible to think of one without the other. But their devotion to and love for each other, and their faith in God will help Mrs. McGaffin endure until the day they are reunited in Eternity. With deepest sympathy and love to this special family.

  4. Thanks for the memories, Grandpa. I am so lucky to have had you for so many years. I’ll always love and remember you. xoxo

  5. To Margaret and Richard, I’m so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. My deepest sympathies to you and your family at this difficult time. Cherish the memories and lovely family. God bless your father and family. Your Third Ave Neighbors

  6. Dad, now you can truly be 21 forever. You will be missed by .one baby daughter.. Prayers for us all as we get through this life without you <3

  7. To all the McGaffin family – I am so sorry to hear your sad news. I was lucky to have met him when I visited Connecticut many years ago and saw the love he had for his family. He will be sorely missed. You have all been in our thoughts here in the U.K. Much love from Ann and my Dad, Bill Patton.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook