Donna Gaffaney

donna gaffaney

Donna E. Gaffaney died peacefully in her sleep at Bethany on University after a short but difficult battle with cancer on February 13, 2014 at the age of 77.  Donna was born on August 11, 1936 and was raised on the family farm near Van Hook, North Dakota.  She was one of seven children born to Lawrence and Lena Lund. Donna attended a small country school through 8th grade and was part of the first graduating class from New Town High School.

Following high school, Donna attended Dakota Business School in Bismarck, North Dakota and majored in accounting.  After college, she worked for Pan American Oil Company in Bismarck before moving back to New Town where she met her husband Jim.

Donna and Jim were married on July 20, 1960.  They briefly moved to Fargo, North Dakota while Jim attended NDSU.  In 1962, they had their first son David. Shortly thereafter, Jim went to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to help drill the discovery oil well.  Donna and David followed to Alaska and lived in Kenai for a short while before settling back in Fargo.  Jim traveled back and forth for almost 40 years.  In 1969, they had their second son Thomas.

While in Fargo, Donna worked as an accountant for Fargo Public Schools and then worked at NDSU Varsity Mart. Her most cherished role/job, however, was that of being a mother to David and Thomas as well as their countless friends and many of her nephews that seemed to spend a lot of time and eat a lot of meals at her home. She was a surrogate mother to many!

Donna’s grandchildren, Tyler and Megan were the light of her life. She enjoyed watching them grow into young adults. Donna loved watching them play soccer, volleyball and basketball.

Donna spent much of her retirement days volunteering for Hospice, exercising at the Y, attending church, volunteering at Sanford Hospital, and doing payroll and taxes for friends. She had so many cherished relatives and friends and enjoyed spending time with them all. She especially enjoyed the last three years with all of those from Cypress Way.

Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Jim; her parents, Lawrence and Lena; two brothers, Larry and Laverne; and one sister, Vivian.  She is survived by her two sons, David of Bismarck and Thomas (Tricia)of Jamestown; two grandchildren, Tyler and Megan; one brother, Ronald; and two sisters, Marlene and Janice.

Donna who was strong in her faith and has been reunited with God, family and friends.

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  1. Sarasota FLTom,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Your mom was a very kind person and i will never forget her as being a mom to me as well. It was so great to see her in December. I’m lucky that she came to me after the show and said hello. Take care.

  2. Fargo ND
    Dave and Tom: I am so sorry to hear of your mom’s death. Such fond memories of our Holy Spirit days! She was always so friendly, with that beautiful smile! My prayers are with you at this sad time.

  3. Fargo ND
    My Sympathy to Tom & David and all the Family including Donna’s Siblings and especially the grandchildren that she cherished so deeply.
    I was sorry to hear of Donna’s Death yesterday.
    Donna and I were friends since they lived on Evergreen Road in N. Fargo.
    I’m sorry I won’t be able to be there for her services as I’m in Omaha with my Son for a few months but will be thinking of you all. Lucille Winkler

  4. Apache Junction AZ
    Dave, Tom and families
    I was so sorry to see the passing of your Mom–she was a very special and neat lady. I did your Mom’s hair for many years–we had a special friendship. She was always so proud of her grandkids and you boys—may she rest in peace–Virg Fugere

  5. Fargo ND
    I volunteered with Donna at the Sanford Gift Shop on south University. What a joy to work with! So pleasant, warm and easy to talk to. I shall miss Donna. God Bless!

  6. fargo nd dear david and tom,
    I was so sorry to read of the loss of your mother. Donna was a good friend to me even tho we didn’t get together a lot. My thoughts, prayers, and sympathy are with you.
    Gloria bougie

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