John Leo Gaffney

John Leo Gaffney

December 22, 1939 - June 21, 2018
San Clemente CA

John Leo Gaffney

December 22, 1939 - June 21, 2018
San Clemente CA


Mr. John Gaffney, of San Clemente, CA, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at the age of 78 after complications from a fall. His wife, Karen, step-daughter, Jennifer and best friend, Victor Gralewicz were by his side.

John was born to parents John and Theresa on December 22, 1939 in Philadelphia, PA. He was an only child in a half Italian, half Irish family. He was definitely one-of-a-kind.

He graduated from Malvern Prep, where he earned a National Merit Scholarship. Though he could have selected any university in the country, he chose Villanova so he could stay in the Philadelphia area. He later earned a Master’s degree from UCLA.

John was an executive at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Burbank, CA and Atlanta, GA until he retired after 35 years in 1998.

Tennis was a very important part of John’s life. When he relocated to Atlanta for work and moved back to San Clemente after he retired, his top priority when house hunting was tennis club availability. He was always a very active member of the clubs to which he belonged. John also loved to watch sports, especially the Phillies, Eagles, Villanova, and USC football.  He was over the moon this year when his Villanova Wildcats won the NCAA championship and his Eagles won the Super Bowl.

John is survived by his wife of 30 years, Karen Gaffney; son Dr. John Gaffney, his wife Bridget, and grandchildren Julia, John, and Luke; daughter Sharon Nagelski, her husband Glen, and grandsons Francis and Michael; son Jamey Gaffney; son Dr. Scott Gaffney, his wife Samantha, and grandchildren Cameron, Blake Rae, and Flynn; step-daughter Jennifer Martin and her husband Andy; and his dedicated lap cat, Shadow.

While attending a recent memorial service, John said, “When I die, I don’t want people in a room all talking about me when I’m not there,” so we will be honoring his wishes with no service.  Think of him when you eat one of his favorite foods: hot dogs, Philly cheese steaks or spaghetti and meatballs.

He will be deeply missed by his friends, family, and all who knew him.


No Events & Services

No Charities & Donations

No Gallery Photos

No Videos

35 responses to John Leo Gaffney

1 5 6 7
  1. John was lots of fun and so enjoyable to talk to.

    He really enjoyed tennis, had many interests and I remember that he really liked Jeopardy.

    Will miss him and so happy that he had so many nice memories to share.

    May God bless him and his wonderful family.

  2. May his memory be eternal.

  3. Gary Healy says:

    John. Thanks for all your inspiration and work you put into making our lives so much fuller than could have ever been. We will so miss you. See you upstairs someday. Love Gary and Sharon

  4. John was such a kind, thoughtful gentleman. He was a very great support to me and all of our team, spending hours watching our PacSun matches, supporting us, and of course coaching us too!!! He had so much wisdom to share… for me a beacon of light. We will miss him very much, but it helps to know God has a plan to be with Him forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen & John’s family.
    Love, Bud and Clarine

  5. We only learned o John’s passing on August 1st and deeply sorry to lose such a good friend. John and I worked together on the L-1011 and it was a pleasure to share that time together over the years. He was always a rock and on top of his game at all times. Our prayers and thoughts are with all the family.
    Deepest condolences
    Paul & Carol Schrimscher

1 5 6 7

Leave A Condolence

Choose a Candle