Dr. William H. Gaffney Jr., a retired Northeast Baltimore dentist, died of cancer complications Saturday at Franklin Square Hospital. The Rosedale resident was 83.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Southwest Baltimore, he was a 1940 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School. During World War II, he served in the Navy as a radio operator. He sailed on the Queen Mary on Christmas Eve in 1943 and was in the third wave to land on Omaha Beach. While in England, he befriended Ernest Hemingway, who was a war correspondent there, family members said.
Dr. Gaffney later served in the Pacific. After the war, he earned a chemistry degree at Loyola College and graduated from the University of Maryland Dental School in 1954. After teaching dental radiology at the school for two years, Dr. Gaffney established a practice in Parkville. He retired about 15 years ago.
He enjoyed playing cards, fishing, boating, good conversation, a good joke and a good song, relatives said.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. April 28 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church, 10003 Bird River Road, where he was a member.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 17 years, Kaye Kovalcik Balog Gaffney; a son, Bill Gaffney of Catonsville; two daughters, Diane Gaffney Deacon of Parkton and Janet Dunstan of New Providence, N.J.; two stepsons, Dennis Balog of Severna Park and Mark Balog of Parkville; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.