Wayne Owen Gaffney, Jr.
Wayne "Sonny" Owen Gaffney, Jr.
was born in Yakima on May 2, 1939 to Wayne and Andrea (Curtis) Gaffney. He graduated from Yakima High School and attended Yakima Valley Junior College before transferring to the University of Washington
where he received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He later earned an MBA from Seattle University. Early in his career, he worked as an engineer for Boeing and other companies before moving into real estate development and finance. In this capacity he worked in development for John Graham & Company in Seattle, and later owned and operated Madison Mortgage in Bellevue. While living in Seattle, he married Jane Graham and raised their three children, Amy, Kathryn, and Ryan Gaffney. Upon retiring in 1998, he was remarried, to Roberta Gray, and returned to Yakima.
Sonny had a passion for the outdoors and the Pacific Northwest landscape. He was a lifelong skier at White Pass and served on its ski patrol in its earlier years. Sonny built a cabin by Rimrock Lake where he enjoyed time with his family and friends, exploring the central Cascades and instilling a love of the outdoors in his children. He was a comprehensive source of information on the mountains around White Pass, and traveled most of the trails and back roads with his family. Nearly any weekend would find him backpacking with his friends, waterskiing with his family, or riding the lifts at White Pass. Sonny also had a passion for flying, and maintained a pilot's license for much of his life. He enjoyed flying to the San Juan Islands or to Rimrock Lake with his children in a Cessna 172. In retirement, Sonny explored the desert Southwest from his motorhome, where he traveled and hiked throughout the national parks and monuments.
Sonny passed away on February 16, 2013, in Yakima, surrounded by his wife and children. He is survived by his wife, Roberta Gaffney; his children, Amy Gaffney, Kathryn Gaffney, and Ryan Gaffney; his step-children Jeffrey Gray and Suzanne Gray; his siblings Judy Birkholz, Robert Gaffney, and David Gaffney; and seven grandchildren. Memorial services will be held at Apple Tree Golf Course banquet facility in Yakima, Washington on Saturday March 2 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the