Columbia, SC - Frances Juanita Brown Gaffney was born December 25, 1927 in Blacksburg, South Carolina, daughter of the late Floyd and Grace Brown. She was predeceased by her sister Mary Lou and brother Milton.
Frances was married to Ben M. Gaffney, Jr., formerly of Gaffney, South Carolina, on March 30, 1950. They were married for 71 ½ years.
Frances lived a life of loving the Lord and teaching his word and raising her three daughters – Kay, Judy and Becky. Frances enjoyed family, reading, teaching, cooking for others and doing count crossstitch. She was blessed with seven grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and four great, great grandchildren living in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and South Carolina.
After finishing Gaffney High School in 1945 Frances graduated from Winthrop College in 1949 with a B. A. in Biology. Frances taught one year in Easley, South Carolina before marrying her high school senior prom date – Ben. At that time, Ben had served four years with the Army Air Corps (now United States Air Force) where he had served over thirty months in Japan prior to their wedding.
As military newly-weds, Frances and Ben were stationed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Colorado, Florida and Alabama, all in the first seven months of their life together. For the next three years, the family lived in South Carolina, Oklahoma and Georgia where Frances returned to teaching. The next family move was to Central, South Carolina for three years where Master Sergeant Gaffney worked with the Air Force R.O.T.C. at Clemson. From there the family was stationed in Columbia where Frances taught for five years (from 1959 to 1964) at Schneider School. During this time Senior Master Sergeant Gaffney was an advisor to the Air Force Reserve Training Unit for all of South Carolina.
The family was then stationed for three years in Bermuda where Frances taught at the on-base military school while Senior Master Sergeant Gaffney was Base Personnel Superintendent. The children enjoyed on-base schooling and took advantage of the great beaches and many other fun activities.
The families next move was to California where they lived on Travis Air Force Base. While there, Frances once again taught at the on-base school for five years and was voted Teacher of the Year for the school year 1971-1972.
While at Travis AFB, Kay and Judy both graduated high school and Becky attended through her junior year. Kay then graduated from the University of California – Davis and Judy attended Chico State for one year. Senior Master Sergeant Gaffney was then promoted to Chief Master Sergeant.
CMSgt Gaffney decided to retire from the Air Force on August 1, 1972.
The family moved back to Gaffney, South Carolina living on the farm that the Gaffneys had purchased some years prior in the Grassy Pond area of Cherokee County.
Kay graduated from the Law School at the University of South Carolina, Judy continued her education at Winthrop College and Becky graduated from Gaffney High School before entering and graduating from the University of South Carolina.
Ben and Frances joined the Grassy Pond Baptist Church where Frances taught young-adults Sunday School for eighteen years. Ben served as Deacon, was a member of the senior choir and both he and Frances served on numerous committees over the years. Frances taught three years at the Gaffney Day School while Ben worked for a plastic molding company for eleven years and finished his career with the Grassy Pond water works.
Once officially retired and looking to get closer to their three daughters and families, Ben and Frances moved to Blythewood where they remained until moving to the Columbia Wildewood Downs Senior Living Community in 2013. They first lived in a home and then to an apartment in 2020. As Frances' health required, she moved into Assisted Living and then to the Skilled Nursing Unit with Hospice Care until her death on October 3, 2021 with the family by her side.
Funeral services will be held at a later date.
An online guest register is available at www.blakelyfuneralhome.com
Blakely Funeral Home & Crematory, Gaffney, SC