Virginia M. Gaffney Holley, 94, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Virginia M. Gaffney Holley, 94, Watertown, passed away Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, at Samaritan Summit Village.

Virginia’s family wishes to thank the staff of Samaritan Summit Village for their compassionate and professional care of Virginia while she has been a resident since May 2016.

Born June 7, 1925, in Utica, NY, the daughter of Emmett J. and Daisy R. Kennedy Gaffney, she attended Utica schools.

She married James R. Holley on Feb. 8, 1947, in Utica. James died on June 14, 1956, in Syracuse. Virginia married Eldred “Chuck” L. Holley on July 6, 1957, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in New Hartford. Eldred died on Aug. 2, 1981, in Watertown, NY.

Virginia started her real estate career in Watertown in 1967 as a salesperson with Loretta M. Harder Real Estate and in 1971 Virginia became a real estate broker establishing V. M. Holley Realty. She retired in 2003 with 36 years in real estate sales, property management and appraising. She is a past vice president, past corresponding and recording secretary of the Jefferson Lewis Board of Realtors. Virginia served on numerous committees for the Board of Realtors and she served on Community Bank’s Advisory Board for many years.

Virginia was a very active member of St. Paul’s Church in Watertown and she served on many church committees. She served for many years on the St. Paul’s Church Altar Guild and the church’s Vestry. She became a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brownville for the past several years.

She was a 70 year life member of the American Legion Auxiliary and was a past unit president of the New Hartford Auxiliary Unit 1376. Virginia became a member of the Watertown Army & Navy Unit 61 in 1966 after moving to Watertown with her family.

Virginia enjoyed decorating and spending time outdoors. She enjoyed camping in the Adirondack Mountains and in the Thousand Islands. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family and many friends at her summer cottage on Sherwin’s Bay at Pillar Point. She had a passion for the Preforming Arts and she supported many local musical performances.

Surviving are a son, Richard J. Holley and his girlfriend, Melissa M. Ingerson, Sackets Harbor; three daughters and their husbands, Virginia M. “Ginger” and Dr. Stephen Snyder, Frankfort, Carolyn A. and Joseph Banville, Sulpher Springs, and Barbara J. and Stanley “Skip” Eldridge, Watertown; 10 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 5 great great grandchildren; a brother John “Jack’ Gaffney, Utica; and several nieces and nephews.

Along with Virginia’s two husbands, she was predeceased by her infant son, James E. Holley, a daughter Deborah J. Holley, a brother Douglas E. Gaffney, a grand daughter Kristy Lynn Rose and a great grandson Tyler Owens.

Calling hours will be held 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown. The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brownville with Mother Ninon Hutchinson, pastor, presiding. A spring burial in the Brookside Cemetery will follow at the family’s convenience.

In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made in support of the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation for the Veterans Creative Arts Festival in care of the American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters ATTN: Development Division 3450 Founders Road Indianapolis, IN 46268-1334 or to a charity of one’s choice.

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