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Harriet Gaffaney, 91

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Harriet Gaffaney, 91, a resident at Glenwood Retirement Center, died Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood.

Harriet was born in Glenwood on May 7, 1923, the daughter of John and Mary (Bisek) Christman, and grew up on a farm near Lake Reno and attended rural school. She developed a love of the outdoors at an early age and was her dad's number-one helper around the farm.

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On September 25, 1944, she was united in marriage to Duayne "Fritz" Gaffaney at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glenwood. The Gaffaney and Christman families had been long-time friends.

In 1951, Fritz and Harriet purchased a dairy farm in Leven Township, five miles northwest of Villard, and made it their home for nearly 50 years. With Fritz's patience and Harriet's creativity, they were a great team and the farm became a beautiful and bountiful home where they nurtured and raised five children: Diane, Gwynne, Jeff, Pat and Mike.

Harriet's perennial flower gardens, a large vegetable garden, and a well-manicured lawn were her specialties.

In 1997, Harriet moved to the Gables Apartments in Glenwood and resided there until the summer of 2012 when she entered the Glenwood Retirement Center.

Harriet lived her life with confidence and an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm. She was also a woman of faith, hope and love and was a lifelong member of St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church in Villard, and later Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glenwood, where she was active in the Christian Mothers and Mission groups.

She served as an assessor for Leven Township and worked for several years at Berglin Flowers in Glenwood. Harriet served on the school board for Villard and later Minnewaska Area Schools for 18 years. She enjoyed a multitude of friends through her Homemaker's and birthday clubs. Harriet was often a "vocal" fan at her sons' games at Villard and UMM and later at her grandchildren's events. She savored the competition of a good game of cards, whist, bridge, or her Friday afternoon "nickels" group. She enjoyed many hours ice fishing on some area lakes and could not pass up a quick stop at a garage sale. The Minnesota Twins, good books, jigsaw and crossword puzzles became favorites in her later years.

Harriet was an outstanding cook and homemaker, and there were countless holiday and celebration meals around the Gaffaney dining room table.

Harriet's pride, priority and legacy were her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She taught, loved and appreciated each of them and recognized and enjoyed their unique personalities and varied talents. Her strong spirit, faith and love will now carry on through them.

Harriet is survived by her daughter, Gwynne and Ray Gildow of Staples, and three sons, Jeff and Dorothy Gaffaney of Glenwood, Pat and Nicole Gaffaney of Glenwood, and Mike and Shelly Gaffaney of Granite Falls, as well as son-in-law Roger Mrnak of Glenwood. Her grandchildren include Jason (Kara) Mrnak (Andrew, Jake and Allie), Jennifer (Matt) Meyer, Jill (Parker) Huff, Elisabeth (Jason) Anderson, Erin Gaffaney, Ashley (Marc) Nelson, Katelynn, Collin, Jordan (Nikki), and Kyle Gaffaney, and step-grandchildren, Melissa (Mitch) Albers, Shawn (Becky) Knutson, Kris (Kevin) Knutson, and eight step-great-grandchildren. Also surviving Harriet are her sister, Agatha Tauber of Willmar and her brother, Jack (Darlene) Christman of Glenwood; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Duayne, in 2000; her daughter, Diane, in 2013; and her sister, Margaret Fluegel.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, July 14 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glenwood.

Interment was at Calvary Cemetery in Villard.

Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood; www.hoplinfuneralhome.com.

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