Sunday, November 28, 2021


Connie (Dolly) Milardo Gaffney


Connie (Dolly) Milardo Gaffney of Westbrook, wife of the late Vincent C. (Bud) Gaffney, passed away peacefully on Aug. 1 after a brief battle with brain cancer. She was 90. Connie was born on Oct. 2, 1929, in Middletown to the late Salvatore and Sebastiana (Airo) Milardo.

Connie was predeceased by her daughter Sharon M. Gaffney. She is survived by her beloved children Susan F. Gaffney of Westbrook, and Richard S. Gaffney and daughter-in-law Joan of Southbury. She leaves her loving grandchildren Heidi Grodzki Basso (Lawrence), Heather Neinast Codner (Colin), Trista Neinast Griffith (Charlie), Megan Gaffney, Kelly Gaffney, and Scott Gaffney; great grandchildren Hailey Hummel, Georgia Basso, Grayson Basso, Zachary Codner, and Cameron Codner. Connie was predeceased by all her siblings, Carmelo Milardo, Frances Milardo Formica, and Theodore Milardo. Connie is also survived by her son-in-law Richard Neinast, two sisters-in-law, Marie Milardo and Josie Milardo, and many nieces and nephews who lovingly knew her as Aunt Dolly.

Connie & Bud moved to Westbrook in 1966. Over the years, Connie held many jobs, including working for the local bank. Eventually, she found her home away from home at the YMCA. Aside from welcoming members with her infectious smile, she was known for constantly decorating the entrance windows with seasonal and historical displays. Connie loved everything about the Y. And the Y so loved her. In 2019, Connie was recognized as the Employee of the Year, an honor she cherished.

Most important to Connie were her family and her friends. She was blessed with many friends, including the special Spirit of 76 group! Connie was an exceptional cook, inspired by her Sicilian heritage. She also had a passion for arts and crafts. She loved decorating her home for all the seasons and holidays. She was incredibly talented and found great joy teaching classes and selling her artistic creations at craft fairs all over the shoreline.

Finally, her family would like to express sincere gratitude to all the nurses, doctors, and staff at Connecticut Hospice, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Middlesex Memorial Hospital who took great care of Connie during her last few weeks.

There will be a Mass of Christian burial celebrated at St. Sebastian Church in Middletown on Friday, Aug. 7 at 1:00 p.m. Burial will be in the family plot in St. Sebastian Cemetery in Middlefield. Friends may call at Swan Funeral Home in Old Saybrook on Thursday, Aug. 6 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Please consider donating to the Valley Shore YMCA of Westbrook in Connie’s memory, Valley Shore YMCA, Attn: Executive Director, 201 Spencer Plains Rd., Westbrook, CT 06498.

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