He attended Alta Community School and graduated in 1950. After high school he attended Buena Vista College and then went into farming. Jim married Elano Jane Kjolhede on June 10th, 1951 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Alta. After which he started his career in the plumbing industry and later started his own plumbing & heating business and retired in 1994. Jim served his community as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for 30 years with the Alta Fire Department.
His favorite pastimes were fishing at his lakeside cabin in Minnesota, water fighting in Northwest Iowa, and spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife Elano (Lonnie), seven children Garny Gaffey (Joleen) of Pine River, Minn., Linda Roberts (Kirby) of Storm Lake, Koleen Brown (Gary) of Wall Lake, Mike Gaffey of Longville, Minn. Virgil Gaffey (Kelly) of Storm Lake, Kris Miene (Kurt) of Lawton, Greg Gaffey (Tiffany) of Ames. Eleven Grandchildren Jeremi Gaffey (Amy), Aaron Gaffey, Jordan Gaffey (Lyndsay), Adam Gaffey (Anna), Heidi Cooper (Darren), Andrea Roberts, Nicole Nichols (Bob), Justin Gaffey (Jordan), Taylor Miene, Makenzi Miene, and Caleb Lichty. Ten Great-Grandchildren Isabella, Joel, and Daniel Gaffey, Chloe and Sam Cooper, Hunter Riordan, Kali and Kinlei Nichols, Hailey and AJ Gaffey. A brother Bruce Gaffey of Prole. Three sisters: Margaret Weber of Storm Lake, Myra (Donald) Hewitt of Indianola, and Joann (Eldon) Appenzeller of Indianola. Four sister-in-laws: Lillian Rystad of Mountain Home, Ark. Ellen Parker of Alta. Marian Kjolhede of Storm Lake, and Glenda Kjolhede of Wilbur, Neb. Along with many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. He is proceeded in death by his parents Louis and Harriet Gaffey, one brother Paul Gaffey, one sister Josephine Heller, a son Gardell, and a daughter Nancy.
A Memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 28th at Trinity Lutheran Church, Alta, at 2 p.m.