Donald Edward Gafner


Don passed away on December 15, 2020, at the age of 85, in Wilmington, NC. He was born in Rome, New York, the son of the late Charles and Ella (Kanwicher) Gafner. Don graduated from Rome Free Academy, and then worked at the Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome. He went on to work for General Electric for 37 years.

Don was an avid golfer and was a member of the Pine Valley CC since 1974. “Big Don” never met a stranger and loved to talk. Don served in the National Guard, and was a Mason for over 60 years. Don loved to hunt, and we all heard about it from October til November. He was known as the “Gafinater” by a very special friend. Special thanks to all the loving staff at Spring Arbor, Liberty Hospice, Dr. Cynthia Honeycutt, Dr. Johnathon Staub and Dr. David Krabber, and Robin Lamb for Don’s outstanding care.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Patricia “Pat” Gafner; his daughter, Karen Gafner; his son and daughter-in-law, Don and Holly Gafner; his sister, Alice Cline of Erie, PA; sister-in-law, Jan Gafner; and his special aunt, Alice Gafner, who is 103 years old; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother Fred Gafner, and his brother-in-law, Harry Cline.

A Celebration of Life Service will be scheduled in the April or May timeframe. Funeral services are entrusted to Andrews Mortuary, Wilmington. Please leave online condolences at

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Shriners Hospital at, or to Cancer Research,


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment