BRIGGSVILLE—Michael James Gaffney, age 67, died June 21, 2020 as a result of a tragic bicycle accident. Mike was born November 12, 1952 in Big Spring, Wisconsin, the fourth of six children born to Stanley and Betty Gaffney.
Mike graduated from Wisconsin Dells High School in 1970. After graduation, Mike worked in the body shop industry, most of the years spent as the owner of the Portage Body Shop. It was there that he met the love of his life, Melodie, when she came in to have him fix her motorcycle. The two were married on September 17, 2008.
If you knew Mike, you know there was nothing that he couldn’t fix or build – even his own plane! He loved being up in the air, and would give you a special wave when he flew over if you were outside. Mike was a proud member of the EAA-Portage Chapter since 1976. In addition to flying, he loved deer hunting each November and fishing with family and friends. And of course, he loved sharing a beverage or two along with a few stories and jokes when it was beer-thirty at the body shop each night. After retiring, Mike and Mel enjoyed traveling, spending time up north, and wintering in Rio Hondo, Texas.
Mike is survived by his wife, Melodie of Briggsville; stepchildren Jerad (Crystal) Pearson of Deforest, Elissa (Adam) Stone of Ohio, step-grandchildren Allysa, Drew, Maddi, Bella and Evan; sisters Ginny (Jim) Joyce of Briggsville and Charlene Zinke of Washington; and dear friends and neighbors Dan, Terri, Nolan and Collin Deming. He is also survived by many very special nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Charlie and Tom, and sister Susan.
Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, a celebration of Mike’s life will be held at a future date. The Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the EAA Chapter 371, Portage, Wisconsin.
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