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Sister Dorothy (Irene Patricia) Gaffney, BVM

Sister Dorothy (Irene Patricia) Gaffney, BVM died Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, at Caritas Center in Dubuque, Iowa. She was 93.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Sharing of Memories will be 9:30-10:15 a.m., followed by Virtual Visitation at 10:30 a.m. The funeral service begins at 10:45 a.m.

All events may be viewed through live videostream at

She was born on Jan. 10, 1927, in Chicago to Patrick and Irene (Calt) Gaffney. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1946, from St. Clement Parish in Chicago. She professed first vows on March 19, 1949, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1954.  She withdrew in 1970 to care for her parents and reentered the community Sept. 23, 1985.

Sister Dorothy was an elementary teacher at St. Anthony and an administrative assistant at Mount Carmel, both in Dubuque, Iowa. She ministered as an elementary teacher and principal in Des Moines, Iowa, and as a school secretary, administrative assistant, and elementary and secondary teacher in Chicago. She also taught in elementary schools in Omaha, Neb., and Butte, Mont., and a secondary school in San Francisco.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Patricia Kolometz, and a nephew, Patrick Kolometz.  She is survived by a niece Dottie Ryan, Schaumburg, Ill.; grandnieces; great-grandnieces; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 74 years.

Memorials may be given to Sisters of Charity, BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003 or make an online gift.

Watch Memorial Mass and Sharing of Memories

Download Eulogy (coming soon)

Download Sharing of Memories (coming soon)

This Post Has 4 Comments
    1. Sister Dorothy accepted me with open arms for my Scholastic Experience. She tried to let me learn every aspect of becoming a teacher. I will never forget the opportunities she gave. She was such a special person. I am eternally grateful for how she made me feel.
      Jacqueline Reese

  1. Sister Mary Irene Patricia was my 8th grade teacher 1958-1959. She was a great influence on me. I confided in her when I was troubled. She listened to me. She was fun, yet expected a lot from me. She made everyone feel that they were her personal favorite. She was an amazing woman.

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