Yes! Live! Life’s a banquet and most suckers are starving to death!”
-From Auntie Mame, written by Betty Comden
Today, friends of former resident Lee Gaffney celebrated her life with a memorial gathering in the Bay Oaks community room. People came from near and far to share stories of Ms. Gaffney. We toasted her life with prosecco and petit fours as we watched a slideshow of photos from her rich and wonderful life.
Lee Gaffney is remembered for her zest for life and her friends, her dedication to community service and the arts, her many professional and personal successes and her love of all animals – and in particular, her ever present companion, Cameron the dog.
As an early employee of IBM, she produced the first Social Security Card in the USA – for the President, Number 000-000-001. Later, she moved to Montreal, Canada and became the first female Stock Broker on the Montreal Stock Exchange. To encourage women to gain sound financial planning knowledge she founded a self-education organisation for women to pool funds and research information for investment in stocks and bonds – the group was named the Women’s Investment Group – WIGS. The groups became so popular they quickly spread across Canada, the USA and into several European countries and still exist today with tens of thousands of active members. Later on in her career, she became the Publicity Director for Hilton International.
She spent the last 40 years of her life in South Florida, where she was active as a social contributer to the SunPost, a member of several local clubs and groups and a leading campaigner for most loved charities – Miami Heart Foundation, Villa Maria and the Humane Society, among others.
Lee passed away peacefully on May 4th in her sleep, in her room, with her beloved companion Cameron by her side.
It was said many times, that if there really was an Auntie Mame, it would have been Lee Gaffney. Not only did Lee live life every day to the full, she spent most of her life making sure she did as much as she could to make sure as many people as possible were fed with opportunity and knowledge to enrich their lives.