Elizabeth "Betty" Kelly (later Gaffney) on the steps of Baker Chapel, c. 1947. Courtesy of Elizabeth Gaffney.
Historic Saranac Lake Collection, TCR 712.
Born: 1926, Manchester, England (nee Kelly)

Died: January 5, 2022, Eastchester, New York

Married: Alan Gaffney, c. 1955

Children: Rosemarie Holmes, Tricia Gressel, Jeanne Gaffney, and Meg Gaffney

Elizabeth "Betty" Kelly Gaffney contracted tuberculosis while training as a nurse at Bellevue Hospital in 1947. She came to Trudeau Sanatorium, first staying in Ludington Infirmary and the moving to Schiff Cottage. She left Trudeau in 1949 to continue her nursing career. She became sick again, but was treated with a lobectomy and thoracoplasty at home and recovered. She went on to have a career as a school nurse that lasted until she retired at the age of 84.

Betty returned to Saranac Lake and Trudeau Sanatorium with her sister, niece, and nephew-in-law in August of 2021 for the first time in 72 years. She visited with Historic Saranac Lake staff and recorded an oral history (this oral history will be available online soon - contact HSL staff with questions) and donated some photographs of her time at the Sanatorium.

Betty died in January of 2022 in Eastchester, New York.


Betty Gaffney outside Baker Chapel, August 25, 2021. The Journal News, January 6, 2022

Elizabeth Gaffney

Eastchester, NY - Elizabeth (Betty) Gaffney died peacefully on 1/5/22. She was born in Manchester England in 1926. She was born to the late Patrick and Christina Kelly. She came to the United States in 1932. Betty was a graduate of the Bellevue school of nursing and was a member of the Nurse cadet corps during WW2. She worked at Bellevue Hospital, then Ardsley High School before retiring. Betty was married to her grade school friend Alan Gaffney for 59 years who predeceased her in 2014. She is survived by her loving children Rosemarie (Tom) Holmes, Tricia Gressel, Meg (Kathy) Gaffney. She is survived by her loving sisters, Pauline Mary Duff and Anne (Nancy) (James) Brennan. She also is survived by her grandchildren Tim (Tina) Holmes, Josh Holmes, Michael Gressel, Daniel Gressel, Luke Canon, Ryan Canon and Krista Gaffney and many devoted Nieces and Nephews whom she enjoyed spending time with. She is predeceased by her Daughter Jeanne and son in law Baron Canon. She is also predeceased by her Brothers Michael and Brother Richard Kelly. Visiting at the Flynn Memorial Home on Sunday from 2 to 7 PM. Funeral Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, Tuckahoe, NY on Monday at 10:30 am. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY.