Helen Gill McCafferty








June 28th, 1900 in Cleveland, Ohio

November 30th, 1922 to Packey McCafferty

July 2nd, 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio

Holy Cross Cemetery

Written Records








June 28, 1900;  6th of 8 children  (4 brothers and 3 sisters)


John and Bridget Gill


Michael Joseph Gill, John W. Gill, Mary McDonald,  Margaret Gill,

                Thomas Gill, Therese Knittel and Frank L. Gill


July 1 at St. Malachi by Fr. A. R. Waldron; godparents were Joseph Fay and Maria Fay

Cleveland Directory: 

Parents rented a home on Pearl St. (later became 25th St.)           

Around 1920 parents and family moved to 64th St.

Census of 1920: 

Helen is listed as being 18 (actually 20 at the time), was born in Ohio, and is working as a stenographer for an insurance company.


To Patrick McCafferty November 30, 1922 at St. Colman Church by Fr.

                J.P. Cullitan.  They had 10 children in the span of approximately 12 years.


July 2, 1962 after an operation for cancer.




“McCafferty. Helen R. McCafferty (nee Gill), beloved wife of Patrick J. (Garvey), mother of Patrick J., Dr. John J., Mary H. Murray of Chatham, N.J., Rev. Fr. Robert F., Rose M. Haffner, Thomas E., Joseph R., Sister Marie Joseph, C.S.J., Dr. Francis L. and James I. of Baltimore, Md., and grandmother, sister of Joseph, John W., Thomas E. and Frank L., Gill, Mary McDonald. Margaret M. Gill and Theresa Knittel of Elyria, O., Monday, July 2, 1962, residence, 3364 W. 105th St. Friends may call at McGorray Bros Lakewood Home, 14133 Detroit Ave. Funeral mass Thursday, July 5, St. Ignatius Church, at 11 a. m. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Joseph's Convent Building Fund, 3430 Rocky River Dr., will be appreciated.”

The Person


Honeymoon at Niagara Falls












Helen Gill attended St. Colman School and secretarial school.   Her engagement gift from Packey was a strand of pearls  (seen in her engagement picture).   She married  Patrick McCafferty at age 22 and moved to Bernard Avenue to the home her husband had built.  Her father in law (James McCafferty) and Packey's uncle (Pat Garvey) moved into the house also.

                Her brother, Tom (Gill) was very devoted to her, as was her sister Margaret (Gill).  The latter and she had at least one telephone conversation each day.  Uncle Tom claimed he used to take her to dances.  Uncle Tom and Aunt Marge were familiar figures in the McCafferty home.  A woman of few words but a lot of energy and hard work, she was very religious.  She would often attend the Miraculous Novena Services on Mondays at St. Ignatius, praying for one of her many intentions especially to sell the Edgewater property.  She made sure the kids went to Catholic School, attended Sunday mass and got to confession.  She and Packey usually attended the 5:30 a. m. Sunday mass.  The Sunday morning breakfasts were really something, certainly different from the weekday oat meal.  On this day it was bacon and eggs and sausage (a cholesterol moment). She took care of the books and payroll for her husband's company, The Wilson Construction Company, with some help by her brother Uncle John W. Gill.

                Can you imagine having to have 7 white pressed shirts for your sons  to go to school each day?  Or boiling diapers in the basement?  Can you even think of washing almost every day, drying the clothes in the  basement (or outdoor lines dependent on the weather) and then starching and ironing them?   Would you stay up every night into the wee hours of the morning ironing?  As for cooking there was (literally) an ice-box that kept foods cool for a period of time.  No freezers here!  Much of the food was carried home from A&P or Fishers and added to that brought from the market each Saturday.  One exception was potatoes.  The little red wagon was used to haul them by the hundred pounds; these were put into the potato cellar in the basement.

                Supper was usually about 6:00 to be followed by homework and listening to the radio.  Packey, though, would often come in at 6:30 or 7:00 or...

                It only costs 5 cents to go to the Almira Theater at that time.  To make sure Saturdays and Sundays were relatively quiet, the younger kids would be sent to the double feature.    

                Helen  had one vacation in her life.  She went  to New York City to visit her daughter, Mary, slipped on the sidewalk and had to be flown back home to have her arm operated on.  Usually she would go to the movies 2 or 3 times a year; these were the days that when you attended you received a piece of carnival glass.

                No amount of work was too much to tackle--making beds each day, scrubbing the kitchen floor and back steps, washing and ironing, cooking the meals, doing dishes,  working in the yard, and occasionally going shopping downtown.  There aren't many women who iron socks and underwear--she's one that did.  She put egg shells in the coffee and would pour it hot and drink it cold.  A special treat was a glass of  blackberry wine or ginger ale.  The favorite of the kids were her apple pies  (6 to 8 at a time) her pineapple cookies and especially her  hot pecan rolls-- sticky buns frosted-- and Irish bread baked in a skillet.  She always had room at the table for one...or six more.

                She dressed simply-housedresses most of the time.  You did not hear her raise her voice to the kids nor was she known to complain.   One of her favorite sayings was that "the sun  always danced on Easter".  She loved beautiful things --e.g. Dalton figurines.

                She had to be frugal, especially during the depression.  There was always money for necessities: food, clothes, etc., but not an excess by any means.  Hair cuts were done at the barber school or she might even cut someone's hair on the front porch (so the hairs would simply blow away).   Many a night she spent sitting on the stoop next to the porch as she watered the lawn. 

Every few months she would go downtown shopping; it was great if you were chosen to go with her because it meant visiting Uncle (Michael) Joseph Gill at Bakers, eating at the Forum, and bringing home fudge from May's. 

                She liked it when the grandkids came to visit.  She would let them go across the street for pop or take them to Lawsons.  In her free time she would sit on the porch swing.  She loved to show them her large statue of the Blessed Mother and also would give them a tour of her canopy bed.



            Packey McCafferty would often get restless and take off, either to travel or to find work elsewhere.  Sometimes he stayed longer than it was thought necessary, especially by his wife Helen.  It is said that one time when he overstayed, he received an ultimatum--get home or else!  I wonder what that "or else" meant!



¨       Birth record

¨       Baptismal Certificate

¨       Obituary

¨       Marriage record

¨       Cleveland Directory

¨       Census records



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