AMBOY — Patrick Mathew McCaffrey, 85, of Amboy, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 at his home surrounded by his beloved family. He was a Twilight baby born on May 20, 1935 in Sublette, to Frank and Florence (Maier) McCaffrey.
He was the first son born out of 14 children including 10 girls and four boys and is fondly remembered for his humble, soft-spoken nature. He warmly greeted everyone with a smile and as a result of a farm accident he offered a 2-fingered wave for good measure. His kindness and faith in God were second to none. He was a well-respected member of the community and his work ethic admired by many.
While he didn’t say much, when he did it was a masterfully told story or a quick-witted comment causing an uproar of laughter. His gentle soul was especially connected to children. Somehow, without saying a word, little ones always climbed right up into his lap or into his arms for a snuggle.
While he loved his family dearly, none stole his heart more than his wife. On Nov. 21, 1959, Pat married the love of his life Helen A. Sheridan at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Maytown. Just last November, he and Helen celebrated 60 years of marriage where they proudly raised their six children in the Amboy and Sublette area.
Pat was honored to be in the Marine Corps from 1954 to 1956 where he was stationed in Korea and Japan. Carrying the military legacy are five grandsons: Patrick J. McCaffrey, Airforce; Carl Joseph McCaffrey Jr., Army Reserve; Jake Lytle, Marine Corps; Michael Ehrmann, Army; and Trent Blackburn, Army.
After returning from overseas, Pat and his family farmed while owning and operating local restaurants over the years. In addition, He was a 50-year Gold Card Member of the Midwest Operating Engineers Union Local 150 and was an operator from 1972 until his retirement in 2000.
His unwavering faith in God only grew as a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Walton and a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus. That faith carried over into his love of sports. He was fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Green Bay Packers, and the Chicago White Sox.
Above all, Pat loved and adored his family.
He is survived by his devoted wife Helen; children, Denise McCaffrey- Ehrmann, of Dixon, Mark (Lisa) McCaffrey, of DeKalb, Carl (Christa) McCaffrey, of Geneva, Molly (Rich) Blackburn, of Amboy, Christa (Bruce) Lytle, of Dixon, and Michael (Bridget) McCaffrey, of Geneva; grandchildren, Elizabeth Considine, Kathryn (Jason) Boyle, Valerie (David) St. James, Megan (Matt) Heiting, Jared (Sara) McCaffrey, Jenna (Harrison) Ruhl, Austin McCaffrey, Whitnie McCaffrey, Laurin (Harlan) Hankins, Patrick McCaffrey, Carl “Joseph” McCaffrey Jr., McAley Garland, Jake (Emma) Lytle, Shannon Lytle, Trent and Payton Blackburn, Mitchell, Nolan, and Brady McCaffrey; bonus grandchildren, Joe, Grace, Michael, and Luke Ehrmann, Ryan and Cole Thomas; great-grandchildren, Trevor, Kenedie Considine, Hudson St. James, Owen Smothers, Addisyn, Halle, Alivia, and Hillary Boyle. Jack Heiting, and Emilia McCaffrey, with the newest addition to his family is a great-grandchild due in December; bonus great-grandchildren, Brandon Crowe, Brandon, Haden, and Colton Hankins; and his siblings, Gene (Mary) McCaffrey, of Dixon, Sharon Blunt, of Plainfield, Cheryl (Don) Balsam, of Roscoe, Janet McCaffrey (Jose Veliz), of Tacoma, Wash., and James “Jim” McCaffrey, of Amboy.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Roger McCaffrey; sisters, Marilyn Jones, Florine McCaffrey, Patricia McCaffrey, Colleen McCaffrey, Alice Ellis, Bette Johnson, and Kathleen Gray; and son-in-law, Rolfe Ehrmann, Annie Ehrmann, and Paul Biolo.
Visitation will be from 2 - 6 p.m., on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Amboy. A private family mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday Nov. 2, 2020 at the church. Burial with Military Honors will follow at St. Patrick Cemetery in Maytown.
Memorials have been established to Serenity Hospice and the American Legion.
Arrangements by the Mihm-Jones Funeral Home in Amboy.