Edward T. Caffrey, Jr
1932 - 2018

Edward T. Caffrey, Jr. (Uncle Bud)., 89, passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 9, 2021, at home with his wife, Pat, by his side.

Ed was born in 1932 to Edward T. and Emma (Flemke) Caffrey and raised in Cromwell, CT, attending local schools and graduating from Middletown High School in 1950. He studied at Teachers College in New Britain (CCSU) prior to joining the Air Force during the Korean War.

On returning from the service, he worked with his father in home construction. His later career included communications at GE, and Electric Boat. Ed became a union labor agent for The CT State Employees Union (CSEA). When state employees won the right to collective bargaining, Ed was the union leader for contract negotiations for the Professional Health Care Employees Bargaining Unit in 1978 and where he met Pat, who was leading the state employee team. He later worked in labor relations with AFSCME Council 4.

He had two great loves- fishing and gardening. As a fisherman he preferred lake fishing in Connecticut's lakes and also had a spot in Vergennes VT where he spent time with his buddies fishing Lake Champlain. There are many happy memories of taking the boys fishing on opening day and untangling lines he had worked so hard on the night before opening day, as well as wonderful fishing trips with good friends and buddies. But his fame came from his gardening prowess. Each year the garden got bigger, expanding to fit asparagus, up to 90 heirloom tomato plants (18 varieties) and the more traditional vegetables to feed the family and the neighborhood. He enjoyed saving the best seeds each year and starting the plants indoors. There were always plants for his garden and to give away to the many friends who couldn't wait to get his tomato plants each summer. And all friends and family enjoyed a plethora of delicious tomatoes throughout the summer. He earned the name "The Tomato Magician" from one of his avid followers. Ed enjoyed the camaraderie of his Senior Bowling Team and his Thursday night card group and held long and dear friendships with many of his teammates.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patricia J. Checko; his sons David Caffrey and his wife Colleen of Stonington, CT, Sean Caffrey of Saybrook, CT and Thomas Caffrey of Delaware, as well as his cherished grandchildren, Angelique Caffrey and Jake Caffrey. He is also survived by his sister Jean Tatro of Cromwell, Ct., and his brother-in law Gene Checko of Southport, N.C. He also leaves his extended family and friends. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Bessie. The family is grateful to HHC Home Hospice Services and Independence at Home, especially to Quincy.

A Funeral Liturgy will be held Thursday December 16th at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Francis of Assisi Church, 3 Elm Street Middletown. Burial with military honors will be held in Calvary Cemetery. Friends may call on Wednesday from 5 to 7 pm. at Biega Funeral Home 3 Silver Street Middletown. Memorial contributions may be sent to a charity of one's choice. To share memories or express condolences online please visit www.biegafuneralhome.com.

~Rest is yours~

Middletown Press - Dec. 12, 2021

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