Dr. Robert E. Gaffney, 88, of Fairfield, a former senior attending physician in family practice at Bridgeport Hospital, died July 3.

He graduated from Roger Ludlowe High School in 1941 and was admitted to Holy Cross College, Class of 1945. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, from 1943-46, in the 97th Division, 386 Infantry, Headquarters Medical Corps, and served in Europe as well as Japan with the Army of Occupation. He returned to Holy Cross in 1946 and graduated in 1947. In 1947-48, he helped to set up the new library at Fairfield University. He was accepted at New York Medical College in 1948 and graduated in 1952.

He served an internship at Bridgeport Hospital in 1953-54, and in 1954, became a partner of Dr. Robert A. Nevins in Fairfield, which lasted 46 years. He retired Jan. 1, 1999.

He enjoyed music from an early age and later helped to found the "Doctors' Band," a group of 18 doctors, dentists, lawyers and others who played for their own pleasure and at charitable events. He was a member of the American Academy of Family Practice, the Connecticut Medical Society, the Fairfield County Medical Society and the Greater Bridgeport Medical Society. He also was an honorary member of the Purple Knights of Holy Cross, Cor Et Manus (Heart and Hands) of New York Medical College and received his 50th Gold Diploma in 2002.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Marion Conway Gaffney, the mother of his eight children, David, Virginia, Peter, Gregory, Paul, Elissa, Daniel and Michael. Survivors also include 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was also predeceased by Rosemary Bassaline Gaffney, whom he married on June 21, 1969.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, July 8, in St. Pius X Church, 834 Brookside Drive. Entombment with military honors will be at Willowbrook Cemetery, Westport. Calling hours will be Thursday, July 7, from 4 to 8 p.m., in the Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the College of the Holy Cross, P.O. Box DEV, 1 College St., Worcester, MA 01610 (in memo line of check, write "Marching Band"). For information or to sign an online guest register, visit www.spearmillerfuneralhome.com.