Melissa M. Gaffney

Melissa M. Gaffney

December 5, 1977 – November 16, 2022

VISITATION: Sunday, November 20th, 5 PM with 7 PM VIGIL at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church.

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Monday, November 21st, 10:30 AM, at St. Margaret Mary.

To view a live stream of the services, go to and click the “View Live Cast” button.

Interment: at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials will be directed by the family.

Melissa Margaret Batko Gaffney was born to Frank and Kathy Batko on Dec 5, 1977, at Methodist Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. She was followed into the family by her younger brothers, David and Michael. A Catholic schoolgirl, she attended Mary Our Queen elementary and Mercy High School, graduating second in her class in 1996.

She then attended Creighton University, obtaining her bachelor’s in Occupational Therapy in 2001.

She began working as an occupational therapist after graduation. She gravitated towards working with the elderly. She blossomed as a therapist at Lifecare Center of Elkhorn and continued working in skilled nursing facilities throughout her career. She loved nothing more than listening to the stories of her “cute” patients and giving them a warm and welcoming audience.

She met her future husband, Dan, while he was in medical school at Creighton in February of 2004.

Only a couple of months into their relationship Dan brought her to an awards dinner where they were mistakenly introduced as husband and wife, and it must have stuck. They were engaged a year later, and after spending a year apart while he completed an internship in Michigan, they were married on May 6, 2006.

A week after their honeymoon, they got their first dog, Lily.

Dan’s Airforce service took them to Washington State, where they lived close to the Gaffney Family.

Melissa grew to love the outdoors even more, became a wine and seafood connoisseur, and honed her skiing abilities.

They then moved to Salt Lake City, UT, for Dan’s residency. Melissa grew a massive network of great friends through the medical community.

It was in Utah that they were blessed with their two wonderful children Patrick (born in 2010) and Katherine (born in 2013). Despite spending 18 months of their four years in Utah pregnant, Melissa blossomed into an expert skier, and a love for life was set.

Next came a year in Winston Salem, NC, where she again surrounded herself with fast friends and took full advantage of the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean with MANY beach trips.

In 2014 the young family returned to Omaha and joined the St. Margaret Mary community. Back home, Melissa rekindled lifelong friendships and integrated into her new community. Through the neighborhood, church, guild, and her various volunteer efforts, Melissa set about making everyone’s day brighter and more fun.

Melissa lived so fully and intensely that words can’t do it justice. Melissa loved intensely. She loved her children, ALL dogs, the people surrounding her, and God’s great outdoors.

She hurt for the powerless, the marginalized, and all fellow beings in their time of suffering. She lived both to increase the joy in the world around her and worked to lessen the hardship.


  • Denise Muck Posted November 18, 2022 2:18 pm

    Sending hugs and prayers for Dan, kids and the Batko family. We have to believe that God needed a spiritual princess to be by his side. Melissa was one of a kind and will truly be missed.

  • Kathy Ponec Posted November 18, 2022 3:41 pm

    Frank and Kathy so sorry to learn of Melissa’s death. Please accept my sympathy.

  • Richard Carlson Posted November 18, 2022 5:39 pm

    My dear friend who shared so many laughs with me. My heart is broken over her loss. She was a bright light in our hood. Beautiful in every way. Sweet Melissa. 💔

  • Mindy Siedschlag Moore Posted November 18, 2022 10:05 pm

    Dear Batko Family, my heart aches for you, and I pray you find peace among friends, family and beautiful memories. I imagine Melissa is having great fun, laughing and smiling with my mom, Barb, right now 🙂

  • Joni Oldfield Posted November 19, 2022 1:58 pm

    We only met Melissa once but she made a great impression. We are so sorry for your loss. It’s unimaginable. Your whole family is in our prayers.

  • Margo kunz Posted November 21, 2022 5:10 pm

    What a difference one single life has made.
    I ache with your loss. Much love to all family members,

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *