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) before to join the Air Force during the Korean outbreak. Returning from service, he worked with his father in building houses. His subsequent career has included communications at GE and Electric Boat. Ed became a union officer for the CT State Employees Union (CSEA). When government employees were granted the right to collective bargaining, Ed was the union leader in contract negotiations for the Professional Health Workers bargaining unit in 1978 and where he met Pat, who was leading the state employees. He then worked in the area of ​​working relations with AFSCME Council 4. He had two great loves: fishing and gardening. As a fisherman he preferred lake fishing in the Connecticut 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 out fishing on opening day and untangling the lines he had worked so hard the day before opening day, as well as wonderful fishing trips with great fishing trips. good friends and buddies. But his fame came from his gardening prowess. Each year, the garden grows, expanding to accommodate asparagus, up to 90 heirloom tomato plants (18 varieties) and more traditional vegetables to feed the family and the neighborhood. He liked to save the best seeds each year and start the plants indoors. There were always plants for his garden and to give to the many friends who looked forward to receiving his tomato plants each summer. And all friends and family have enjoyed a plethora of delicious tomatoes all summer long. He got the name “The Tomato Magician” from one of his staunch followers. Ed enjoyed the camaraderie of his senior bowling team and Thursday night card group and had long and cherished friendships with several of his teammates. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patricia J. Checko; his sons David Caffrey and 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, NC. He also leaves behind his extended family and friends. He was predeceased by his parents and sister Bessie. The family is grateful to HHC Home Hospice Services and Independence at Home, especially to Quincy. A funeral liturgy will be held on Thursday, December 16 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 3 Elm Street Middletown. Interment with military honors will take place in the Calvaire cemetery. Friends can call on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Biega 3 Silver Street Middletown Funeral Home. Memorial contributions can be sent to a charity of your choice. To share memories or express your condolences online, please visit www.biegafuneralhome.com. The rest is yours

Posted by Hartford Courant on December 12, 2021.