Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rev. Dr. Robert Harry Mahaffy, 91, of Yorktown

Rev. Dr. Robert Harry Mahaffy (Amory Funeral Home)

The Rev. Dr. Robert Harry Mahaffy of Yorktown, VA, passed away on December 16, 2022, after a short illness, three months shy of his 92nd birthday.

“Bob” was born March 13, 1931 in Brooklyn, NY to Henry and Edna (Robertson) Mahaffy. He graduated from high school in Malverne, Long Island, NY in 1949, then attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Here he met his future wife, fellow student Maxine Elizabeth Stuelcken. They married in 1953, the same year Bob earned his bachelor’s degree in business.

Bob served in the U.S. Navy as a supply officer both on active duty and in the reserves for a total of 16 years. Upon leaving active duty in 1959, he worked for the C&P Telephone Company of Virginia first in Richmond, during which time he received Christ as his Savior by laying his hands on a black and white TV during a 1961 Billy Graham televised crusade, and then in Newport News. The family lived in Springfield, MO, from 1964-1965, where Bob attended Central Bible Institute (now Central Bible College), taking his first pastorate in the Ozark foothills of Missouri. He served at outreach ministry International Students Incorporated in Washington, DC, then as pastor at an Assemblies of God church in Nassawadox, VA.

In the late ‘60s and ‘70s, he taught in Newport News (VA) Public Schools at Denbigh and South Morrison elementary schools, then served as principal at Jackson and Hidenwood elementaries, in the process earning his master’s degree in business (William & Mary) and his PhD in Education (University of Connecticut).

Leaving Virginia in 1973, Bob became the academic dean at Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY, and later served as General Secretary of Elim Fellowship. In the 1980s, he served as senior pastor of First Christian Assembly in Plainfield, NJ, then as academic dean at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX. Maxine and he also lived and taught in China and Bulgaria before retiring from fulltime ministry in 1999, and continued as active members of their local church and community. After retirement, they lived in Newport News, at Campo Verde Farm in Little Plymouth, VA, then spent the last 20 years in Yorktown, VA.

Bob liked to keep busy: building and tinkering with things, gardening with Maxine, studying, watching Alabama Crimson Tide and Green Bay Packers football and occasionally grandchildren’s sporting and school events. His mind was always active. For many years he swam at least an hour a day, several days a week. He traveled the United States and the world teaching and encouraging, including an around the world trip in 1982. They both loved Campo Verde Farm, which they transformed from a rundown property to a lovely, small working ranch with horses, goats, sheep, chickens, dogs, cats, and Dolly the donkey!

Bob was predeceased in 2015 by his wife of 62 years, Maxine, and in 2020 by son-in-law Alan Spaulding. He leaves behind his sister, Jane Mahaffy Smith; five children: Susan Spaulding, Kevin (Gale) Mahaffy, Mary (Mark) Johansson, Patricia (Rob) Schlosser, and Darren (Megan) Mahaffy; 17 grandchildren: Kevin (Ady) Mahaffy, Jr., Patrick (MaryBeth) Spaulding; April (Lalo) Hernandez, Tim (Cindi) Spaulding), Ben (Dawn) Mahaffy, Andrew (Emily) Johansson, Todd (Nathacha) Spaulding, Katie (Peter) Stern, Naomi (Mike) Kline, Luke Mahaffy, Paul Mahaffy, Sarah (Cameron) Dail, Melissa Schlosser, Mark Mahaffy, Oliver Schlosser, Joel Mahaffy, and Emma Schlosser; 26 great-grandchildren: Claudia (Ethan) Wickham, Natalia Mahaffy; Rebekah, Isabella, Natalia, and Sofia Hernandez; Hannah Alex and Isaiah Mahaffy; Connor Moore; Taylor, Jordyn, and Parker Kline; Ezra, Ewan, Eva, Blair, Amelia, and August Spaulding; Caleb, Hazel, and Levi Johansson; Eleanor, Lillian, Jack, and Mary Joy Stern; his cousin Allan Bailey, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of past students he mentored and strengthened in the faith.

The family will hold a memorial on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at the Marlbank Recreation Association Clubhouse, 115 Old Landing Road, Yorktown 23692, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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