Richard “Dick” Gaffglione, who spent his life involved in horse racing, died Oct. 6 in Hot Springs, Ark. He was 81.
Born Oct. 23, 1940, in Omaha, Neb., to the late Mary Jane and Sebastiano Gaffglione, Gaffglione was a trainer, owner, agent, and valet. He also comes from a family involved in the sport. According to a Caruth-Hale Funeral Home obituary, “In his free time he enjoyed nothing more than watching his nephews Terry Houghton and Tyler Gaffalione race.”
Some family members have slightly different spellings of the family’s last name.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Robert and William Gaffglione, and his sister, Jackie Jordan.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Billie (Cook); his sister, Claudia Houghton; his daughters, Charlotte Calandro and Lisa Vaught; his grandchildren, Mollie Vaught Price, Christina Calandro, (Brad Notheisen), Anthony Calandro and Sydney Vaught; his great-grandson, Davis Cain Price, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
According to the Caruth-Hale obituary, Gaffglione continued to serve as the Arkansas Racing Commission placing judge at Oaklawn Park until his passing.
“RIP to this kind soul,” Oaklawn television host Nancy Holthus tweeted, noting that her father and Gaffglione were roommates and met their wives at Oaklawn.
“Then Dick and I worked in the test barn together for years,” she added. “Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
A memorial service is being planned for the end of the year. In lieu of flowers, Gaffglione would want you to buy a lottery ticket and win something in his honor, the Caruth-Hale obituary read.
This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.