US Army

Denis "Scooter" M. Mahaffey

May 8, 1947 ~ July 20, 2020 (age 73)



Denis Michael “Scooter” Mahaffey, 73, died unexpectedly of a heart attack at his home on July 20, 2020.  He was born on May 8, 1947 in Winona, MN to Lucille (Bunny) Bandar Mahaffey and Vern Mahaffey.  He was the oldest of 4 children.  Denny graduated from Cotter High School in 1965.  He served in the US Army (1966 – 1970) during the Vietnam war and was stationed in Karlsruhe Germany as a Military Chef.  It was there that he met Karen Cave from KY who was touring with the USO in an all-girl jazz band playing shows for the troops. They were married from 1970 -1983 and raised two children, Jay and Jenifer, in Winona.  From 2002 – 2016, Denny was married to Kathy Oberfoell and they lived in Fountain City, WI.  He spent the last 4 years living in Winona with his significant other, Sue Lettner.

Denny was proceeded in death by his parents Bunny & Vern Mahaffey, sister Sharon Knouft & brother-in-law Gary Knouft, brother Gary Mahaffey and niece Missy Kwosek.  

He is lovingly survived by his sister Marie (Tim) Kwosek, son Jay (Angel) Mahaffey, daughter Jenny (Andy) George, grandchildren Ava & Mila Mahaffey and Max & Vance George, niece Cindi Knouft, nephew Brian Knouft, niece Nikki (Cole Wilhite) and their son Miles, birth daughter Kendell Hayes, and his beloved girlfriend Sue Lettner. 

When he got out of the service, Denny got a job as a Butcher at Turner’s Meat Market in Winona. Later he became a Beer Salesman for Schmidt Distributing for many years before working at HyVee in the meat department. His passion for cooking and sharing tips and recipes made him a favorite among his customers. His outgoing personality, love for telling a good joke, and infectious laugh will be missed by all those whose lives he touched.

Visitation will be held on Friday, July 24, 2020, from 4 PM until 7PM at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, 376 East Sarnia Street, Winona.  Due to current health concerns and restrictions, those attending are asked to enter the funeral home building through the west entrance, and to exit through the east entrance.  Please be advised that a maximum of 50 people will be allowed into the funeral home at one time, that the wearing of a mask will be required, and social distancing and CDC guidelines will be observed.  

A graveside Celebration of Life will be held at 10AM on Saturday, July 25th at St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery in Minnesota City, MN, where the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 of Winona will provide military honors.  Those attending are asked to meet at the cemetery and the wearing of a mask will be required.  

Denny (Scooter) will long be remembered through his own words:

“I remember when I had my first beer….”

“One more & I’ll stay”

“I’m not having any fun at all”

“SKOL Vikings!”

 “Here’s my recipe…”

“It’s a 35mm day - picture perfect!”

 “Hey, have you heard the joke about….”

 “I love you more than you love me”


Jay would teasingly say to his dad: “You’ve been like a Father to Me” 

Denny’s song to Jen, his brown eyed girl: “You are my sunshine” 

Scooter, We Love You More and you will forever be loved and missed...



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Denis "Scooter" M. Mahaffey, please visit our floral store.


July 24, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home
376 East Sarnia Street
Winona, MN 55987

Graveside Service
July 25, 2020

10:00 AM
St. Paul's Catholic Church
132 Anderson Street
Minnesota City, MN 55969

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