John Brian Mahoney (Brian) – a 46-year resident of Chatham, NJ – died early Wednesday morning following a short stay at Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, NJ. Mahoney, a cancer survivor, succumbed to complications caused by congestive heart failure at the age of 83.
Born on August 4, 1929 in Newark, NJ, young Brian was raised in Westfield, NJ during the Great Depression by John Clinton (Clint) and Mildred Mahoney (both deceased) along with his younger sister Patricia (Pat) who preceded him in death just two short months ago. The Mahoney children were taught the value of discipline and hard work which would benefit them greatly throughout their lives.
Innovative and energetic, Brian enjoyed school and displayed an early commitment to civic responsibilities as a founding member of the Westfield Emergency Management Squad (EMS) in 1951. He took great pride in helping to build the original barracks for the unit and he continued this type of community service years later as a volunteer for the Madison (NJ) EMS.
Brian matriculated from Seton Hall University in 1952 and enlisted in the Navy shortly thereafter. He served two years of active duty before returning to NJ where he would soon begin his courtship of Winifred (Winnie) Veronica Dwyer.
Brian and Winnie were married on September 8, 1956. They resided in Madison, NJ – where their first two children (Michael and Patricia) were born. Brian had begun a career in sales with Norcross Greeting Cards before their wedding. He would spend 24 years with Norcross – mostly as a District Manager – before joining leather goods manufacturer Buxton-Dopp. Brian would then serve Buxton for another 23 years as high-ranking sales executive.
The young Mahoney family moved to Chatham, NJ in 1966 into the home where Winnie still lives today. As his family grew (Brian Aloysius and Megan would be born during the family’s early years in Chatham), so did Brian’s involvement in local activities. He would coach baseball, soccer, basketball and hockey at the youth level for many years – teaching others while watching his children participate in these sports. When not on the sidelines, Brian teamed with Winnie to form a dazzling paddle tennis tandem. Brian also served on the Board of Directors at the Minisink Swim Club (Chatham, NJ) for years including a stint as President during 1981-82. And, for decades, the family was a fixture at mass each week at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Chatham.
His dedication and commitment extended to the many he befriended over the years including his poker club – the same group of gentlemen who have continued to gather numerous times each year since January of 1967.
Brian loved the Jersey shore, Cedar Lake in Denville, colorful pants and family get-togethers. His gregarious personality brought life to any party and his passion for family was only rivaled by his love for the NY Yankees, the football Giants and the Fightin’ Irish of Notre Dame. The soft-hearted man known as “Daddio” to his grandchildren could rattle a window or two in vociferous dismay following a bad play call or a Derek Jeter error.
His generosity knew no bounds. And, while Brian’s mannerisms and clothing were often loud, his acts of kinds were regulated to quiet, private moments. In addressing this writer, he once quoted Yankee owner George Steinbrenner stating, “If you help somebody, and more than two people know about it, you’ve done it for the wrong reasons.”
Brian retired in 2001 – deciding to spend his time as an avid and vocal fan at his grandchildren’s sporting events in both New Jersey and Florida (where he and Winnie own a winter home). And, when in New Jersey, it was his long-time daily ritual to share breakfast with friends and familiar faces at Angie’s coffee shop in Chatham.
Aside from his beloved wife of 56 years, Brian Mahoney is survived by children Michael (daughter-in-law Cindi, grandkids Marissa, Patrick and Sean of Naples, FL), Patricia (grandkids Tara, Caitlin and LJ of New Providence, NJ), Brian (daughter-in-law Janice, grandkids Caroline, Danny and Kevin living in Chatham) and Megan Kelly (son-in-law Joe, grandkids Quinn, Micheala and Seamus also of Chatham).
In lieu of flowers, the Mahoney family asks that you honor this man who stood for faith, family and his fellow man by making a donation to the Emergency Management Squads in Westfield, Madison or Chatham.
A memorial service for John Brian Mahoney will be held at 1 pm on Saturday, November 17 at St. Patrick’s in Chatham. Canned goods will be collected at that mass and will be donated to local food pantries in Brian’s name.