Winifred Veronica Mahoney (Winnie) – a 47-year resident of Chatham, NJ – died on Sunday afternoon March the 10th at her winter home in Naples, Florida. Mahoney, who had successfully battled cancer for years, finally succumbed to a re-appearance of the dreaded disease at the age 79.
Born on May 18, 1933 in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, PA, young Winifred Dwyer was raised in East Orange, NJ with siblingsFredrick, Janet (deceased), Catherine, Eugene and Christopher. Summers were spent at the Dwyer family summer home on Cedar Lake in Denville, NJ. There, Winnie enjoyed swimming, canoeing and dances at the clubhouse where she turned heads with her beauty and grace.
Cedar Lake was a place where she would generate wonderful memories for years to come – as recently as this past summer – with her family.
Winnie graduated from East Orange’s Clifford J. Scott High School and soon thereafter received an Associate’s degree from Edgewood Park Junior College in Briarcliff Manor, NY. She had just begun working with AT&T when she caught the eye of one Brian Mahoney – her husband of 56 years who we lost only a short time ago (November 2012).
For decades Winnie loved to retell the story of Brian asking her father for permission to marry. The senior Dwyer demanded to know the worth of the man who desired to spend the rest of his life with his daughter. How would he care for her? What were Brian’s assets?
Brian responded by placing a value on everything he owned – including his dog, a boxer named Monty! What Winnie’s Dad saw was a young man who would go to great lengths to make his daughter happy. And, he was right.
Brian and Winnie were married on September 8, 1956. They initially resided in Madison, NJ – where their first two children (Michael and Patricia) were born. Brian’s successful career in sales allowed the young Mahoney family moved to Chatham, NJ in 1966 into the home where Winnie lived until her passing.
As her family grew (Brian Aloysius and Megan would be born during the family’s early years in Chatham), so did Winnie’s involvement in local youth sports. She became the prototype for the hockey and soccer mom culture that would later become prevalent in our society.
Ironically Winnie’s passion for sports as a participant was developed later in life.
She took up tennis at the age of forty and friend Carol Browne (who was still playing last summer) remembers Winnie as her favorite doubles partner who was a smart player armed with a great lob shot.
And, Winnie teamed with Brian to form a dazzling paddle tennis tandem on the courts at the Minisink Swim Club (Chatham, NJ). A little known competitive streak within Winnie found her battling into the dark to complete a game. The trait would serve her well during her battle with cancer. It was a side few saw – with most being familiar with the calm, soft-spoken woman whose family was a fixture at mass each week at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Chatham.
Winnie found relaxation in shopping – most often in the company of her best friend Rosemary “Rosie” Ward. They loved to antique shop and in recent years Thursday meant lunch and a movie with Rosie. But, their singular most important mission during most of these shopping excursions was to scour the various malls and stores for sales. Pay full price for nothing was their motto. Her passion for bargain shopping led to the collection of “steals” that would become known as the “Nanny Store” to her grandkids when they were in search of a gift for Dad, Mom or a brother or sister.
Her circle of cherished friends included bridge and cruise group pals while tranquility and warm weather was found in Naples the past 10 winters. She loved the beach and was walking 2 miles a day up until the weeks that preceded her death.
In addition to her living siblings, Winifred Mahoney is survived by her children Michael (daughter-in-law Cindi, grandkids Marisa, 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).
A memorial service for Winifred Veronica Mahoney – led by Msgr. John J. Carroll – will be held at 10 am on Saturday, May 4th at St. Patrick’s in Chatham. In lieu of flowers, the Mahoney family asks that you honor Winnie by making a donation to the Chatham Rescue Squad. Canned goods will be collected at that mass and will be donated to local food pantries in Winnie’s name.