William “Bill” F.'s Story
The family of William “Bill” F. Mahoney is saddened to announce his passing at the Kaplan Family Hospice in Danvers, on September 27th at the age of 91. Throughout his final illness, Bill was lovingly attended by his wife of 67 years, Joan, and his family. Her tender care allowed him to complete many of the projects he was working on as he fought his illness.
Bill was born in Dorchester, on August 15, 1926 to Patrick and Anna (Murphy) Mahoney. Bill grew up in Dorchester and attended Boston English in Boston, MA. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17, serving in Guam in the South Pacific until war’s end. This began both his love of aviation and the Marine Corps. He subsequently served during the occupation of Japan. As a Marine veteran, he joined American Legion Post #331 and Victori-Rocci Post #56. Bill also served as the Judge Advocate of Detachment #127 of the Marine Corps League, remaining an active participant in many charities and functions.
Bill became a licensed pilot and graduated from Wentworth Institute with an Associate’s degree in Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering, eventually becoming a Registered Professional Engineer licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He later volunteered as an Industrial Advisor for Wentworth undergraduate, providing such assistance for 36 years.
Bill joined the General Electric Company, working at the River Works facility in Lynn. During his 40-year career, he rose to become manager of the Development Test and Assembly area for GE Helicopter Engines, managing over 400 people. Bill later became Product Support Program Manager for U.S. and foreign military for these same engines, traveling the world to help open the Chinese market for these GE products and being a frequent visitor to Washington, D.C. for Pentagon meetings. His final GE position, Program Manager for Foreign Sales, allowed him to engage with the militaries of Israel, the U.K., Japan and many other countries. Highlights included cruising on a British aircraft carrier, the Ark Royal, and being able to show Joan some of the beauty of China.
Bill married Joan K. Murphy on Sept. 16th, 1950 in E. Milton, and, soon thereafter, moved to Beverly MA, where they settled and raised their six children. After being an altar boy as a youngster, Bill remained active in the Catholic church throughout his life. He served as a lector and on the Finance Committee for St. Alphonsus in Danvers and as the Northshore Coordinator for the Sacrificial Giving program initiated by the Archdiocese of Boston. He was also a religious education teacher at St. Alphonsus. When that church closed, Bill and Joan happily joined St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Danvers, where they soon became close friends of the other parishioners at the daily 9:00 AM mass. Bill also was involved with the Stewardship Committee of St. Mary’s, freely sharing his unique experiences and providing the guidance at which he excelled.
Bill remained quite active after retirement. He served as the state coordinator for Community Operations for AARP. He was a President and later a Director of the GE Old Timer’s Association. Bill also championed Neurofibromatosis (NF) benefits to raise funds for research for this disease which afflicted two of his grandchildren. Bill and Joan enjoyed cruises and foreign travel with friends, especially best friends Phil and Pat Kelleher of Binghamton, N.Y.
Throughout his life, Bill, a high school football player, was a fan of Boston sports, particularly the Red Sox (and Ted Williams, who happened to be a Marine) and Patriots. He coached both of his sons’ Little League teams and always made time to pitch batting practice or throw a football around. He was also a car shopper extraordinaire, leading almost every car search in his growing family because he knew more about cars than the rest of us combined.
Finally, he never left aviation. For 28 years, he was a member, and two-time Chairman, of the Beverly Airport commission, leading the construction of a new administration building which was primarily funded by the federal government, he would note! He also led the effort resulting in the designation of Beverly as one of the few Regional Airports in the state. When he finally stepped down this past August 15th, his 91st birthday, a grateful City of Beverly presented him with the Key to the City and, by proclamation, made August 15th “Bill Mahoney Day” in the city. The West entrance on the Danvers side of the airport is now accessed via “Bill Mahoney Way”.
Bill was survived by his much-loved wife, Joan K. Mahoney. By his children, Carol Mahoney of Peabody, Stephen Mahoney and wife, Cheryl Wheelwright of Salem, N.H., Paul Mahoney and wife, Kathy Horan Mahoney of Middleton Katherine Lauranzano and husband Chris of Beverly, Patricia Mahoney-Diefenbach of Peabody, and Julie Gentile and husband, Peter of Beverly. Bill is also survived by 11 grandchildren, (Kelly, Regina, Sean, Jared, Gregory, Andrew, Thomas, Emily, Daniel, Rachel, Leah) and nine great-grandchildren, (Ava, Mila, Ellis, Camille, Declan, Keegan, Lazarus, Aubrey, and Evelyn) as well as nieces, nephews and special god-children. Bill was the consummate family man and became a surrogate father and grandfather to many.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Anna and Patrick Mahoney of Dorchester, his brother, John Mahoney and sister, Margaret Mahoney; his granddaughter, Erin Dawson, his son-in-law, Paul Diefenbach Jr.; his niece, Margaret Balderrama and his nephew, Chris Mahoney.
Visiting hours will be at Campbell’s Funeral Home from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 30th with a funeral Mass to follow at St. Mary’s of the Annunciation Church in Danvers, Mass., at 12:30 p.m.
Friends and family will be welcomed at a collation at the Danversport Yacht Club from 2 to 5 p.m. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Dover, N.H. on October 2nd which will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of Bill’s two favorite charities; St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Mary’s of the Annunciation (http://stmarydanvers.org/107) or Neurofibromatosis Northeast (http://nfincne.org/).
Please join us in celebrating this good man, greatly loved and hugely missed. Semper Fi.
Published on  September 29, 2017