FREDERICK T. MAHONEY
Frederick Thomas Mahoney was born on a ranch in Alva, Wyoming on October 23, 1916. His parents were Gertrude Seeley and John Thomas Mahoney. He had two sisters and four brothers.
He graduated from high school in Hulett, Wyoming and attended Graceland College for two years. He received his pilot's training at Lindberg Field and became an Air Force cadet at Randolph Field in San Antonio. He received advanced flight training at Kelly Field and continued his service in the United States Army Air Corp for five years, two of which were spent flying transports and ferrying fighter planes across Africa. He became a captain in the Air Force and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal Awards. He became a Major while serving in the Air Force Reserves. After his military service, he started his 31 year career as a pilot with Mid Continent and later Braniff Airlines.
Fred met his wife Jean while attending school in Hulett, Wyoming. They were married on September 8th, 1942, in San Antonio, Texas, and had four children: Jerrie Lynn, Karen Jean, Sarah Jane, and Paul Thomas. There are nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Jean and Fred were married 64 years before she died on December 7th, 2006. Of his seven brothers and sisters, Ellen Turner, who is 102 years old, and a younger brother Ed Mahoney survive him.
In addition to working as a pilot, Fred farmed both in Lawton, Iowa, and Randolph, Minnesota. He loved to play golf, fish, hunt, and garden. His favorite hobby was trout fishing, for which he tied his own flies and made many flies and fly rods for both himself and family.
But most of all Dad loved to interact with children. He would make them sourdough waffles and pancakes shaped like animals. Dad would cook tacos and then see who could put the most Tabasco sauce on them. He made whistles and carved stick horses out of willow branches and built corrals to hold them in. He would challenge the children with word problems and riddles. He entertained them with treasure hunts and adventures to the basement looking for "the rat".
All of Fred's family appreciated his sense of humor and quick wit. He had a special need to seek out new adventures and go on vacations and have his family come along with him. It seemed he was always learning something new and then passing on this new knowledge to his kids.
Fred passed away on March 29th, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. He was 95 years old. No one has ever had a better father or grandfather. He will be dearly missed.
A memorial service will be held at the Northfield Retirement Community Chapel at 900 Cannon Valley Drive, Northfield, MN on April 21 at 11:00 a.m. with visitation at 10:00 a.m. Sandwiches and cake will be served across the street at the condominium lobby at 1000 Cannon Valley Drive, Northfield following the service.
Memorial gifts may be directed to First Tee of St. Paul at Highland Park, 1403 Montreal Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55116.
Name: kathy and gordy anderson
Date: Saturday May 26, 2012
Hope one of you is till looking at this site periodically......just wanted to let you know that we are still running across some of Fred's golf balls out in the woods! The last couple years I have just let them lie as they are wonderful reminders of some of the best people ever. Always fun to "rediscover" them and smile. kathy anderson
Name: Butch Ervin
Date: Sunday April 22, 2012
I first met Fred in Sioux City, Iowa..and later we played golf in Kansas City when he had a long spell until he was due out again..We played 18 holes and were racing back to the airport. Fred was putting his uniform on in the car and we were 1/2 hour late..The passengers were on board and the left engine running.. Fred ran up the steps and away they went..There were other times with Fred that were great..He was man's man and a real gentleman. I will miss him.. Butch Ervin, Tioga, Texas
Name: Andy Williquett
Date: Friday April 20, 2012
My thoughts and prayers go out to Fred's family. I will always remember the great times I had as a kid, going out to the Black Hills in the summer and learning how to fly fish with him and his family. He was a great man.
Name: David Dixen
Date: Friday April 20, 2012
I think everyone loved Fred. We used to compare notes on farming when we flew together. We took a wonderfull trip to New Zealand with Fred and Jean shortly after his retirment. Sharing an wedding aneversary date with Fred and Jean gave us an excuse to get togeher once a year for many years.
Name: Kirk Honour
Date: Monday April 16, 2012
Who would have thought that pine sap made for great chewing gum. Happy hunting Fred!
Name: Scott Honour
Date: Sunday April 15, 2012
Fred was like a grandfather to me. My greatest childhood memories are of hunting with Fred and of the annual trip to Wyoming that our family took with Fred and Jean, and whomever of their kids and grandchildren were around. I learned a lot from Fred. Not just the really neat stuff like how to tie flies, catch a trout, make a whistle and the like; but the more important life lessons of how to be a good person, how to be calm in the face of adversity, how to honor one's elders and how to always be cheerful and uplifting. I truly hope to be able to hold myself to the standard that Fred set when I become a grandparent. Fred made a real mark on the world and from my perspective he will be sorely missed but gladly remembered. All the best to his wonderful family. Scott Honour
Name: John Honour
Date: Wednesday April 11, 2012
Fred was the check Captain and I was a 23 old First Officer getting my first line check at Braniff. How could I have predicted the impact he would have on my life and the life of my family. That first meeting began a relationship that would span 45 years. Fred was, without a doubt, one of the best aviators Iíve ever flown with. But beyond his skill and professionalism he was a pleasure to work with, full of stories and lessons learned the hard way, always told with a wonderfully entertaining sense of humor. There is a reason that the most senior copilots always chose to fly with Fred. Fred and I and our families fished, camped and hunted together for most of my adult life. His family became part of our family. He and Jean were de-facto grandparents to our two sons. Fred was a kid magnet. In less than a hour after setting up every kid in camp would be at Fredís trailer playing old-time outdoor games, doing the limbo, riding stick horses, listening to jokes, doing mind twisters, doing all kinds of stuff or he would be teaching the kids to tie flies. He just had a way with kids and there was always a new skill or lesson to learn. He was a great shot, a dedicated trout fisherman and golfer. He converted me from spinners to dry flies and after I retired I took up golf so we could play together. My thoughts about Fred and our time together are filled with hours of wonderful memories. Fred was not famous or wealthy and in many ways lived simply but he was still one of the most successful men and one of the very best people Iíve ever known. He was a truly good person, happy with himself and those around him. I donít think he ever had a bad day. He affected many lives, and always for the better; all who knew him will feel a sense of loss with his passing John Honour
Name: Beth Robb
Date: Sunday April 08, 2012
I only knew Fred for 2 or 3 years, through the senior center of Northfield. He and I and three other friends, Lyle and Donna and Henrietta, enjoyed sitting together at lunch time and chatting about golf and life. Fred was always upbeat, and fun...we had good chats. The five of us often played 'Nickles', a dice game, and then celebrated with wine, cake and coffee. Good times that will be cherished by all of us. The years I 'knew' Fred were a blessing to me...nothing like good friends. I will miss him. (I apologize to his dear family, as I will be unable to attend his memorial service. I have a previous committment that I cannot break. But I have my memories!!) Love, Beth Robb
Name: Gary Lysdale
Date: Tuesday April 03, 2012
To the Mahoney Family I'm A old Braniff pilot and flew with your Dad. He was a good pilot, fun to be around and an "All around Good Guy". Was just reliving memories of our flying pilots the other day at Paul Powells services. He'll be able to swap stories with the guys already up there.
Name: Mary & Rick McDonald
Date: Sunday April 01, 2012
We so enjoyed your Dad, still have fond memories of running into him & Jean celebrating their annivesary up north the same time we were, joining them on the golf course thinking " Cool, we finaly get to go golfing with Karen's dad, he must be really good" and all we did was hunt for golf balls in the woods....for hours!!! But it was a glorious fall day with perfect weather, autumn colors, and the great company of your mom & dad....thanks for sharing him (& her) with all of us.
Name: Todd Mahoney
Date: Saturday March 31, 2012
Our heart felt condolences go out to Uncle Fred's family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of loss. He is now with his maker and his loved ones who passed on before him. If you do as you wish in heaven, which I'm certain you do. Uncle Fred's up there with his dogs having an epic day of hunting.