Michael Bernard McMahon of Cranford, NJ, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on July 29, 2020. He died from complications due to ALS. Michael was born July 9, 1955, in Scranton, PA, the son of Joan and Terrence “Doc” McMahon.
Mike attended Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton and was strongly influenced by his Jesuit education and the Jesuit values. After college Mike pursued his social work vocation through Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC). Later Mike completed his masters degree in social work at Case Western Reserve University and was both a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Mike met Kathy through their involvement in JVC in Cleveland, Ohio and married in October, 1984. Mike and Kathy moved back east to be closer to family before starting their own family. To Mike this was the ultimate career - being a father. Mike was a dedicated and loving husband and dad to Ryan and Dan. His steadfast support and unwavering goodness and patience was a blessing to his family.
Mike enjoyed working as an adjunct professor at a few local colleges and had a fulfilling career as a therapist at St. Helen’s counseling project. Recently St. Helens' provided spiritual and emotional support through a prayer group that embraced him during his most challenging year. Mike retired from the Elizabeth Board of Education where he worked as a school social worker.
Mike was an athlete and devoted sports fan. Basketball was his sport during his school years but as an adult he was always happy to get on the golf course for a round with friends. Once his boys began their own sports endeavors Mike used his skills to coach his sons and create wonderful memories and cherished time with his boys in both soccer and basketball. Despite never having played soccer he took his coaching role seriously and dove in head first educating himself and tapping into resources to become a successful coach. He also loved watching almost any sport live or televised, professional or high school. He was known to all who knew him as a most devoted Cleveland Browns fan and had a vast brown and orange wardrobe to prove it.
Mike enjoyed being “on stage” and acted in various community theater groups both in Cleveland and locally in Westfield, Cranford, and Rahway. He also loved music and musicals and felt fortunate to attend theater in NYC. The soundtracks were on repeat endlessly after each show.
When you asked Mike where he wanted to go on vacation he would most likely answer Cleveland! He enjoyed years of family beach vacations in Mantoloking with the Cranford McMahons and especially cherished late afternoons on the beach with his dog Buster. In 2018 Mike traveled with Kathy and his mother-in-law Renee to Europe on a Viking River Cruise. The beaches of Normandy were Mike’s most memorable spot as it reminded him of his own father who served there.
Michael is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Kathleen, sons Ryan (Kerry) and Daniel (Anna), two grandchildren, William and Christopher, twin brother James (Mary Alice), brother Thomas (Jo-Ellen), and sister Jane Palutis (AJ), and 22 nieces and nephews. Mike was predeceased by his parents, eldest brother Terrence (Jeanne) and niece Maura.
Visitation for friends and family will be held Monday August 3 from 4-8 pm.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Compassionate Care ALS which provided much needed support to Mike and his family this past year. https://ccals.org/donate/