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Arthur B. MacMahon, age 92, formerly of Ashton Hollow Rd., Catawissa, passed away peacefully at 12:52 a.m. Thursday, July 2, 2020 at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.
Born at home in Brooklyn, NY on December 2, 1927, he was the son of the late Arthur O. and Barbara (McPartland) MacMahon. Arthur grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn and cherished his memories of time spent at Coney Island. He attended St. Rose of Lima grade school.
Because he was a child of the depression, starting from the age of nine, he helped support his family, including three siblings by working a large paper route delivering the Brooklyn Eagle with his brother Miles. He also sold the Saturday Evening Post on street corners and subway platforms.
Arthur attended Erasmus High School, but terminated his secondary education at the age of 16, when he heeded the call of his country and enlisted in the Merchant Marines in May 1944 during WWII. He served on Liberty ships in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific Theaters. After the war, he stayed in the Merchant Marines, rising to the rank of Second Mate (Navigator) on tankers in the employment of the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company.
He then worked for Newark Ladder and Bracket Company after moving to New Jersey to raise his family. In 1965, he became an insurance agent for Nationwide Insurance Company with an office in Metuchen, N.J. Then, in 1971, he led the family in an abrupt lifestyle change by moving from the suburbs of Northern New Jersey to the rural stronghold of Southern Columbia county. As older children often joked their parents were living in “Green Acre without the wealth,” for there were always country things to do: raising fruits and vegetables, canning, butchering your own meat, shoveling coal, tending the furnace; and for the younger ones, cats, dogs, and regularly over thirty chickens to care for.
Arthur throughout his life, maintained a strong commitment to helping others. As a young man in the 1950’s, he and his wife, Clare, joined the first Saturday Club, a Catholic organization, which helped transport handicapped individuals to church and once a year accompanied them on a pilgrimage to Catholic shrines in Canada. He was a member of the Holy Name Society, along with the Knights of Columbus. He served as a Boy Scout leader, when his older son Dennis was a Scout.
He and his wife Clare counseled soon-to-be-spouses with Pre-Canaan classes of their parish, Our Lady of Mercy in Slabtown. In the 1980’s, he and his wife became Red Cross Disaster Relief volunteers assisting victims of disasters in many different states over a period of 16 years. He and Clare served in South Carolina for Hurricane Hugo, Florida for Hurricane Andrew, and Mississippi, Arizona, and Alabama for countless food relief programs, California twice for earthquakes, and even volunteered at the disaster site of 9/11 in NYC.
Arthur was a past president of the Bloomsburg Kiwanis Club and an active member for over 40 years. Most recently, he assisted in the work of AGAPE, Meals on Wheels, Camp Kirchenwald (camping with children suffering both physical and mental handicaps), the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard, and the Apprise programs through the area Agency on Aging. Arthur was also a committed member of the Susquehanna Vets and he served as a zoning officer for the Cleveland Township Zoning Board for over 15 years.
Arthur married Clare McDonald, also of Brooklyn, on August 27, 1950. They celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary prior to her death on November 2, 2018. He was also preceded in death by a two-year-old son, Darren G. MacMahon in 1958, and siblings: Miles MacMahon, Desmond MacMahon, and Maureen Reinhart.
Surviving are six children: Dennis P. MacMahon, Webster, N.Y., Deirdre MacMahon, and her husband Phillip Ody, Los Banos, CA, Deborah, wife of Hervey Gillespie, Bloomsburg, Peter R. MacMahon, and his wife Diane, Mohnton, Robert D. MacMahon, and his wife Nancy, Lafayette Hills, Michael D. MacMahon, and his wife Elaine, Pittsburgh; eight grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated privately in Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, 304 Slabtown Rd., Catawissa, by his pastor, Rev. Dennis G. Dalessandro. Interment will follow in the Parish cemetery with military honors by Catawissa Post 8306 VFW.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to AGAPE, 19 E. 7th St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 325 Market St., Bloomsburg.