James L. Mahoney, contractor and veteran

March 17, 2010|By Jacques Kelly

James Leonard Mahoney, a retired paving contractor and World War II veteran, died Saturday of pneumonia at Franklin Square Hospital Center. The Parkville resident was 90.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Pelham Avenue, he attended the Shrine of the Little Flower Parochial School and was a 1939 City College graduate.

Mr. Mahoney was a Bethlehem Steel Corp. millwright at Sparrows Point until 1942, when he joined the Army Air Forces. He rose to the rank of sergeant after studying aeronautical engineering at military schools. From 1944 to 1945, he served as a mechanic on the island of Tinian, where he supervised the maintenance of bomber planes, including aircraft used in atomic warfare. He earned three battle stars.

After the war, he became an associate at Mahoney Brothers' Paving Co., a firm owned by his father, Leonard, and uncle, George P. Mahoney, who was active in Democratic politics and was a candidate for governor.

In 1969, Mr. Mahoney formed his own business, James L. Mahoney Inc., in East Baltimore. He retired in 1984.

"He was an industrious and kind leader," said his nephew, William "Duke" Mahoney of Baltimore. "He was not content to remain in the office. He was happiest while working in the field."

Mr. Mahoney enjoyed golf and games of poker and pinochle.

In 1976, he married Jean Samuels, a former Woodholme Elementary School principal.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Oak Crest Village Chapel, 8801 Walther Blvd. in Parkville.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a brother, Leonard Mahoney of Baltimore, and a sister, Jacqueline Watts of Perry Hall. His wife of 30 years, the former Bernadine Pinkas, died in 1975.

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