Cover photo for John Edward McMahon's Obituary
John Edward McMahon Profile Photo
1927 John 2023

John Edward McMahon

November 26, 1927 — April 12, 2023

John McMahon passed away peacefully on April 12, 2023 at the age of 95. He was blessed with and survived by his 4 children, 4 grandchildren and 4 great grandsons and is now reunited with his beloved wife of 45 years, Mary Elaine, who predeceased him in 2003. John is also survived by his beloved sister Cathy and a multitude of nieces and nephews.
John was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1927 and lived through the Great Depression with his Irish born parents, 3 brothers and 3 sisters, two of whom died as toddlers. He accomplished much in life considering his very humble beginnings. He persevered through poverty and as a medic in the Korean war. It was through education, provided by the Franciscan monks, that John achieved a better life for his family. His career as an English teacher spanned many decades and after years of diligent hard work, he received a PhD in Education. He never missed an opportunity to share his love of poetry and English Literature with others, even when he was retired. Family was always first with John and his favorite times involved his wife, his children, and his large extended family. He always took pity on those who had very little, often sharing his food with the homeless. He enjoyed intellectual discussions, traveling the open road, a good book, Irish music and poetry. Did I mention he LOVED poetry? His favorite destination by far was Balboa Park and he often visited the park and the Senior Center there. He loved having “talks” with those at the Park, especially when they had a different perspective. He was one of the last of an age when integrity and depth were a way of life. Despite the physical struggles that came with his advanced years, his mind remained sharp until the end! He roamed the earth for 95 years, always seeking knowledge.  We will celebrate his life formally in the near future but for now we grieve a little, reminisce a bit and smile as we remember his poetry readings at family dinners, how his pants somehow got pulled up higher and higher each year, the sweater and cap that always completed his daily outfit, and his utter inability to master simple technology like the cell phone and email.  He will be missed, but we will not mourn his passing. We will celebrate his life!

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated Monday, May 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the Mission Basilica of San Diego de Alcala located at 10818 San Diego Mission Rd, San Diego, CA 92108  with a Reception/Celebration of Life following in the Sala on the Mission property. A private interment will be held at Ft. Rosecrans on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Fr. Joe's Villages at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Edward McMahon, please visit our flower store.


Photo Gallery

Visits: 299

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree