Francis (Frank) Holmes McMahon

Francis (Frank) Holmes McMahon, of Livermore, passed away Jan. 22. He was 85.

Frank was born on June 15, 1934, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Martha and Francis Holmes McMahon. He was a bright student and a hard-working member of 4-H. In 1948, he won top award for best 4-H vegetable garden in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. By the age of 14, he had taught himself Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and could play all three movements by heart.

Although the family moved to Florida, he returned to Massachusetts in 1950 to become an Eagle Scout in Boy Scout Troop 50. He graduated from Palm Beach High School, in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1952, and was awarded a full scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That same year, he won the Florida state high school track championship in the 440-meter race.

While attending MIT, Frank was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He did his basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and was stationed in West Germany. A pioneer in computer science, Frank worked for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore for 30 years. Among his many accomplishments was Livermore Loops, a benchmark for parallel computers, as well as predicting the existence of a planet. He also invented the terms FLOPS and MFLOPS so that he could compare the supercomputers of the day by the number of floating-point calculations they performed per second. He authored the book, “The Livermore Fortran kernels: A computer test of the numerical performance range.”

Frank married the love of his life, Mary Agnes (O’Brien) McMahon in 1969, and they had three children together. A true family man, he devoted his life to his wife and children. He was a serious and caring person who also loved a good laugh. In his free time, he enjoyed walks around the neighborhood and long walks at Sycamore Grove. He was often found in the yard gardening and enjoyed photography. He played the piano beautifully and could play several pieces of Beethoven by heart. He was a history buff, particularly of World War II. One summer he took his children to New England to retrace the steps of the American Revolution War. He loved classical music and would enjoy performances from the Livermore Symphony.

Sadly, his wife Mary McMahon passed away just two weeks after Frank, on Feb. 4, 2020. He is survived by his children, Michael McMahon, Mary (Mark) McGuane, and Anne Marie (John-Paul) Mikolajczyk. He is also survived by his brother, Martyn McMahon; 5 grandchildren, Zia and Violet McGuane and Leo, Rita and Rosamystica Mikolajczyk, as well as nine nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Peter McMahon.

Combined services for Mary Agnes and Francis Holmes McMahon will be Saturday, Feb. 22 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 458 Maple St., in Livermore, starting with a Rosary at noon and a Funeral Mass at 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.