Mary Agnes McMahon, of Livermore, went home to God on Feb. 4. She was 81. Mary Agnes was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Mary Frances and George Thomas O’Brien. She was raised in Lenox, Massachusetts, the second of four children. Her family owned Michael O’Brien Flowers, and she helped deliver flowers during the busy holiday seasons growing up. She attended Lenox High School, playing trombone in the school band, and was involved with the Girl Scouts.
Mary Agnes attended The College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where she was president of the Glee Club. She graduated from The Elms in 1960 with a degree in sociology with a minor in education. She later earned her Master’s in Education. Mary Agnes taught in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, as well as in an inner-city school in Springfield, Massachusetts. She was involved with local politics, including arranging events for the Young Democrats.
After a whirlwind courtship, Mary Agnes wed Francis (Frank) Holmes McMahon on Aug. 30, 1969, at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Lenox, Massachusetts. They moved to Castro Valley, California, before ultimately settling in Livermore. Together, they raised three children. Her love for education led her to work for 30 years for the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District in various capacities, including substitute teacher, reading specialist, and teacher’s aide. She particularly enjoyed her time as a long-term substitute teacher’s aide in the Special Education class at East Avenue Middle School and Granada High School.
Mary Agnes was an avid reader and penned many book reviews and memorable letters to the editor. She was an active member of St. Michael’s parish and enthusiastically supported local charities and schools. She enjoyed knitting scarves for the homeless and was humorously rumored to have “kept the post office in business,” sending daily mail to her grandchildren and relatives. She enjoyed laminating pictures and articles of local people in Livermore (especially former students) and sending them to their homes. She remembered her friends’ and neighbors’ birthdays, sending cards or surprising them with a balloon on their doorstep. She enjoyed swimming, taking her young children to the Cabana Club in the summer, and later in life, swimming laps at LifeStyleRX in Livermore.
Mary Agnes is survived by her children, Michael McMahon, Mary (Mark) McGuane, and Anne Marie (John-Paul) Mikolajczyk. She is also survived by her brother, Edward O’Brien, of Washington, D.C.; sister, Jo Anne (John) Ellis, of Syracuse, New York; sister-in-law, Janet O’Brien, of Lee, Massachusetts; grandchildren, Zia and Violet McGuane, and Leo, Rita and Rosamystica Mikolajczyk; and nine nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Francis Holmes McMahon, by two weeks; her parents; and her brother, George O’Brien.
Combined services for Mary Agnes and Francis Holmes McMahon will be Saturday, Feb. 22 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church 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 that donations be made to Shepherd's Gate in Livermore or Friendly Manor in Oakland, California.