James McGrath Mahoney

RYE, N.H. – James McGrath Mahoney, 69, of Rye, N.H., died peacefully Monday, April 19, 2021, at Harmony Homes by the Bay in Durham, N.H., with his loving wife, Paula, by his side. Jim fought a courageous 8-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. In his final week, he declined quickly, and was visited by his cherished family.

Jim was born in Winchester, Mass., on July 13, 1951, the third child of John B. and Louise (McGrath) Mahoney. Jim spent his childhood years in Woburn, Mass. with a terrific group of lifelong friends. He was a graduate of Tilton Academy and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston.

Jim began his career as a buyer of men’s clothing for Filene’s Basement in Boston. He then joined McGrath Travel in Woburn, a third-generation family-owned business. Among the highlights of his career were the years spent at Abacus Travel (Travel and Transport) working with colleagues who became treasured friends. Jim was forced to retire from this position due to the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

On Oct. 25, 1986 he married Paula Dubord. This was on the day of Bill Buckner’s infamous through-the-legs error that ended the Red Sox World Series run. No one ever forgot their wedding day.

Jim was renowned for his culinary expertise, including Bloody Mary and turkey preparation with his brother-in-law, Dan Dubord. Jim always welcomed guests with warm hospitality and a great meal. He and his wife, Paula, enjoyed traveling with family and friends throughout their lives. He was particularly fond of St. Barth’s vacations with Susie and Donald.

When not traveling, Jim and Paula enjoyed life at their seaside home in Rye, N.H., with their golden retrievers. It is a place of joy and comfort for both of them. Jim’s smile and sense of humor remained until his last hours. He was a “berry, berry” special man.

Jim was an avid reader, a reluctant chore-doer, and an excellent curler for the Winchester Country Club team. Jim was an esteemed graduate of Miss Kay’s Dancing School in Woburn, and was an accomplished twirler until his final days. Jim also loved music, and he and Paula could often be found dancing in their kitchen.

Paula is thankful for the loving care provided by her cousins, Julie Deacon and Susie Marcoccio (two of the famous three “French Twins”) and their supportive husbands, Jeff and Donald, her nephew Ron Durham and close family friends Matilda Wheaton and Dale Martz. In addition, she is grateful for the never-ending support of the Old Broads (Nancy, Gale and Denise). Special thanks to Marli and Wilson Rangel and Mara Lee, who kept Jim safe at home and well fed. Paula wishes to express her sincere appreciation to the staff of Harmony Homes for their kindness and care of Jim. She is also grateful for the guidance and care provided by Dr. Tricia Mendoza.

In addition to his wife, Paula, Jim is survived by his brother-in-law Dan Dubord and his wife, Dianne (a frequent dance partner of Jim), of Rockwood, Maine, his brother, John B. Mahoney of Wakefield, Mass.; his nephew, Ron Durham of Woburn, Mass. and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He is also survived by his lifelong friends Frank Wheaton, Chuck Murphy, Emma and Matilda Wheaton and Dale Martz. Finally, Jim leaves behind his beloved furry companions, Finn and Haddie. Finn had become a regular visitor at Harmony Homes, bringing joy to Jim and his fellow residents.

Jim was predeceased by his parents John B. and Louise (McGrath) Mahoney, his beloved sister Jeanne Durham who could always make him chuckle and his in-laws Robert and Beatrice Dubord, who Paula thought loved him most.

A private celebration of Jim’s life will be held this summer.

For online condolences, visit: http://www.jvwoodfuneralhome.com. The J. Verne Wood Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Buckminster Chapel, Portsmouth, assisted with arrangements.

Donations in Jim’s memory may be made to:

New Hampshire SPCA

P.O. Box 196

Stratham, NH 03885

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