Jay McMahon

PLAINFIELD, MA - John (Jay) M. McMahon, 78, died on Wednesday, August 31, at home with his wife, sister, friends, and family by his side. All who knew Jay are heartbroken. Cancer sucks.
Jay grew up in New Rochelle, NY, where his love for music started. He had a band, “The Stratotones,” and played the sax and electric guitar. Later in life, he played the banjo and fiddle. All self-taught. Music was one of his many passions.
The family moved to Plainfield in 1961. Jay went to school in Arizona for a time and always loved telling how he received a varsity letter in “calf roping.” He’d say: “Do you know anyone else who has one?” He graduated from Sanderson Academy in 1963.
Jay served in the Navy from 1963 to 1966. He was a radioman third class aboard the destroyer USS Furse, which was in the Mediterranean to operate with the Sixth Fleet. He saw many parts of the world and had great stories to share. It also fed the “travel bug,” which was lifelong. Jay was selected to serve in the honor guard at General MacArthur’s funeral, a recognition of his duty to service. It was very special. He graduated from Northampton Commercial College in 1968 and attended Hiram Scott College.
Jay’s interests were many. He read a lot, which made him really interesting because he knew a lot about a lot. Motorcycles, leatherwork, music, trains, history, traveling, food and drink, animals - especially dogs - RVing (camping), and, of course, magic.
His love of magic started young but later in life, he made it his profession. His magic career of 27 years were his happiest “working” years. He would read about the trick and its history. He put the work in. He was a great storyteller. He had many favorite gigs like Mount Snow, Newport, and Aspen. He made great friends throughout his life and they have been here for him. What a tribute to who he was. Jay was a showman and loved making people happy with his magic. Of course, he was having as much fun as they were.
Jay and Sue, his second wife, celebrated their 40th anniversary two weeks prior. Their similar interests made both of their lives fuller. During the “Harley days,” Jay was the president of the Harley Club in Bernardston. They loved those years, along with Jen. Sue and Jen would take turns riding behind Jay. Good times. Jay and Jen loved attending concerts together. Motley Crue, anyone? Jay and Sue bought an RV later in life and traveled as much as they could, seeing new places across this great country. Jay would always say: “Let’s ride the wheels off of this thing!”
Jay is survived by his wife Sue Hohl McMahon; his daughter Jen McMahon; granddaughter Alexa Coffin, and Jen’s fiance Garret Cross; and his daughter Julie Soucie and her son Karl McDougal. Jay and his sister Sue Louisignau were always there for each other. He is also survived by her, along with her husband Bill and daughter Christina; his in-laws Karen and Wally Snider, and Cheryl and Doug Sykes; his uncles Bob and Frank McMahon; plus many loving cousins, nieces, nephews, and treasured friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, John (Jack) J. McMahon and Dorothy (Dot) B. McMahon; his loving aunt Ruth Bryn; nephew Noel Louisignau; and his loving dogs, Murray, Linus, Toby, Bud, Brandy, Patches, and Chaser. Jay always had a dog by his side. His first wife, Millie Soucie McMahon, died June 21.
A celebration of life will be held at the Plainfield Congregational Church on Sunday, October 2, at 12:30 pm, followed by burial at Hilltop Cemetery, followed by a reception at the Plainfield Town Hall. In lieu of flowers donate to your local animal shelter, The American Cancer Society or any charity of your choice. Jay would thank you. The family says that Jay will be with them always.

The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

Phone: 802-464-3388
Fax: 802-464-7255

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