Helen Ray (Altenburg) McMahon

Born: Tue., Feb. 18, 1930
Died: Thu., Nov. 9, 2017


Funeral Service


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LEOMINSTER --- Helen Ray McMahon, 87, of Leominster MA, died at 8:30PM, Thursday, November 9, 2017 at her Leominster Crossing residence, surrounded by family.

“Ray” was born February 18, 1930 in Yonkers, NY, daughter of the late Dorothy (Corbett) Altenburg, and William Holmes. She was married to Fred McMahon on April 7, 1951 in Chapmanville, PA. They had been married 58 years when Fred passed away in June 2009.

Ray graduated from Townville High School, PA in 1948. She started work at the American Viscose in Meadville, PA where she met her future husband, Fred. Over the next thirty five years, she held a variety of positions ranging from fork lift driver in a glass plant, greeting card maker to school bus driver.

She attended Chapmanville Community Church and was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Chapmanville Volunteer Fire Dept. She was also a member of the Elks Lodge 2064 in Titusville, PA.

In Ray’s earlier years, she enjoyed boating, camping and traveling with her husband and family. She also enjoyed gardening. After retirement, she and Fred became involved with Fred’s Army reunions and enjoyed traveling to attend them. In her later years, she was an avid reader, enjoyed playing solitaire and loved putting jigsaw puzzles together.

She is survived by her son, Michael McMahon and his wife Linda of Harpswell, ME; a daughter, Susan McMahon and her spouse, Terri Phaneuf of Fitchburg, MA; a granddaughter Megan McMahon of Old Orchard Beach, ME; and Rays beloved cat, Dexter. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Fred McMahon on June 5, 2009.

A remembrance gathering will be held in Leominster, MA. An additional memorial will be held at the Chapmanville Community Church in PA. She will be interred with her beloved husband Fred at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Pennsylvania.

Rays family would like to thank the staff at Leominster Crossing Assisted Living Facility as well as Nashoba Hospice. Their kindness and loving support will always be remembered for how they cared for Ray in her final years.

The family ask that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rays name to the Nashoba Nursing Service and Hospice, 3 Patterson Road, Suite 3, Shirley, MA 01464.

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Jeff & Rhonda Dean
   Posted Sun November 12, 2017
So sorry for your loss.

Keyna Welenc
   Posted Mon November 13, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers are with the McMahon family;
Michael, Linda, Susan, Terri and Megan.

Joe McCauley & Julia Herrick
   Posted Tue November 14, 2017
Dear Sue and Terri, thinking about you during this time of transition. Your love of Momma/Ray was obvious to all who know you. We are so grateful we saw you all in August at the lake, and Ray seemed so happy and in her element. We'll cherish the memory. Love, Julia and Joe

mark royall
   Posted Tue November 14, 2017
Mike sorry to hear, and from reading about her she was a happy sole and loved others a whole bunch and more!!! Mark

Beanie & Mary Anne Shay
   Posted Mon November 20, 2017
Fond memories from Aunt Ray's Pennsylvania family:
1951--as Aunt Arline's youngest, Morris "Beanie" Shay was your parent's ring bearer and later enjoyed many family visits to your farm;
1975--as Mary Anne's one year husband, he made everyone laugh at the end of Mike & Linda's PA reception. Beanie shouted, "You know what that is for, Mike!" when Linda opened the last gift for all to see--an iron skillet from us!!
2009--as all three of Arline's sons and their wives visited Uncle Fred at Erie VA hospital, sharing stories shortly before he went home to die. One of all three McMahon brothers who served during WW-II, Fred's funeral included full military rites, causing our one-year-old granddaughter, Ada Arline, to cry when VFW Post 5958 fired their salute. Our sorrow was eased by requested memories.
--Beanie shared a story about Uncle Fred saving his life. At one summer family gathering, the youngest and still the shortest of most McMahon/Shay relatives, he had unwisely followed others jumping into a stream. Deep under the water, he finally felt someone quickly grabbing his hair, pulling hard to get him out. Beanie pointed to his head, "I guess that's why I have such little hair!"
2017--as we share some good memories, we deeply share your loss. We will always be proud of Uncle Fred, a six-month POW, and Aunt Ray, lovingly laid to rest beside each other at Indiantown Gap National Cemetary, Pennsylvania.




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