Joseph Ralph McMahon

Joseph Ralph McMahon


Joseph Ralph McMahon, of Middletown, died Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Born May 11, 1928 to Edward A. and Anna Burns McMahon Joe was raised in Newark and Loch Arbor. At an early age, he worked in the family business, McMahon Trucking. He was a lifeguard in Asbury Park where he earned the rank of Captain. He met his wife of 57 years, Jacqueline Andrews, at the Allenhurst Beach Club. They moved to Rumson in 1957, Florida in 1979 and back to NJ in 1989. During the Korean War, he served in Berlin in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps.

A graduate of Seton Hall Prep, College and Law, he was the first person to graduate from all three schools making him an avid Pirate fan. After graduation from law school, he accepted assignment as Assistant U.S. Attorney under Eisenhower where he was Chief of Organized Crime and Anti-Racketeering. After leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office, he was a partner with the Newark firm Lum, Buinno and Tompkins. He represented Bayonne, Barrel and Drum in their victory against the N.J. Turnpike Authority in 1970. It was the largest settlement in the State of NJ to that date. A Legislative Aide for Sen. Richard Stout, Joe was the GOP choice for U.S. Congressional candidate in 1966, a nomination he did not accept. In 1971, he was the top choice for the NJ US Attorney, another honor he declined. After his return from Florida in 1989, he went to work for Mecca & Sons (& daughters!) in Jersey City. He was an auctioneer for many charitable events, including the Monmouth Park Charity Ball, MCSPCA events and Art for Arthritis Ball. He was a Board Member for the following: The Cancer Society (chair), Children's Psychiatric Center, Monmouth County ARC, Hemophiliac Pro-Am Celebrity Golf Tournament (chair). He and his wife were National Multiple Sclerosis Society local chairmen and founded the local celebrity golf tournament with NY Giants coach Alex Webster. A member of Deal Golf Club and a founding member Navesink Country Club he loved golf. The caddies would fight over who got to walk with him and joked that he carried a TV in his bag because it was so heavy - he probably did. He was the attorney for the N.J. State Golfers Association and the N.J. Section of the PGA (lifetime member) and travelled for many years to Hilton Head to play in the pro-am for the Heritage. Joe opened their vacation home to young PGA professionals trying to survive on the tour. He was instrumental in expanding the tour to benefit these lesser known players. Nicknamed "Loophole", a friend once commented that Joe could make a valium nervous and that demeanor served him well in the courtroom. Young law students starting out often sought his counsel and support.

He played basketball at the Newark YMCA every day at lunchtime during his years at the law firm. He and Jacque were avid Yankee fans and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Yankee Stadium. He counted many sports figures as friends and was a member of the Madison Square Garden Club. A member of Peninsula House Beach Club, he judged swim meets for the North Shore League of which he also served as president. Other affiliations: Chairman of the American Bar Association, Section and Zoning, Condemnation and Land Planning Use; Chairman Rumson N.J. Zoning Board of Adjustment; General Counsel to the N.J. State Nurses Association; Trustee, Seton Hall University; president of Law School Alumni; Chairman Jr. Section of NJ Bar Association; General Counsel Inland Multiple Peril Society; Delegate to the 3rd Circuit Judicial Conference; Counsel Susquehanna Railroad during Chapter 10.

He was truly a character with a bigger than life presence. The huge trademark cigar and drink, gone for many years, he could still be recognized by his comb-over hair-do and razor sharp wit. As irreverent as he was about many things, he had a genuine deep relationship with God and Heaven is a much more colorful place with his presence. Whatever he did, he did it big and liked to bring others along for the ride. Joe's greatest joy was his grandsons. He always asked them "Do you know how much I love you?" with the correct reply being "up to the sky!"

Surviving are his wife, Jacqueline Andrews McMahon; daughters, Cee-Cee Capone and her husband Jeff, and Cordie Adam and her husband George; grandsons, Peter Jeffrey Capone, Charles Joseph (Chase) Adam, and George Tucker Adam. Also surviving is his beloved Golden Retriever, Andrew.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Published in Asbury Park Press on Jan. 23, 2013