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Kurt Mahoney


1941 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Flowers
Kurt Mahoney Obituary
Kurt Mahoney, Ph. D.

Tempe - Kurt Mahoney, Ph. D., died Aug. 9 in Tempe after a decade of battling bladder cancer. He is survived by his wife, Patty of Scottsdale, daughter, Tera Smith (John) of Flagstaff, son Tyle of Los Angeles, son Trent (Lisa) of Texas, stepdaughter Cheryl Klein (Marc) of Gilbert, stepdaughter Maryann Early (JD) of Laveen and three grandchildren, Aiden Klein, Randi Mahoney, and Hayden Ess. He is also survived by his sister, Karen Caton (Johnny) of Phoenix and his niece Stephanie Wright (John) of Gilbert.

He earned Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees from Arizona State University. He studied briefly at the University of Arizona as well.

He was a psychologist in private practice in Tempe for many years, a professor of psychology at Mesa Community College, Executive Director of Mesa Association for Retarded Citizens (MARC Center), founder of Developmental Behavioral Consultants (DBC), and Daybreak Behavioral Resources. He was also the inventor of the Potty Pager, a device for toilet training children. He was most proud of his ability to treat dually-diagnosed children and adolescents through residential treatment group homes throughout the Valley and northern Arizona.

Kurt maintained boundless energy in his professional pursuits, enjoying working at three enterprises in a single work day. He was tireless in his efforts to treat the array of behavioral issues his patients presented, especially through the group homes. He was proud of the reputation he developed among referring agencies. Many recognized him as the therapist who could reach the most deeply disturbed young people.

Upon retirement, his greatest joy was being a grandfather. As his illness became more debilitating, his demeanor and level of energy would spring back upon interaction with his grandchildren. He played a whole-hearted game of hide and seek with his three-year-old grandson, Aiden, mere weeks prior to his death. He insisted upon walking into the auditorium for 13-year-old Randi's dance recital, even though he had to stop to rest every few steps he was so ill. He saw himself as 21-year-old Hayden's personal consultant in all things relating to education. Anyone who inquired about any of the three witnessed an open display of emotion that defied his belief that he was driven by data-based findings, not sentimental feelings.

He and Patty travelled through the US and Europe as she struggled to expand his range of interest from science to the arts. He came to appreciate music, art and theater through her passion for the humanities.

Visit the Resthaven Carr-Tenney Mortuary website for service dates and times. In lieu of flowers, Kurt would want donations in his memory to any agency devoted to children.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 12, 2018
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