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1938 - 2015
Mahoney, Dr. James Richard Whose distinguished career as an academic, a scientist, a business executive, and the director of key U.S. Government environmental programs spanned five decades, died peacefully on September 23, 2015 at his home in Eagle, ID. Jim was also a devoted husband, father of eight and grandfather to twelve. Before retiring to Idaho in 2006, Jim was based in Washington, DC and served as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Commerce and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. During his tenure at NOAA, Jim also served as the Director of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, and was responsible for overseeing the Federal Government's numerous research studies and developing policy directives on climate change. Jim was born on September 19, 1938 in Syracuse, NY, and attended Christian Brothers Academy followed by Le Moyne College, where he earned a Bachelor's degree Magna Cum Laude in Physics. He then proceeded to MIT, earning a Doctorate in Meteorology and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. In 1966, Jim moved across town to Harvard, as a well respected Associate Professor of Applied Meteorology in the School of Public Health for the next seven years. In 1968 Jim co-founded Environmental Research and Technology, Inc., one of the earliest environmental engineering and services companies, serving as Senior Vice President until the sale of ERT in 1983. His excellence in environmental management issues continued on the West Coast, where Jim became Director of Bechtel's global environmental industries business group, based in San Francisco. In 1988, Jim accepted an important role in the Executive Office of the President under the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, merging his scientific and leadership talents as Director of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program. Upon completion of that government assignment, Jim returned to the private sector as Senior Vice President of International Technology Corporation in Los Angeles until his assignment at NOAA. He is survived by Taya, his wife of 25 years, their daughters Courtney and Caitlin of Eagle, ID. He is also survived by his former wife, Margaret (Eells) Everbeck and their six children: Deborah Briggs and her husband Geoff Briggs of Randolph, MA; James Mahoney and his wife Jane Chung of Columbia, MD; Robert Mahoney and his wife Marcia Mahoney of Byfield, MA; Peter Mahoney and his wife Joanne Mead of Newton, MA; David Mahoney and his wife Elizabeth Mahoney of Roslindale, MA; and Paul Mahoney and his wife Mary Tamer of West Roxbury, MA. Jim is also survived by 12 grandchildren. Jim's family already celebrated his life at a Funeral Mass in Idaho and a memorial service will take place on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Newton Highlands Congregational Church, 54 Lincoln St, Newton, Massachusetts.
Published in The Boston Globe on Oct. 4, 2015
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