Jean Mahoney, of Boynton Beach, passed away Saturday, May 9, 2020 on her 97th birthday in Trustbridge Hospice. Born Jean Valeria Gardner in Harris, NY, Jean knew from a young age that she wanted to be a nurse. In the summer of 1941 she was accepted into the nursing program at St. Luke's Hospital in Newberg, NY after completing her general studies at University of Alabama. When World War II began, she couldn't wait to join the Navy; she worked as a nurse at Norfolk Naval Yard and loved every minute of it. She met and married Raymond Mahoney in December of 1944. They had three children, Pam, Jim and Cathi and in the summer of 1960 moved their family to Florida. Jean was a natural born leader with strong leanings in community service. That combined with her love of country led her in helping to start Lantana's first American Legion Auxiliary, Unit #269 in 1972. Membership soared under Jean's leadership. Some of her favorite jobs were Leadership Training, Girl's State and Girl's Nation. Jean worked tirelessly in the Legion and in 1985 was honored with being the Southern Division National Vice President. In 2018 at age 95 she attended her 45th National Convention, no longer able to walk in the parade but there with her granddaughter as she pushed her along the route.
As much as Jean loved public service, she loved her family more. She is predeceased by her husband Raymond Mahoney, granddaughters Heather Mahoney (Willhite) and Lisa Banks (Bowers). Survivors include brother Roger Gardner (Mary) of Highland, NY, daughter Pam Banks (Brad) of Tequesta, son James (Susan) of Atlanta GA, and daughter Cathi Mahoney of Palm Beach Gardens, grandchildren James Banks, Michael Banks, Shannon Frederick, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren all who love her very much.
A Celebration of Jean's Life will be held soon as the pandemic allows.
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Published in The Palm Beach Post from May 12 to May 13, 2020.