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John ‘Jack’ Leo Mahoney

FALLS VILLAGE — John “Jack” Leo Mahoney, 73, passed away peacefully on May 14, 2011, surrounded by his family. He was born March 13, 1938, in Rockland, Mass., the son of Florence Mahoney and the late John Francis Mahoney.

Jack graduated from Rockland High School in 1956 and Williams College in 1960. He received an MAT degree from Wesleyan University in 1963 and a CAGS degree from the University of Hartford in 1975.

Jack taught at Ridgefield High School for two years and then came to Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) in 1964, where he served as coach, teacher, supervisor and principal. While he was principal, in 1985, HVRHS was named one of four Outstanding Schools in Connecticut by the National Secondary School Recognition Program. In 1991, Jack took a sabbatical year and traveled to top-rated schools around the nation which resulted in improvements at HVRHS.

An active member of his community, Jack volunteered his time with numerous organizations over the years including the D.M. Hunt Library, Bauer Foundation, Democratic Town Committee, Fulco Project and others. He also created the HVRHS Blue & Gold Alumni Newsletter. Jack received a Community Service Award from the town of Canaan (Falls Village), the Community Award of Merit from HVRHS and official recognition from the governor’s office for his years of service for children and families in Connecticut.

He organized what became the 21st Century Fund to support significant new learning opportunities for students at the high school. Jack has championed the HVRHS Science and Technology Center Building Project. The center will provide unique educational opportunities including robotics, chemistry, physics, biology, forensics and pre-engineering.

Jack was a past president of the National Outlaw and Lawman’s Association and was a founding member of the WGBWS, which took him to his beloved Wild West annually for more than 40 years. He was a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox, as well as of University of Connecticut basketball (both the men and the women). Most of all, Jack took great joy in spending time with his family in his log cabin.

For many years he played, taught and organized tennis games in the Northwest Corner. In 2001, he and Roland Chinatti’s dream of tennis courts at the high school was realized with the dedication of new courts in their name.

In addition to his mother, Florence, Jack is survived by four children, Sheila Hayward and her husband, Michael, of Scarborough, Maine, Michael Mahoney and his wife, Kim, of Columbus, Ohio, Kathleen Mahoney and her husband, Mark LaPlaca, of Storrs, Conn., and Nancy Soper and her husband, David, of North Canaan; six grandchildren, Molly and Colin of Scarborough, Katie and Ben of North Canaan and Drew and Bailey of Storrs; his sister, MaryEllen Mahoney of North Canaan; and several cousins, including Mike Groom of Jensen Beach, Fla.

Anyone who felt that Jack touched his or her life in a small or big way is invited to email the story davidsoper@sbcglobal.net. Jack’s daughter is putting together a book for his grandchildren so they will know just how special their grandfather was.

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, June 10, at 5 p.m. at HVRHS.

Jack’s family hopes to see the realization of his latest dream, the completion of the HVRHS Science and Technology Center. The mission of the Project Oversight Committee is to create an opportunity so compelling, so right for the times and for the students, that community members will step forward to support it.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the 21st Century Fund Science & Technology Center, PO Box 132, Falls Village, CT 06031.

Arrangements are under the care of the Kenny Funeral Home in Sharon.