June 8, 1949 – January 10, 2015
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Daniel McMahon, at home with his wife and daughters at his side, and enveloped in the warmth and spirit of the many friends and family who accompanied Dan on his 14-month journey since being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Dan was born in Paisley, Scotland to Alice (Johnston) and Daniel McMahon. Predeceased by his parents and first wife, Dava (Gray) of 30 years, he is survived by loving wife, Cheryl (Maguire) of 8½ years; daughters Kristy (Jay) O’Neill and Danielle Lindgren of Comox; grandchildren Nikki, Jade and Domenyck Lindgren; sister Kathleen (Graham) Byars of Dalgety Bay, Scotland; sisters-in-law Donna Hernblad, of Chilliwack, BC, Rev. Charlene (John) MacKnight of Miramichi, NB and Janice (Reg) Flowers of Saint John, NB; 3 nieces, 2 nephews, several cousins, and a very special aunt and uncle, May and Ted Arsenault of Squamish, BC.
As a teenager, Dan left home to join the British Merchant Navy, sailing out of Liverpool, England to ports in the Far East, a result of which he developed a deep appreciation for the Asian culture. Dan immigrated to Canada in 1968, arriving in Loon Lake, SK where he worked with his Uncle Ted in the Department of Natural Resources. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1969, serving in all three environments (Army, Navy, Air Force) with postings on the HMCS Iroquois and in Chilliwack, Edmonton, Germany, Shearwater and Comox. He served with the Canadian Military Engineers and, in the Air Force, was a firefighter by trade. He transferred from regular service to the reserves in 1993. In the late 90’s he was contracted to CFB Esquimalt as Respiratory Protection Co-ordinator, took a position there as a General Safety Officer and finished his career as General Safety Officer at 19 Wing Comox, retiring in February 2011.
Dan served as a member of the Courtenay Volunteer Fire Department from 1992-2001 and was an active volunteer with the Department’s Fire Safety House at local schools as recently as October 2014. For a number of years he served as Local Co-ordinator and coach with the Comox Valley Special Olympics organization.
Dan was a devout member of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Comox. He contributed to the church in many capacities over the years, organizing parish picnics and serving as a minister of the Eucharist. He was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus Dr. Briggs Council #4597.
Soccer was Dan’s passion – in particular the Glasgow Celtics. He played the sport from a young age, spent many years coaching, started the Lahr Minor Soccer Association while in Germany, played on the Courtenay Labatt’s Men’s Soccer Team, and had just returned to practices with a local club when he became ill.
Dan took up a new interest in the last couple of years learning to play the side drum with the Comox Valley Society Pipe Band.
Dan loved to explore new places. During his two postings in Germany, he and his family travelled extensively around Europe. Dan and Cheryl enjoyed the Caribbean, Hawaii and cruising, often accompanied on these trips by good friends. They also cherished the times they spent in their trailer at their favorite Vancouver Island RV parks.
Dan was proud of his Scottish heritage and hosted annual Robbie Burns dinners for friends and family. Of course he enjoyed a good drink of Scotch. Dan loved to make people laugh and was the life of every party. A kind, generous and loyal man whose integrity meant everything to him, he was well respected in the community and will be deeply missed.
There will be visitation at Comox Valley Funeral Home, 1101 Ryan Road, Courtenay, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 16. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, 1599 Tunner Drive, Courtenay, at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 17th, followed by a reception in the Parish Hall where remembrances will be shared.
Those wishing to make a donation in Dan’s memory may consider St. Joseph’s General Hospital Foundation, 2137 Comox Avenue, Comox, BC V9M 1P2 (earmarked for the Cancer Care Unit) or Glacier View Lodge Society, 2450 Back Road, Courtenay, BC V9N 8B5 (earmarked for the Adult Day Program Project).
The family is especially grateful to Drs. Wiens, Winter and Sandwith, the Home & Community Care Palliative Nursing Team, and Cheryl’s Glacier View Lodge family for their excellent care of Dan; also to the many friends who supported the family with prayers, visits and food during this difficult time.