DELMAR - Jane Marie McMahon, of Delmar, died Sept. 19 at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter's in Albany after a yearlong illness. She was 91. She was born in the Bronx, the daughter of William A. and Fawn Shine, and raised in Westchester County, N.Y. communities including Hawthorne, White Plains and Briarcliff. She was a graduate of Briarcliff High School and received a Bachelor's degree from Good Counsel College in White Plains, graduating in 1948. After college she worked at several local radio stations, including in the programming department of WFAS in White Plains.
After a pause to raise her four sons and one daughter, she embarked on a journalism career of more than twenty years. She started in 1969 with the Putnam County Courier and went on to report for the Putnam Trader, and Reporter Dispatch. With the Courier she wrote her first feature on the filming of the musical Hello, Dolly In Garrison, N.Y., in which she had the opportunity interview actor-producer Gene Kelly. It would be the first of many star interviews, which would include the actors Helen Hayes, Betsy Palmer, Molly Picon, and Edward Herrmann. She joined the Reporter Dispatch as a fulltime reporter in 1971, where she served a number of editorial roles. A sharply intuitive and competitive news reporter on the county, school district and town government beats, she turned to full-time feature writing as Putnam Bureau Lifestyles editor in the late 1970s and 1980s.
She was married September 8, 1951 to Edmund J. McMahon of White Plains. She lived in the town of Cortlandt before moving in 1966 to Mahopac, where she was a parishioner of St. John the Evangelist Church. She retired in 1990 to the Otsego County hamlet of Westville, where she continued to write freelance feature articles for publications including the quarterly magazine Kaatskill Life and the daily Oneonta Star. She was also a member of the St. Mary's Church choir in Cooperstown and worked for the Glimmerglass Opera as a publicist. She moved in 2002 to Cobleskill and in 2009 to Delmar, where she was a parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle Church.
Witty, warm and energetic, she had an infectious laugh and deep love of music, comedy and travel, having made trips later in life to Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austria, and the Czech Republic. She was a devout Catholic and in addition to choir served local parishes in a number of capacities, including Eucharistic minister.
She was predeceased by her husband, Edmund J. McMahon of Delmar, N.Y. Warned by doctors early in her marriage that she would never be able to have children of her own, she is survived by 39 direct descendants, including sons Edmund J. (Joan) of Delmar, Peter of Patterson, Robert (Elizabeth) of Alexandria, Va., and Christopher of Delmar; daughter, Patricia (Steven) Houser of Carmel; 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother, William A. Shine of Great Neck, N.Y.
The family wishes to thank the staff of the Hospice Inn and the staff of Bethlehem Commons in Delmar. Visiting hours are Thursday, Sept. 21st from 4 to 8 pm at the Applebee Funeral Home, 403 Kenwood Ave., Delmar. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 9:30 am Friday, Sept. 22nd at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 35 Adams Pl., Delmar. Interment will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery, Cooperstown. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory are requested to the Hurricane Relief Efforts of Catholic Relief Services, www.crs.org.