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F. Vincent Mahoney, Army code breaker in WWII chemist

March 4, 1920 – Jan. 28, 2015

Francis Vincent Mahoney, a World War II code breaker and a laboratory director for Allied Chemical, died Wednesday in Buffalo. He was 94.

Mr. Mahoney, who was known as “Vin,” was born in North Billerica, Mass., where he graduated from Howe High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lowell Textile Institute and was a member of the college honor society.

He also played baseball in high school and college.

He moved to Buffalo in 1941. In 1942, Mr. Mahoney was recruited by the U.S. Army Signal Corps Reserve Unit and trained in radio repair. He was put on active duty in July 1943 and went to the Army’s Cryptanalysis School in Virginia for training on the German messaging system.

During World War II, he worked as a code breaker, stationed in London, Paris and Germany.

Following the war, Mr. Mahoney was a chemist and dye lab director at the National Aniline Division of Allied Chemical, which later became Buffalo Color Corp.

He retired in 1982.

He kept a large vegetable garden and also grew varieties of flowers and landscape plants.

He enjoyed music, especially classical, was a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox, an avid reader and enjoyed crossword puzzles.

Mr. Mahoney enjoyed taking long walks well into his 80s, and he even walked home from work, as was his custom, during the Blizzard of ’77. He was well-traveled, visiting Europe, Australia and China, along with many national parks.

Mr. Mahoney was a member of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, where he was president of the Holy Name Society and taught religious education.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Helen; three sons, James V., Robert F. and Patrick J.; a daughter, Margaret; and a brother, William P.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, 1140 Abbott Road, Buffalo.

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