April 3, 1935 – June 29, 2019
Her family members would tell you that Patricia McMahon had three top priorities in life – her family, her church community and the sports teams she enthusiastically rooted for at Canisius College.
She and her husband, Donald McMahon, attended hundreds of basketball games and other Canisius sporting events over the course of their 61-year marriage. The couple became friends with many Canisius coaches, athletes and their families. In 2015, the college’s Sports Hall of Fame honored the couple for their support with the Rev. Paul J. Dugan Award.
“My dad was a Canisius graduate, and my mom just joined right in with him on all that,” recalled Karen M. McMahon, a daughter of the couple who serves as a State Assembly member based in Amherst. “My mother was a gifted athlete and a super sports fan, not only of Canisius College sports, but all her kids’ and grandkids’ events.”
Mrs. McMahon, the former Patricia Sierzchula, died on June 29 in Hospice Mitchell Campus in Cheektowaga, following a short illness. The longtime Amherst resident was 84 and she died just one day after her 61st wedding anniversary.
Born in Buffalo, Mrs. McMahon grew up in the city’s Lovejoy neighborhood, where she attended the old St. Agnes Catholic School. She graduated from South Park High School in 1953. She worked for several years as a secretary for a fire safety equipment firm before marrying Donald McMahon, a guidance counselor, in 1958.
Mrs. McMahon was a multisport athlete in the days before women's sports were widely supported or encouraged. She played softball and basketball, and bowled on Catholic Youth Organization teams at St. Agnes. Her bowling skills earned her a State Amateur Women’s Class B championship in 1958. She anchored many teams in local bowling leagues and was a highly successful participant on the old “Strikes, Spares and Misses” television show hosted by the late Chuck Healy.
Her husband, a former member of the golf team at Canisius College, taught her the game and “she was a natural,” Karen McMahon said.
The McMahons became a formidable duo in the Mr. and Mrs. Club Championships at South Shore Country Club in Hamburg, capturing the title in the mid-1970s.
Mrs. McMahon also excelled at racquetball and ruled the family pingpong table for decades, schooling her five children and grandchildren in the game.
She and her husband also won several other sports-related awards from Canisius College, including the All-Century Fan Award, the Canisius Cage Club Center Court Award, and the Men’s Basketball Team First Award.
Mrs. McMahon was a member and volunteer at Christ the King Catholic Church in Snyder for 54 years. She and her husband enjoyed traveling and leading trips for the St. Joseph’s Guild, an organization of local Catholics, during the 1960s and 1970s.
In addition to her husband and Karen McMahon, she is survived by another daughter, Susan R. McMahon; three sons, Donald Jr., Thomas P. and Patrick J.; two sisters, Frances Fachko and Kathleen Mazurkiewicz; a brother, Raymond Sierzchula; and eight grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Wednesday, July 3, in Christ the King Church, 30 Lamarck Drive, Snyder.