Kevin Patrick Mahoney passed away unexpectedly in his sleep Jan. 23, 2019, of a heart attack.
Kevin was born to Don “Pat” Mahoney and Marilyn Ryan Mahoney in Billings, Feb. 8, 1963. From early on, Kevin’s love for life was evident. As a toddler with curly hair and bright green eyes, he already possessed the infectious smile and enthusiasm we remember throughout his life. He was a talented athlete as a youth. He was fullback and linebacker in football, a talented basketball player and a top all-star pitcher in baseball. He was dealt a setback when at the age of 13 he was diagnosed with a genetic lower back problem and had to quit contact sports. He faced this challenge with his great personality and became a friend to nearly everyone. He was able to play the non-contact sport called golf. He loved and excelled at the game of golf as his parents and grandparents had. Few could hit the ball farther than Kevin. But his love of meeting people and camaraderie might have been the real reason he enjoyed the game.
Kevin graduated from West High School in 1980 and then studied business at three different schools: Montana State University, a community college in Phoenix, Arizona, and also The University of Montana.
He possessed a great mind but didn’t enjoy learning for the sake of education. He learned quickly when he could see how it applied to action. He was a person of action and proved it with many successes in business and life. He built and managed two restaurants, The New Pacific Grill in Missoula and The Sports Page in Billings. He worked at The Granary Restaurant in Billings several different times. He first worked there when he was 15 years old as a dishwasher. Years later, after returning from Missoula, he managed the popular Granary Restaurant for several years. After that, he proved his abilities again by trying the insurance and financial industry. He studied and obtained the necessary securities licenses. He worked at it, but the industry was changing and he didn’t feel comfortable with the modern sales techniques. He married Tara Schell Mahoney during this time. But the strains of modern life are great and they divorced after five years. He managed the kitchen at a retirement community and did many other things, but ultimately he turned back to good hard work. For the last decade or so he became a talented sheetrock taper and finisher. He was proud of the work and viewed his craft like an artist. His walls were perfect and his textured ceilings were truly art.
And then he took the responsibility which revealed his kind and giving nature most. He lived with and cared for his parents, Pat and Marilyn. He was always original and was perhaps an unconventional caregiver, but he and his faithful dog Nigel gave the parents security and friendship. He enabled them to live out their lives in the home they loved. He was there for their decline, and it weighed heavily on him.
He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Pam Mahoney of Crested Butte, Colorado. He was also the proud uncle to four nieces and nephews: Bethany Harpel, John Mahoney, Marshall Mahoney and Mary Dukes. They are all adults now, and Kevin was always a big part of their lives. There are four grandnieces, Leigh, Hazel, Katie, Olivia, and two grandnephews, Will and Tanner, who will all miss Uncle Kevin. He is also survived by the countless lifelong friends who were like family to Kevin in so many cases.
Obituaries are always just an eloquent notice of death. The life and love of Kevin Mahoney could fill volumes. And even then, like with every person, we can’t see all the joy and pain that made him who he was. Those who knew him are all quite heartbroken. He was a rare person. And while he didn’t always embrace the compromises of conventional religion, everyone around him knows he went into eternity with a real faith in a Savior and loving God.
Memorials are being planned for some time in the spring. Times and locations will be shared here and on social media so that many friends and family can celebrate Kevin’s life.