- Barbara Ellen Mahany, 88, long time teacher in the Easton school system, died after several years of declining health, on April 5, 2017 at the Aroostook Health Center, Mars Hill, with her sister Carolyn at her side. She was born on May 5, 1928, in Presque Isle, the eldest daughter of Luman P. and Augusta (Hayden) Mahany. Duty, responsibility, and love defined her.
She grew up on the family farm on the Mahany Road, Easton. She was a communicant of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Mars Hill. Barbara attended Easton schools, first the one-room Mahany School, where, from the time she was in the sixth grade, she built the fires during the winter and acted as janitor, keeping the place neat and clean, throughout the school year. Following graduation from the eight year program at the Mahany School, she entered Easton High School, from which she graduated in June, 1946. Growing up, Barbara always wanted to be a teacher, so she enrolled at Aroostook State Normal School (UMPI). Later, she transferred to the University of Maine (Orono) where she received her Bachelor and Master degrees.
Barbara taught 37 years in Easton, the first three years in the lower grades, then at the junior high level. Before taking the position in Easton, she had taught a few years in the Winthrop and Orono school systems. A highly effective teacher, she was greatly respected by her students, their parents, her colleagues and the supporting staff at the schools where she taught. Some of their observations through the years include: "you always knew where Barb Mahany stood"; "she was tough but she was fair"; "she helped me out a lot"; "she was one of my favorite teachers"; or "she was my favorite teacher". She did expect students to pay attention and to work up to their full potential. For her part, she would spare neither time nor effort, in school or after school, to assure her students would learn and succeed in her classes. Barbara loved children and she loved teaching; teaching was the fulfillment of her dream and is what gave her life special meaning. By any measure, she was a "master teacher".
Barbara was devoted to her family, and, along the way of life, each and every member has been the recipient not only of her love and loyalty, but also of her remarkable generosity. It bears mentioning that Barbara was a very frugal person, which allowed her to help many others.
Especially dear to Barbara's heart were her nieces and nephews. She loved showering them with attention, playing with them when they were growing up, driving them to events, or places they wanted to go, and helping them through any problems they encountered in school or out. One of them said, "Aunt Barbie is really the one who taught me how to read", and they in turn, always remained close to their "Aunt Barbie", visiting her, and helping with her care whenever they could.
Barbara is survived by her sisters; Carolyn Mahany and Brenda (Robert) McAllister, her nephews; John Luman (Gabriella) Mahany and Thomas McAllister, her nieces; Teri-Ann McAllister (Pete) Stofiel, Carla (William) Leathem, Kathy (David) Cole, Mary (Michael) Schwartz, Carol (Robert Friedrich) Mahany, Judy (Darren Webber) Mahany, her grand-nephews; Hayden McAllister, Sean Leathem, Michael (Heather) Leathem and son Kaelan, Matthew (Chelsey) Cole, Patrick Schwartz, Adam Schwartz, Trevor Stofiel, Brian (Shauna) Mahany and sons; Noah and Elijah, grand-nieces; Emily Stofiel, Erin Cole, Katie Van Riper (Carol's daughter), Tanja Mahany (Jeremy) Solberg and sons; Kaigan and Killian; many dear cousins, including Paul Lynch, Gloria Irvine, Michael Lynch, sister Joyce Mahany, RSM, Anne Marie Thomas, Keith Mahaney, Matt and Jay McKenney and a dear cousin by marriage, Bertha (Godin) Mahaney.
In addition to her parents, Barbara was predeceased by her brother, Gerald Mahany and his wife Lauretta Kelley Mahany, an infant brother, John Hayden Mahany, and her nephew, James Mahany.
The family of Barbara wish to express their deepest gratitude to all the medical staff and workers at the Aroostook Health Center for the expert and compassionate care Barbara received. May God bless you all.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m., May 11, 2017, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Parish of the Precious Blood with The Very Rev. Jean Paul Labrie, Celebrant. Interment will follow at Fairmount Cemetery, Presque Isle. Donations may be made in Barbara's memory to Easton Elementary School Library, P.O. Box 126, Easton, ME 04740 or to a charity of one's choice. Online condolences may be expressed at www.duncan-graves.com.
Published on  April 19, 2017