On behalf of Dennis’ wife Linda, their son Philip and daughter Stephanie, thank you for your loving friendship and for sharing
in this Celebration of Dennis’ life.
Devoted is the word I would use for the kind of husband, father, brother, uncle, friend that Dennis was. Linda, Stephanie and Philip—not too long ago Dennis told me how much of a miracle you are to him; he loved being a family; being YOUR family.
I know there are many many blessings and beautiful memories of your 36 years together as a family—you have spoken fervently about many of them these past few months and days. May those memories
give you comfort and may the love of so many friends and family also bless your hearts.
Dennis was avid about everything family. School activities, family vacations, Landucci or McMahon gatherings for confirmation,
graduation, baseball and basketball games, dance recitals—whether downtown, across the country or around the world, that’s where he wanted to be. There has hardly ever a time that Dennis didn’t extend an invitation to stop by or even stay overnight if one of us was traveling into or out of San Francisco airport (which always included his personal taxi service as well!), or attending a Landucci/McMahon family event or
just passing through the big city.
Politics, local high school and college sports, the 49ers, the Giants, being out on the golf course…things he not only enjoyed but loved sharing with loved ones. Just one word regarding politics: During the recall election in 2003, when Dennis campaigned as a gubernatorial candidate to share his
vision for the future of California, I was never so proud to cast my vote.
As we all know, Dennis loved to tell stories; detailed stories. His storytelling was always from the heart, full of passion and
intellectual prowess; always a sincere desire to connect, to explore, to inspire. Dennis’ attention to every nuance of the tale at hand, was a gift.
Devotion to his faith and active participation in the celebration of his faith was an abiding joy for Dennis. Whether or not one agreed theologically didn’t matter. You couldn’t help but be touched by his
passion and commitment; passion and commitment that often reminded me of our Dad.
I loved listening to him share about his involvement a St. Cecilia's--from being a lector to training/mentoring the altar servers to taking up the collection. His enthusiasm for women being involved as well, and his efforts in making that happen at St. Cecilia’s, was wonderful. Being the Thurifer at Mass—the one to assist with incensing, was a meaningful expression of prayer for Dennis. Now with Dennis as the
resident Thurifer in heaven, swirls of fog over the ocean, fluffy clouds in the sky will never look the same…his spirit blessing us
His pilgrimage to Lourdes during one of his visits to see Maribeth and Kim in France was the outpouring of his faith in a new way. It was beautiful to witness Dennis now reaching out to the Saints in ministry to his own body and soul. Just being there was glorious for him. Plus he followed through on his desire to lector at one of the
English speaking Masses for, as he put it, "It’s my ministry. I can do it in Lourdes too." (continued next column)
In May of this year Dennis rather hesitantly shared about having seen something
on the ceiling above the bed. He told me he wasn’t afraid; that he just wanted to be “ready to say something” to them when they returned. “Do you think it’s Mom and Dad,” I asked. After a prayerful pause he turned his eyes toward me and said he wondered what Mom and Dad would say. T: What do you want to hear from them?
He replied, “How long do I have?”
It will never seem long enough for all of us who loved him and yet that conversation was revealing of the nearness of his passing to the next phase of his life, and his being ready; not wanting to leave his family and friends, but ready, deep in his soul.
As his health became more fragile Dennis shared that as the oldest he felt responsible to be a good role model for us, even in dying. Oldest of us six McMahons? Oldest in his own family too. This was not something he took on as a burden but rather, it was consistent with his lifetime of caring for and tending to those he loved. All of
us were in awe of his resiliency through the almost ten years of health struggles. As recent as the past 2 months he attended a McMahon gathering in Fremont and the annual Landucci picnic in Walnut Creek; such precious time together and priceless memories.
Dennis, you were and always will be a role model of unending devotion and care. Thank you, thank you for the multitude of ways—visible and invisible, known and unknown, that you loved each of us and let us love you.
Andrea Bocelli was one of many musical artists Linda and Dennis enjoyed listening to, especially during dinner together. This morning I believe the heavens are joining Andrea in singing one of
his most beautiful songs—Time to Say Goodbye. Time for Dennis, and for us, to say goodbye to life as we have known it and open to
the new life—Dennis’ and our own, that grace will reveal, the more our hearts are open to receive it.
The songs says:
Time to say goodbye to countries I never saw and shared with you,
Now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you on ships across seas which,
No, no, exist no longer….
When you are far away I dream on the horizon
And words fail, and, Yes, I know,
That you are with me;
You, my moon, are here with me,
My sun, you are here with me, with me…
Dennis’ years in the Navy were very significant to him. He recently mentioned to me the official song of the U.S. Navy not so much for the tune or the lyrics but for it’s title. Two simple words—anchors
aweigh-- were holding meaning for him not only in life, but in his passing.
On the website for the Navy Band it states:
The word “weigh” in this sense comes from the archaic word meaning
to heave, hoist or raise.
“Aweigh” means that that action
has been completed.
The anchor is aweigh when it is pulled from
This event is duly noted in the ship’s log.
Your love, and our love for you Dennis, is forever logged in our hearts and souls. Anchors aweigh our dear beloved. We love you always.