Robert “Bob” E. Mahoney, 77, took the checkered flag peacefully at home on July 19, 2021. Cause of death may have been from when his liver went into shock from lack of beer and cigarettes he had to give up the last months of his life.
He was born in Kansas City, Mo., on September 1, 1943. His mother promptly began to light prayer candles every week for him in hopes that he would survive to adulthood. He finally made it as he graduated from Manual High and Vocational School in 1961. In February 1965 he started his career at Ford Motor Company and retired after 32 years of service. Bob was a man who enjoyed driving a race car, spending time with his family (preferably at the racetrack), a good joke, watching racing, teaching the grandkids bad habits, watching his grandson race, watching the people he loved succeed, and of course, talking about racing.
Some words of wisdom he passed along was how to throw a punch (thumb must be outside of your fist), don’t be afraid to apologize, stop being an idiot and to always be true to yourself.
He was preceded in death by parents, Sylvester and Mildred Mahoney; brother, Patrick Mahoney; and second wife, Patricia Miller Mahoney.
He leaves behind his children, Scott (Paula) Mahoney, Tammy (Sean) Doughty, and Karen Mahoney; longtime sweetheart-wife, Lela Hunter; ex-wife, Susan Mahoney (married for 30 years); brother, Daniel Mahoney; sister, Mary Ellen (Terry) Gumbert; grandchildren, Matthew Mahoney, Sheana (Mitchell) Cawley, Derrick (Shannon) Mahoney, and Elizabeth Doughty; five great-grandchildren; his partner in crime, Donny Hunter; and many honorary children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren he gathered throughout his life because he was an amazing man and role model.
He was loved and admired by many and will be greatly missed. Go racing!
A visitation will be held from 12 to 2 p.m., Thursday, July 22, 2021. A service will follow at Union Baptist Church, Orrick, Mo., with burial at Moore Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society.
Arrangements in care of Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Excelsior Springs.
Our Sincere Condolences
I send my deepest condolences to you and your family. I was blessed to know him myself and he was a great guy!! He will always be there with you in Spirit just remember that during these difficult times.
He was a great man and a great brother. He will be missed but is at peace now.
Rodney and Kay Clinton
Bobby, You loved me from the minute Mama brought me home from the hospital. For now, I’m left behind here on this earth. I will always love you and miss you, til I join our family in heaven. Give Mama, Daddy and Patrick hugs from me dearest brother.
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. (Abraham Lincoln). 77 years, 10 months, 19 days was the time that Bob Mahoney shared with us. Bob Mahoney was a son, a brother, a husband, a grandpa and Great Grandpa. He was a friend, and a mentor, a protector, and race car driver. But I simply knew him as Dad. I have always felt like the luckiest person in the world to get to call him dad. He was always there for everyone, family, neighbors, colleagues, or friends.
He had 3 children, Scott, Tammy (me), and Karen. He loved to tell the story of how when Scott was born, he was so ugly he didn’t want anyone to visit. When I was born, he wanted everyone to visit his pretty little girt, but no one could come to the hospital because of a (Hong Kong) Influenza Pandemic, then then his 3rd child Karen was born. He said she was so ornery that they closed the maternity ward in the hospital after her.
I can say his parenting style may not have always been conventional, but it was effective. When “watching” us when Mom wasn’t around it could be an adventure. I remember sitting in an old baby swing that he had attached to the rafters in the basement so he could work in his shop. Every time he walked by, he would reach up and give it a little push so we could keep swinging. Also, he let us play on the metal lathe, sitting at the end and pretending to “drive” with the handwheel, or we would pump up the floor jack and ride down to the floor in the garage.
He loved working in his basement workshop, then later building a garage in the back yard. Much to my mom’s dismay, his “little” garage was almost bigger than the house! There he kept us busy sorting bolts or lug nuts or let us play with the air hose so we would “clean” the garage floor. When he wasn’t keeping us busy, we got to help test drive the race car where he would put us in front of him and run the car up and down the street. Piggy back rides to bed were normal. He taught us to water ski, helped with boy scouts, and took a troop of girl scouts camping. Even camping in below freezing temperatures twice with me for a badge that I really wanted. He drove to and help with softball practice. He parented each of us kids not necessarily the same, but as each of us need and loved us all equally.
Besides his family, his other great love was racing his sprint car. Not only did he race at the local tracks around Kansas City, he traveled to some father out. We spent many a weekend night sitting in the stands, getting hit by dirt clots, listening to the roar of the engines, and falling asleep on the bleachers only to wake up to Dad and Mom carrying us to the car. Since this was before ear protection for kids, it could be why my husband complains I can’t hear anymore! He started Scott racing not long after he stopped, showing him how to build a race car from the ground up. He loved to watch Scott and then his grandson Derrick race. He was so proud of them, always willing to give advice, whether it was about how to adjust the car or tips on driving. If a race was on and you came to visit, you better be prepared to sit down and watch with him. If you talked it had better be about the race or be prepared to be ignored.
He always protected those he loved. From taking care of his little sister, to moving her back from California, or giving advice on the best way to handle a situation we were in. His protection sometimes came in unconventional ways. An example of this is after just a few speeding tickets (which I told him was his fault because he was a racer, he didn’t buy it), he put a spring under my gas pedal, hoping if it was harder to press down on, I wouldn’t speed so much. He also rescued me multiple times when I locked my keys in my car, or delivered gas when I ran out.
Dad loved to laugh. He thought the grandkids were great and mostly could do no wrong. He loved to teach them bad habits, like if you had to wipe your nose, you start at your shoulder and wipe your nose down your arm on your shirt sleeve. When he started spending time in the hospital he would joke with and give the nursed a hard time, hoping they would do the same with him. He was quick with a comeback, even when he was so sick he could barely talk.
I’ll end this with two quotes.
“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” Clarence Kelland
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” (Dr. Suess)