Alice Doyle Mahoney died peacefully on Tuesday, March 29th at sunrise in her Phoenix home surrounded by six of her nine children. She was 87. Born into one of San Francisco’s most prominent families, she graduated from Dominican College in 1944 and went to work as a nurse’s aide during the war. On a weekend visit to her uncle’s home in Carmel, she met 27-year-old U.S. Navy Lt. William P. Mahoney, Junior, en route to the war in the South Pacific. They got engaged before he shipped out and were married when he returned nearly two years later in May 1946. They then moved to Arizona and bought an old farm in north central Phoenix that became a haven for dogs and horses, artists and activists, the occasional Kennedy, and an unending stream of like-minded spirits from across the country and around the globe.
Alice Mahoney was an accomplished equestrian, a devoted student of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, a loyal alumna of The Sacred Heart (her San Francisco high school) and a steadfast soldier of a generation of progressive causes that began with the struggle for civil rights in the 1940s in Phoenix. No experience so captured her idealism and energy as the Mahoney years in Ghana. A wise and nurturing mother, she filled her days by giving, forgiving and never giving up.
Her beloved husband, former U.S. Ambassador Bill Mahoney, died in April 2000 after 53 years of graceful marriage. She is survived by her children: William, Gladys, Mary, Richard, Eileen, Lawrence, Justin, Noel, and Sheila, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Visitation will be Friday, April 1 at 9:30am, followed by the Rosary at 10:00am and Funeral Mass at 10:30am at Saints Simon & Jude Cathedral. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be sent to Andre House, 213 S. 11th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85007.