James Thomas McMahon was born to Clark and Evelyn (Kent) McMahon in Red Cloud, Nebraska, on his father’s birthday, November 26, 1942. He departed this life on Friday, December 14, 2018 at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital in Hastings, Nebraska.
James (Jim, Tom) graduated from Red Cloud High School in 1961. He attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, studying Electrical Engineering on a Regents Scholarship. He enlisted in the United States Army for 4 years and was a Vietnam veteran. While in the Army, Jim earned Expert Rifleman for rifle and carbine and was a communication specialist, setting up communication installations in Vietnam and in the United States. He was one of six the Army with this training. His scores on the entrance exams were some of the highest the Army had seen and he was able to choose what school he wanted to attend.
After the Army, Jim attended Control Data Institute in Minneapolis. He then went to San Jose, California to maintain one of the largest computers in the world. While in California, he continued with two of his favorite hobbies – motorcycle racing and guns. After retiring from Control Data, he became a partner in the Powder Horn Gun shop in San Jose. He later opened his own gun smithing shop J&M Customs. His pride was a competition gun he built that won the Ladies World Pistol Competition by a young lady from Japan. He and his wife, Jane, also organized competition shoots in the San Jose area.
Jim married Jane Otwell in San Jose in 1984. They lived there wither two children until they retired. When Jane’s children were still at home, Jim would sew costumes for the various theme parties they held for birthdays and special occasions. His favorite creations were renaissance costumes and a Christening dress worm by their granddaughters Penny and Ruby.
After retiring, Jim and Jane traveled the west coast before settling in Florence, Oregon. Jim and Jane enjoyed 27 years of marriage before her passing in October 2011. Jim moved back to Nebraska in 2017, to be closer to his sister when his health was failing.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane, and his parents, Evelyn and Clark McMahon.
Left to treasure his memory are his sister, Janis (John) Fern of Glenvil, Nebraska; step-daughter, Diana (Jason) Parksion and family of Albany, Oregon; step-son, David Otwell and family of Washington; nephews, James Fern of Hastings, Nebraska; Jamison and Cooper Fern of Staplehurst, Nebraska; 5 grandchildren and several cousins including Patti Blankenbaker of Red Cloud.
There will be no visitation or service at this time, Jim’s wishes were for his ashes to be taken to Oregon.
Memorials may be given to Mary Lanning Hospice, Red Cloud Cemetery Fund or your local D.A.V.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970
Phone (402) 746-2500