James E. Mahoney, age 67 passed away at his home in Newton on August 8, 2020 due to complications related to a bicycle accident in July 2019.
A beloved father, husband, brother, and friend, Jim had a long career at Bank of America. He was a loving and devoted husband to his wife Margaret “Peggy” McLoughlin. His great joy was his three children Caitria, Jake, and Gracia. Jim loved finding creative ways to spend time with each of them. He also was a close brother to
his seven brothers and sisters, finding time to keep up to date with all of them. As his wife Peggy often said being with Jim was like standing in the sunshine.
Jim was born in Newton on September 7, 1952 one of the eight children of the late John J. and Mary F. Mahoney. He graduated from Xavier High School in Concord Class of 1970. Following high school he graduated from Colby College in Maine in 1974 and went on to receive a masters degree from Harvard University in Public Health Policy.
Jim Mahoney was the definition of the man in the room where it happens; often quietly and always adeptly merging strategy, policy and news during his 25 years at Bank of America and its predecessor FleetBoston. During his tenure, he led public policy, strategy, issues management, media relations, and communications globally. More recently he concentrated his efforts on some of the key public policy issues facing Bank of America, both locally and internationally. Key among them was his particularly strong leadership in the company’s $125 billion environmental initiative, supporting clean energy and lower carbon financing solutions and delivering on the bank’s environmental commitment years ahead of schedule, only to help establish a new $300 billion goal. Influenced by his years in California, working for Governor Jerry Brown in urban and environmental affairs, he applied that early knowledge, and his considerable talent and wisdom to help Bank of America form key partnerships with Stanford, Harvard, Georgetown, The World Economic Forum, and partnerships within the company and elsewhere seeking innovative solutions to low carbon financing and global health care issues. Those partnerships endure.
His previous experience as District Director for Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, and as Secretary of Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, burnished his expertise in public policy and government affairs. A true “newsie” Jim understood both what was newsworthy and how to make news. A consensus builder, Jim was pivotal during many of the bank acquisitions by FleetBoston and later at Bank of America as well as through the depths of the financial crisis. Jim steered the public policy teams at the state, federal, and international levels, always called upon to demonstrate to the bank’s many constituencies a firm commitment to the company’s strategy of responsible growth. Jim was prescient in his ability to identify the interests of the company in a way that helped also address larger societal challenges—as evidenced by the environmental and sustainability work he led.
Jim was sought out both inside the company and across the industry as sage counsel, which he could always be relied upon to deliver with humor, grace, and humanity.
Mahoney was a board member of the National Urban League, served on the Board of Directors of the New England Council, was a member of the management committee for Stanford University’s Global Climate & Energy Project, and served on the board of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets. Jim was a Trustee of the University of Massachusetts from 1999 to 2005. He was inducted into the PR News Hall of Fame in 2019.
Jim’s commitment to be a man for and with others led him to recently become interested in substance use disorder counseling. He earned a counseling certification from UMass Boston. This led him to work with men with addiction at the Suffolk County House of Correction (South Bay). Jim told his family that the evenings he spent with the men at the jail after a long workday at Bank of America gave him perspective and energized him to do even more.
In addition to his wife and his three children, Jim is survived by his brothers John, Thom, and Dan; his sisters Mary Lou, Jane, Nancy, and Cate. He also leaves stepsons Luke (Mara), Ryan, and William McLoughlin, stepdaughter Clare Overmann ( Mark) who were to him an enthusiastic fan club. He leaves seventeen nieces and nephews and eight grandnieces and nephews. He is survived by his former wife Patricia Leydon, the mother of his children.
The family is deeply grateful to the many nurses, physicians, therapists, and aides who lovingly cared for Jim and our family during the last year at Mass General and Brigham Neuro ICU, Spaulding Cambridge 4th Floor, and Spaulding Brighton. The family particularly wants to express its gratitude to caregiver and friend Peter Babi for his loving care to Jim. The words of Irish poet Seamus Haney reflect well the challenges of Jim’s last year: “Even if the hopes you started out with are dashed, hope has to be maintained.”
In keeping with the way he lived, Jim’s final act of kindness was to donate his corneas so others might have the gift of sight.
In lieu of flowers donations in Jim’s memory may be made to The Equal Justice Initiative at 122 Commerce St., Montgomery, AL 36104 (https://support.eji.org/give/153413/#!/donation/checkout)
or the Mary Ann Brett Food Pantry at St. Theresa of Calcutta Parish, 800 Columbia Road, Dorchester, MA 02125 http://dorchestercatholic.org/donate/food-pantry/
Funeral arrangements by Brown & Hickey Funeral Home. Due to Covid-19 state and federal restrictions, all funeral services will be private. His funeral Mass will be livestreamed at 11:00 am on Wednesday, August, 12, 2020. Livestream link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzx9pQfqCuI&feature=youtu.be .
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