John A. “Jack” McMahon

PORTAGE – John A. “Jack” McMahon was born on January 8, 1925. He passed peacefully into eternal life at home on April 27, 2019, at age 94.

Jack was one of eight children born to William and Edith (Haberman) McMahon. He was a lifelong Portage resident and attended Portage Schools where he was captain of the 1942 boxing team that was inducted into the PHS Hall of Fame in 2009. Upon graduation at the age of 17, Jack enlisted in the military, following in the footsteps of his older brothers and sister. He was extremely proud of his Marine Corps service in the South Pacific during World War II, always wearing his Marine Corps hat with honor. When Jack returned to Portage after the war ended, he met and fell in love with Lorna Ziemke. They were married on January 12, 1951, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and were blessed with 68 years of marriage and five children. Jack was the consummate family man. He was a proud carpenter at Findorff Construction in Madison for over 40 years. Many of the buildings he worked on stand as landmarks in downtown Madison and on the UW campus. Jack was an avid outdoorsman and sports fan who loved playing softball as a young man. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, and gardening. He took pride in his well-manicured lawn and loved spending time on his John Deere tractor. Badger, Brewer and Packer games were highlights for him. Jack was active in the Portage Youth Wresting Club.

Jack was a member of the Portage Boat Club. As commodore, he was well known for his steak grilling skills. He was a member of VFW Post 1707 and American Legion Post 47, serving as Commander of the Legion. Jack belonged to Carpenter’s Local 314. His faith was extremely important to him and he was a lifelong member of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Portage. He flew with fellow WWII veterans to Washington, DC, on the Badger Honor Flight in 2012. He loved to travel. In his later years, he eagerly awaited the arrival of the orioles each spring and spent endless hours watching the birds.

Jack is survived by his wife, Lorna; 5 children, John (Cheryl), Jane (John) Pfeil, Julie (Jack) Wilz, Janice (Bob) Cooney, and Jim (Lisa); 8 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Marilyn McMahon and Joyce Scherbert; nieces, nephews, and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; 4 brothers, Harold, Russell, Maurice, and Earl “Bud”; 3 sisters, Helen, Carol, and Rita; and his grandson, Robert Cooney, Jr.

Funeral services will be held at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 850 Armstrong Street, Portage, on Friday, May 3, at 1:00 p.m., with Reverend Greg Hovland officiating. Military graveside burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery with military honors being provided by the Portage Area Veterans Honor Guard. Visitation will be at the church from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Reverend Greg Hovland, Reverend Rod Armon, Candice, the companion dog, and the caring staff at Agrace Hospice.

Memorials may be gifted in Jack’s name to Agrace HospiceCare Foundation, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711-5395.

Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is serving the family.

Semper Fi 



For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)