Jay E. McMahon, 72, avid outdoorsman

Jay McMahon, information technologist, advocate archaeologist, and avid outdoorsman passed away on June 11, 2017. He resided in Ridgefield, CT for the past 32 years with his loving wife, Dawn (Fallon) McMahon.  He is survived by Dawn, sister Patti McMahon-Wulff, son Shane McMahon, daughter in-law Ann Dolan McMahon, daughter Maeve “Mev” McMahon, and three grandchildren Shane, Derrick and Kathryn McMahon.

Jay was born in Rochester, NY on April 1, 1945; the son of Joseph and Doris McMahon. He spent most of his childhood in Duchess County, NY where he grew up with his sister, Patti. While in high school he was a member of the American Legion Boys State. Upon graduation from Bucknell University in 1966, he married and began working at IBM as an IT Specialist. Later, divorced, Jay’s mentor, Louis A. Brennan, invited him to the excavation of an 18th century tenant farm in Tarrytown, NY in the late summer of 1982.  It was there that Jay met his second wife, Dawn, her trowel in hand.

During Jay’s 44 years at IBM, he was the lead architect in developing the source software for the current generation of EKG machines, and served as a Development Strategist for IBMs Application Software Group. He also received an international industry award for the global integration of IBM’s financial and marketing information. After Jay retired from IBM in 2010, he and Dawn co-founded Web Archaeological Services, a web design, digitization and collection management support service for the archaeological and humanities establishment.

Concurrent to his career at IBM, Jay pursued his passion for local pre-historic, 18th century and 19th century archaeology. As past president of the Louis A. Brennan, Lower Hudson Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association, he was responsible for leading the membership in the excavation, recovery and curation of numerous archaeological sites throughout Westchester County, NY.  He was awarded Certificate of Merit for Significant Accomplishments in New York State Archaeology. After moving to Ridgefield in 1985 with Dawn, he began working closely with the Connecticut archaeological community. He was a member of the Council of Northeast Historical Archaeology and served as webmaster for the Archaeological Society of Connecticut.

He passed his love for the outdoors and previous cultures onto both his children. He went cross-country skiing with Shane in Vermont’s mountains and went swimming with Mev in the ocean along Maine’s coastline. He took both his children to many archaeological and historic sites. While Shane and his wife Ann McMahon continue this legacy with Jay’s grandchildren, Mev has applied her father’s teachings to her photo-editing career.

Jay contributed greatly to the knowledge base in both the computer science and archaeology fields. He explored the past but looked to the future and aimed to be a renaissance man. He will be dearly missed.           

Funeral services will be held at 12 p.m. on Friday, June 16, at Kane Funeral Home; 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Friends will be received at the funeral home on Friday morning from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the MS Society – www.nationalmssociety.org or to the Ronald McDonald House – www.rmhc.org