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Former Navy captain excelled in business, golf

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By Jerry Vondas
Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

Jack Mahaffey, who was highly regarded as a businessman and a golfer, is remembered for his commitment to the families of the men who served with him on a Navy ship during World War II.

“My father was the captain of a minesweeper in the South Pacific that was sunk by the Japanese,” said his daughter, Margo Troutman of Fox Chapel. “He was wounded and lost many of his men.

“Upon his discharge in 1945, Dad personally visited the families of the men who died to pay his respects and to let them know what their fathers', husbands' and sons' sacrifice meant to their country.”

John K. “Jack” Mahaffey Jr. of Oakmont, former owner of the Mahaffey Equipment Co., died on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, in Longwood at Oakmont. He was 95.

“My father was also a very successful businessman who joined his father's heavy moving equipment company upon his discharge from the Navy,” Troutman said. “Dad was a people person, whom his customers could trust. He never tried to sell a product that he felt was not right for his customers.”

Born and raised in Highland Park, Mr. Mahaffey was the son of John K. Mahaffey Sr., owner of Mahaffey Equipment Co. in Oakmont, and his wife, Margaretta Powell Mahaffey.

After graduating from Peabody High School, where he often played golf with his father, Mr. Mahaffey enrolled in Penn State University, becoming captain of the golf team.

Upon earning his degree in 1938, Mr. Mahaffey joined the family business and became a member of the Oakmont Country Club, where, during his 74-year membership, he was a finalist in 1951 in the Western Pennsylvania Golf Championship.

He was Oakmont's representative on the United States Golf Association's Executive Committee, Troutman said.

In addition to his daughter, Margo, Mr. Mahaffey is survived by his daughters Cam Mahaffey of Denver and Jacqueline Gall of Cincinnati; nine grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy (known as Keith) Friday Mahaffey in 2007.

Friends and relatives are invited to attend a memorial service at 11 a.m. Friday in Christ Church Fox Chapel, 630 Squaw Run Road East, where Mr. Mahaffey was a member.

Burket-Truby Funeral Home Cremation & Alternative Services Inc. of Oakmont handled the arrangements.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or jvondas@tribweb.com.

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