Lowell J. "Jake" Mahaffey, 91, of Cassville, passed away peacefully at his home on October 26, 2010, with his wife of 68 years, Theresa "Tess" Mahaffey at his side. He was born July 5, 1919, in Iowa City, Iowa, and was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and one sister.
Other survivors include: two daughters, Patsy Garner, of Cassville, and Betty Jo Summers and her husband Thomas M. "Mike" Summers, of Austin, Texas; five grandchildren, Beth Garner, Billie Garner and his wife, Cindy, Charles Garner and his wife, Kim, all of the Cassville area, Patrick Summers and his wife, Emily, and Andrew Summers and his wife, Jennifer, of Austin, Texas. He is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Dorene, Wesley, and Olivia Garner, of Cassville, and Quinn, Cade, Drew and Jake Summers, of Austin, Texas. He is survived by two brothers, Rex Mahaffey, of Thermal, California, and Willis Mahaffey, of Houston, Texas, and numerous other relatives.
In the early 1920s, his family moved to Alfalfa County, Oklahoma, where Jake helped with the family farm. In 1933, he proudly received his Amateur Radio License, leading to a lifelong passion of being a "Ham Operator." In addition to his family, one of his proudest achievements was a first place finish in Livestock Judging at the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri.
Jake joined the National Guard in 1940. The next year he was called into Federal Service and later that year he married Theresa Gigoux. In 1942, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the Signal Corp and led his Signal Company through the European Campaign and was awarded a Bronze Star. In 1950, Jake was again called into Federal Service to serve in the Korean War, where as a Captain, he was awarded the First Oak Leaf Cluster to the Bronze Star.
In 1954, Jake moved the family to Coachella, California, working first in land leveling and then as owner/operator of a Shell Oil bulk plant. In 1970, Jake and Tess moved to Exeter, Missouri, to return to farming. He raised cattle, sheep and hogs. In 1980, he became a Licensed Real Estate Broker and later an Appraiser. In 2000, he fulfilled a life-long dream of attending college. In 2002, he graduated from Crowder College earning an AAS degree in Small Business Administration graduating with Highest Honors.
Jake was very dedicated to his family, Gunter Methodist Church where he served as treasurer for a number of years and the Cassville Senor Center where he served as treasurer and delivered Meals on Wheels for 26 years.
In 2009, Jake celebrated his 90th birthday. Later that year he was honored and excited to be a part of the first Ozarks Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. The Ozarks Honor Flight's purpose is to honor every WWII veteran, the "Greatest Generation," for their service and sacrifices by flying them, free of charge, to visit the memorials dedicated to them.
The family would like to especially thank St. John's Hospice service for the wonderful care they provided to Jake and his family.
Jake can always be remembered through two of his favorite sayings "Eat dessert first" and "The best is yet to be..."
Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, October 30, 2010, in Fohn Funeral Home, Cassville. Reverend Jerry Nickle and John Mehrens will conduct the services. Burial with military honors will be in Russell Cemetery, Butterfield, Missouri.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Friday in Fohn Funeral Home, Cassville.
Memorial contributions in Jake's name may be made to Cassville Senior Center or Ozarks Honor Flight.
Visit www.fohnfuneralhome.com for online obituaries, guestbook and private condolences
FOHN FUNERAL HOME