Thomas D. McMahon Obituary

Thomas D.  McMahon
Thomas D. McMahon

December 19, 1968 - September 4, 2021
Born in Omaha, Nebraska
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Retired pleasure boat captain and supporter of all things Hawkeye lived up to his hashtag #idieahawkeye this past weekend. After 51 revolutions of the earth and one final Iowa football victory, Thomas McMahon shut down operations Saturday night, September 4, 2021, peacefully and in the comfort of loved ones at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.

Husband, Son, Brother, Fur Dad and Uncle, Thomas was born the week before Christmas on December 19th in Omaha, Nebraska. Born to Pamela Hough and the late Thomas McMahon. Following the cornfields eastward Thomas grew up pedaling his BMX throughout the rough urban streets of Grimes and throughout the rural parts, throwing a rod in pesticide enriched fishing holes. He dreamt of the Yankees and spent his youth stepping over cow dung on the ball field dreaming of the legends like Mickey and Babe. He was a smart, fun-loving, adventurous kid who was an inspirational big brother shaping, protecting and most importantly keeping his two younger brothers, Mike and Matt, out of trouble. He was a great sibling and a great teacher of all things in life to his bros including the importance of having a good cooler and how to park a car for six months. Thomas grew up with a love for boating and spent time goofing around, knee boarding and such with his brothers, fishing with his Dad and relaxing with Mom. He was a graduate of Dowling High School and came close to the valedictorian, in fact Thomas talked with him in the hall on graduation day. While at Dowling he developed tight, lifelong friendships and wore even tighter clothes choosing wrestling and running around in his singlets. He looked up to Dan Gable as a mentor. Sometimes during high school, he would look up and see two Dan Gables, oh the high school parties. Thomas liked to kick back cold ones with friends, I am sure he would not mind if you cracked a cold one while you read this. He was a lot like dad in that fact, he was always up for a story and down with the bull. Thomas vacationed in Kansas City as a young adult and loved it so much he headed off to Rockhurst College.

After his time at Rockhurst, Thomas made his way back to Des Moines where the Rom Com resumes and as grandma might say, chased Lisa around town. All that running paid off and the happy couple has been together for 31 years and built an amazing life together and just a few weeks shy of their 20th anniversary; the sparkle of each other’s eyes. They built a life together as a Hawkeye family and would go on to attend an astonishing amount of sporting events together especially Hawkeye football, basketball and wrestling. He loved to follow his teams and enjoyed those experiences with his wife, family and friends.

Thomas and Lisa traveled to his favorite place of all time and cherished the opportunity to see the Yankees play in person. They spent time on tropical islands like honeymooning in Figi drinking that island juice, St. Thomas, Belize and Huahine, French Polynesia. Those trips replaced the family trips to Worlds of Fun, Oceans of Fun; high school trips with friends hitting the slopes of Colorado or whatever Grateful Dead show was grooving. Thomas loved science, airplanes (his first word being OPI), riding his bikes, running, collecting table saws, Jeopardy, his dogs, giving blood (intentionally/unintentionally), Bud Light, and he never has liked cake. A large bank of memories would be tagged at Saylorville Lake where for many years most summer weekends were spent both young and old. He loved dining at the Italian joints on the south side and doing simple things like riding his lawn mower around while Lisa was nearby with a steady supply of Shastas.

He took pride in being an awesome uncle and loved watching his oldest niece, Cass (Barrett) Eller, grow up, attending Hanna (Biegger) softball games, cooking with his oldest nephew, Jeffrey (Biegger), dance parties with his niece, Vivian, and truck crashing with his nephew, Dawson, and oncology talk with sister-in-law, Angela. He enjoyed time with his great niece, Aubree and great nephews, Kayden and Kyzer (Eller). He took pride in his family and loved to be with his grandparents, Wilton and Louis Hough and Euphrashia and Patrick McMahon and hanging out with his late Uncle David. He enjoyed eating cherry stone clams with his late father-in-law, John (Collins) and late-night talks with mother-in-law, Mikie, tailgating with father-in-law, Tom (Cindy) Biegger, Raiders/chiefs games with his brother-in-law, Mike (Biegger), building/fixing or just hanging out with Tony (Biegger). He loved to play fetch with his dog, Molson, and encourage the cat, Karl, to start something with the dog.

Thomas together with Lisa and all his family and friends have built so many long-lasting memories that we all will cherish for eternity. Thomas loved his family very much and would give you the shirt off his back or the marrow from his bone. In fact, he did that, for his brother, Michael, to keep him ticking. Thomas did not think it was that big of a deal, but others disagree. Thomas and Michael share a special bond as they are both cancer fighters and cancer survivors and down. A fight that will not define Thomas but shaped him every day. We will miss you Thomas, you left an impression on this world that none of us will forget! We will share in your memories, we will salute you in toast, we will pour one out for you, you will always be at the table, with us at Iowa games, we will always be thinking of you and one day we will find each other again! We love you so much Thomas! Peace!

A special thanks to Suzanne Ware, Dr Tara Graff and all the nurses at Mission Blood and MercyOne Des Moines who cared for Thomas.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: St. Jude Children’s Hospital, University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or Dowling Catholic High School.

A Memorial Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, September 10 at Iles Dunn’s Chapel. The family respectfully requests that all those attending wear masks. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.






Memorial Visitation
Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Friday, September 10, 2021
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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A Univeristy of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital
PO Box 4550
Iowa City, Iowa 52244
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
PO Box 4072
Pittsfield, MA 01202
Dowling Catholic High School
1400 Buffalo Road
West Des Moines, IA US 50265