PEPPERELL -- Amos Mahony was born and died within a quarter of a mile, but he is remembered as having the diverse, open-minded outlook of a man who traveled widely.
"His visionary approach to things is something you wouldn't expect of a person who lived in the same town his whole life. He never traveled widely except in the service, but his perspective and viewpoint went far beyond the viewpoint of the town," said his daughter, Paula Mahony.
Amos Mahony died in his home after a long illness last month. In the days since, he has been remembered as an unassuming but dedicated servant of the town of Pepperell.
Mahony served on Lawrence Library's Board of Trustees beginning in 1953, and helped support the Library through six decades of change.
Paula Mahony said her father's quiet, but active participation in town groups always made him stand out.
"He was seemingly quiet, but he greeted everyone with a smile. He was just about the most patient and optimistic person you would ever meet. He was always calm, never ever got rattled, and he loved the town of Pepperell greatly," she said.
"He gave everything to the Library, and the various bands and singing groups he was in because he loved it. That was where his passions lay, not because he thought it would get him notice or prestige. He did it because he loved those organizations."
Fellow Lawrence Library Trustee Fred Kobs highlighted Mahony's vision.
"He always pushed for going forward, though he loved
Mahony was both multi-talented and multi-faceted, Kobs said, participating in many aspects of life in Pepperell.
"He was a great singer, a churchman, very much a charitable individual. He was a huge supporter of the Democratic party in Pepperell. He was interested in many parts of Pepperell, not just one," Kobs said.
Trustee Mary Campano said Mahony was well-respected in Pepperell.
"When he got up at Town Meeting to present different articles, people listened to him because he had lived in town for his whole life," Campano said.
As a Trustee, Library Director Deb Spratt said Mahony was always open-minded and a strong supporter of her efforts.
"What I loved about him the most was that he was always ready to embrace whatever the next change was that was needed to make the library the best it could be for the community and to meet the community's needs. He had a great vision. The Library was always intended to be a well-rounded institution with the art gallery built into it, and Amos embraced that, too," Spratt said.
Born in 1917, Mahony attended Pepperell High School and Nashua Business School, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and worked as plant manager of the Pepperell Braiding Factory.
He married M. Pauline Mahony and had two daughters, Mary Ann and Paula Mahony, and two grandsons, Samuel and Matthew Silberstein.
In addition to his work at the Library, Mahony was a member of the Pepperell Knights of Columbus, the Pepperell Democratic Town Committee and a founding member of both the Historical Association and the Pepperell Conservation Trust.
Paula Mahony said her father, along with her mother, who died in 2006, would live on through their contributions to the town, including their efforts to help conserve many acres of land in Pepperell.
"That work really had a lasting impact. It won't be the kind of thing that generations from now people will remember his name," she said, "but those organizations that he thought were important, will still be there."
Follow Chelsea Feinstein on Twitter or Tout @CEFeinstein.