Sep 9, 2014Murray Mahany dies at 81
A leader of the New York potato industry, as well as the United States and globally, Murray Mahany, 81, of Arkport, New York, passed away on Sept. 5, 2014.
He hosted Cornell University potato variety trials on his farm annually. In 1996, one Cornell variety, NY87, a white skinned, white flesh potato was named Reba, after his wife Reba.
In 1993, Gov. Mario Cuomo awarded the Mahanys the New York State Governor’s Outstanding Farm Family award.
Murray won numerous awards throughout his lifetime of farming, including the Goodyear Merit award in 1978 and 1988, and the Soil & Water Conservation Society Merit award in 1990.
The New York potato industry has lost one of its finest,” Melanie Wickham, executive director of the ESPG, wrote in an email message. “Murray Mahany dedicated his life to his family, friends and farming. He was a true maverick and outspoken advocate for what is good, right and meaningful in life and business. He and his wife and business partner, Reba, passed these virtues on to their children. Murray leaves a lasting impression and strong desire in anyone who knew him to be a better farmer, spouse, parent and neighbor.”
“Potato farming was the epitome of Murray’s life,” wrote Carolyn Mahany, in a remembrance of her grandfather. “But his honesty, sense of humor, morals, and family values are what those close to him remember the most about Murray. He represented what potato farming was, and showed farmers the potential for what it could be.”
Murray is survived by his wife of 59 years, Reba, his three sons, Robert (Debora) Mahany, Gary (Patricia) Mahany and Gregory (Karen Meade) Mahany; three daughters, Brenda (Dennis) Acomb, Linda (Mark) Mahoney and Susan (Rick Wilcox) Cotter; and his son-in-law.