MARQUETTE, MI. - Alice Agnes McMahon was born November 29, 1956 to Jack and Eileen McMahon, the 8th of 10 children. She grew up on Grosse Ile on the Detroit River surrounded by her large, loving Irish Catholic family. On the morning of May 6th, two and one half years after being diagnosed with sino-nasal melanoma, she rode a Wind Horse to join the ancestors.
Like her parents, Alice was a hard worker. By age 20 she had earned an LPN degree at Washtenaw Community College. She met Dan Hardie in 1976 while living in Ann Arbor and they were married in 1981. Alice obtained her Physicians Assistant Degree from Western Michigan University in 1983, then she and Dan moved to Marquette. In 1988 Alice, Dan, and their friend, Mark Stevens, opened Stevens Hardie Family Practice. She retired after 25 years due to her illness. She was beloved and trusted by many there, and was a bulwark of the practice, known widely for her kindness, patience, and compassion.
Clara was born in 1984, Rita in 1986 and Maya in 1992. Alice devoted herself to their early years of home schooling, with Suzuki violin and piano lessons, endless art projects, nature walks, exercise and sports. She took particular care to expose the children to local and international culture, encouraging them to seek peace and joy in everyday life. In addition to their music and sports groups, she and the girls found community at the Marquette Unitarian Universalist congregation where Alice was a quiet leader.
She travelled to many places in the US, taking her first cross-country trip to visit her sister in California at age 15. International travels with her family included Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Haiti & Canada. She and Dan travelled to Italy, Thailand and Bhutan. Alice and her sister Ellen visited Ireland to meet their oldest living Irish relative, Bridgid O"Connell. Alice made several trips to Haiti, and was instrumental in coordinating the Marquette to Haiti post-earthquake relief effort in 2010.
Alice was an avid birder. She traveled to Bhutan to see the rare black-necked crane, and insisted on taking her family to the Gulf of Mexico 2 months before she passed to see whooping cranes. Alice loved the Hiawatha Music Festival and attended every year since 1983. Alice loved singing, square dancing, biking, swimming, pottery, walking the shores of Lake Superior, full moons and loons. She beeped her horn when driving past friends' homes, even when they were on vacation. She had a knack for welcoming and embracing people just when it was most needed.
She is survived by her 9 siblings: Jerry McMahon, Mary McMahon, Mark (Jan Benton) McMahon, Ellen (Dennis) Galford, Steve McMahon, Jean (Larry) Martinelli, Kevin (Kay) McMahon, Tom (Sandy) McMahon, and Brian (Andrea) McMahon, 43 cousins, countless nieces and nephews, three daughters, Clara (Jhon Clark) McMahon Hardie, Rita McMahon Hardie & Maya (Joe) Gougeon, and by her husband, Dan Hardie.
The celebration of her life will begin at 3:30 PM Saturday the 17th of May at the Marquette Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 1510 East M-28.