When the Babylon Board of Education tried to eliminate John "Ned" Mahoney's job as a music teacher in the late 1930s, "his students, their families and the town were up in arms," his daughter recalled.
"They were chanting 'We want Mahoney!' " said Carol Tepper, 59, of Rockville Centre. "He worked so hard with those kids."
The professional cornetist, conductor and business owner died July 9 from natural causes in his Valley Stream home. He was 100.
Mahoney's cornet was the ticket that took him from Brooklyn to the South Pacific and back -- even helping him meet his future wife.
The youngest of three, he was born in 1911 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Mahoney began playing the cornet in junior high school after seeing a John Philip Sousa performance, Tepper said.
After graduating in 1934 from the Ernest Williams School of Music in Brooklyn, Mahoney became a soloist with the New York-based Goldman Band, playing nearly 1,500 concerts over 25 seasons.
From 1937 to 1941, he conducted Babylon High School's band and taught brass instruments to students across New York and New Jersey. He met Anne Hubbs during that time, said daughter Barbara Hamel, 69, of St. Augustine, Fla.
The couple married in 1942, and they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in June.
"She's what kept him going all these years," Tepper said.
Mahoney joined the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor, playing for the Brooklyn Yard Band and eventually landing on the USS Yosemite, a repair and supply ship, in the South Pacific.
He founded Ned Mahoney Music after the war, selling, renting and repairing Long Island public school students' instruments for decades.
"He was going out to schools on the Island until he was in his 90s, driving a carload full of instruments," Tepper said.
"He was always concerned about everyone else -- not himself," Hamel said.
Mahoney was buried with military honors July 11 at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Grace United Methodist Church in Valley Stream will hold a memorial service and musical tribute Sunday at 2 p.m.
Along with his daughters, Mahoney is survived by wife Anne, 88, of Valley Stream; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.