HOULTON - Bernard Stanley Maher, 92, unexpectedly passed away November 30th, 2015. He was born December 19th, 1922 in New York City, the son of John & Ellen (Brockhimer) Maher.
At the age of 13, Bernard left New York City and moved to Greenwich, Connecticut where he attended school and had various jobs. At the age of 17 he left school and joined the Army Air Force where he served his country for 2 ½ years during World
War II. During this time, he was stationed in Florida where he met and married his wife, Hilda Tidd
Maher of Hodgdon. They were happily married for 69 years until her passing in 2013. They then moved to Houlton in 1945 and started a family.When moving to Houlton, he held various jobs and was the first veteran of World War II to enroll as a student at Ricker College. During this time he started his own newspaper called "The Houlton Shopper." He ran this for several years and then sold it to the Houlton Pioneer Times. After selling the newspaper he opened The Gun Shop at his home on Spring Street and then
changed the name to the Rod & Gun Shop and moved it to the downtown area where he branched out and sold toys along with sporting goods. In 1964 he became a real estate broker and started Maher Real Estate. He was very successful in this profession and not only sold homes for customers but built 21 new homes, remodeled 86 apartments, houses, camps and buildings in Houlton and other locations. Bernard developed and owned 49 house lots on the south side of Houlton, building many more new homes and 6 new streets and as a developer sold all six of the new streets (one of the streets being Maher Ave.) to the Town of Houlton for $1.00 each. During this time he also started Maher Travel Agency which was later taken over by his late son and eventually sold. Also at this time he started an antique and used furniture store called "The Commission Shop"
He also was instrumental in developing the land that would become known as Sampson's Supermarket and is now the Outreach Program for the University of Maine. The land required 8 parcels to be optioned by Maher Real Estate only to find out that there was a 150 year old right of way around property owned by the Clearance Pierce Estate. The only remedy to complete the development was for Maher Real Estate to purchase the property with their own funds to settle the encumbrance so that the development would be completed. In the late 1970s, he became a member of the Ricker College Board of Trustees and was appointed Trustee in bankruptcy for the estate of the college. In that position he was able to acquire* all of Ricker's historical items for the Cary Library to establish the Ricker Room. He also acquired funds for scholarships for local students, giving out over $50,000 per year. Bernard collected thousands of dollars in accounts from as far away as Japan and Iran. He settled the accounts of Ricker College as a bond holder, which is controlled by the state street Bank of Boston. While living in Houlton he was the president of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Retail Trade Board, chairman of March of Dimes, President of the Fish and Game Club, board member of
Houlton Regional Development Corporation, board member of Houlton Citizen Advisory Commission, chairman of the Houlton Budget Committee, and member of the Town Council. He also received several
awards for community improvement. In 1971 he was awarded an Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree in Business based on his life experience.
Other than doing business and being involved in the community, Bernard enjoyed spending time with his family, being a member of the Lodge of Elks, playing cards, and enjoying his cottage at East Grand Lake. He and his wife spent many winters in Florida and California,
and enjoyed traveling world wide.
Bernard is survived by his two daughters: Ellen Maher & husband Bruce Frame of Florida, and Donna Maher of Houlton; a nephew, John Maher of Colorado; grandchildren: Kimberly Hartford Dunlop of Houlton, Michael Hartford of Portland, Sherri Quint of Portland, Christina Maher of Portland, James Fitch of New
York; great-grandchildren: Brittany Sirois of Houlton, Sarah Sirois of Florida, Asher Nall of Portland, and
Hailey Durrell of Portland; and three great great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife, Hilda Tidd Maher, his son, Bernard Maher Jr. and his brother John Maher.
Friends may call 12-1pm, Monday, December 7th with funeral services to follow at Bowers Funeral Home, 10 Water St., Houlton.
Donations may be made in Bernie's Memory to the Houlton Humane Society, PO Box 548, Houlton, ME 04730 For online condolences please visit www.bowersfuneral.com