Michael Maher
FUNERAL HOME
Thomas B. Dobies Funeral Home & Crematory
701 E. Tarpon Ave
Tarpon Springs, FL
(Jon) Michael Maher

(Jon) Michael Maher, 71, passed away on Friday, November 13th, 2020, of pancreatic cancer at his home in Tarpon Springs, Florida. He leaves behind his wife Ann, his daughter Alison (Manny Rumsey), his son Jonathan, and his grandson Bret Michael. Additionally, Michael is survived by his sister Denise (Bob Virkler), his brothers Bill (Jamie), Bob, and Mark (Jackie), his sister-in-law Cindy (Bobby Brooks), and his brother-in-law Rob (Julie) Standish. Seventeen nieces and nephews (Eric, Erin, Christopher, Kelly, Shannon, Sean, Kate, Christian, Michael, Colin, James, Melissa, Markie, Amanda, Robin, Julie and Carl) and their spouses and children complete the extended family of survivors.

Michael was born in Utica before his family moved to Watertown for his eventful childhood, as he recounted in stories. His family returned to the Utica area, and Michael graduated from Whitesboro High School where he and Ann met. (He had all of the answers in his math book, a sure come-on.) Michael and Ann graduated from SUNY Potsdam after their junior year marriage. Then he was off to North Dakota to study glacial geology. Following that ten year stint from September '71 through May '72, they returned to warmer climates and settled in Binghamton to start their years in teaching, forming dear friendships spanning over 40 years, and raising their two children, Alison and Jonathan (and their "second" son Rafi), encompassing the heart of Michael's life.

Besides his own children, Michael immersed himself in the lives of numerous students, teaching and coaching first at St. Ambrose/Seton Catholic Middle School and then retiring from Harpursville High School after teaching Earth Science and Physics for nearly thirty years. The two subjects always seemed much drier than his sense of humor which ranged from quick wit to the groan inducing type of joke. Meeting a former student years later, the student vividly remembering Michael telling the MR Ducks joke in physics class. Groan! Michael was also that uncle to his nieces and nephews who would play with them, tease them, rile them up and then hand them back to the parents for bed-time. He had the same effect on dogs.

Michael was a life-time learner with varied topics of interests. His depth of knowledge also included various tidbits of trivia on a myriad of subjects. If he didn't know an answer, creative explanations were given with a straight face that it would be difficult even for the closest friends to decide on the veracity. A good laugh and a good beer shared with friends and family was a favorite past time.

Michael was also a talented craftsman. Forty-four years were devoted to caring for and restoring an old circa 1853 farmhouse in the city. As a perfectionist, it took him a long time to accept "good enough" when not one room was totally square, to the point that he would measure a piece of six-foot long wallboard starting at one and three-quarter inches, tapering down to a measurement of one quarter inch. His children were raised there and so many memories were made. Their growth and accomplishments celebrated here in this old house, and their sorrows and disappointments were comforted. The house's stained glass windows inspired Michael (Candy Glassworks) to create many stained glass windows and pieces of his own.

Michael was a man of many interests and many skills, but most importantly he was a kind, strong man whose humor and love enfolded so many. He was very pleased to have both the chance to vote and the satisfaction of learning the results.

Michael was predeceased by his parents Ruthena and William Maher; his in-laws Judy and Bret Standish; his sister-in-law Linda Maher; and his beloved dogs—Yage, Cedric, Chessie, Moocher, Georgie and Bailey. In this time of Covid and you wish to donate in Michael's memory, please chose a charity in support of the victims of this disease. Thoughts to the family may be addressed to the Dobie Funeral Home, 701 East Tarpon Avenue, Tarpon Springs, Florida 34689 at www.dobiesfuneralhome.com.



Published by Press & Sun-Bulletin from Nov. 16 to Nov. 22, 2020.
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11 Entries
So sorry Ann. Glad we got to meet him through ALS. Hugs to you and your family.
Don and Carlotta
Holden
Friend
December 1, 2020
Live life so it outlives you. I am an Earth Science teacher of 20 users thanks to Mike. His enthusiasm and love for the subject combined with the ability to channel the energy i had to meaningful tasks. I will always continue to share the great ways he taught and inspired me to become the best I can be. Thankyou Mike for finding the best in us all.
Jeffrey sabol
Student
November 23, 2020
Ann and family....my heart feels a sadness for your loss. My one truly stand out "memory photo" is when you and Michael came to my house to "finalize" the creation of my stained glass window.....made by you and hung by him. Wouldn't think of letting anyone else do it but the Master. Enjoyed that "time piece"..and certainly the window..for years. Memories of times gone by with you at MEMS have come front and center....I smile. May you be able to do that soon again...Hugs.
Fondly,
Kathi Pop
Kathleen Popielarski
Friend
November 23, 2020
Mr. Maher was such an amazing teacher. He made learning fun and exciting. Earth Science and Physics were my favorite classes in high school because of him. I am so sorry for your loss. He touched the lives of so many.
Jennifer Tyler
Student
November 22, 2020
I worked at Harpursville with Mike in the Science department. We'd have meetings after school in his room and he'd just lean back in his chair and, as head of the department, said what he needed to say. I loved his wry sense of humor and laid back attitude and I know his students loved him too. He was always everyone's favorite Science teacher. He left a huge footprint here and he will be missed.
Donna Kenyon
Coworker
November 20, 2020
My condolences to the family...Mr. Maher was my Physics teacher at Harpursville during the '86-'87 school year. I will always fondly recall "Mr. Potavity", as well as his example of strength ripping a phone book in half. Peace be with you.
Tina L Knapp
Student
November 20, 2020
The world has lost a great man and teacher. My condolences to his loved ones.
Courtney W.
Student
November 20, 2020
a loved one
November 19, 2020
Ann - we are so sorry to learn of Mike's passing.

He was a kind, talented, generous man. We have such great memories of both of you. We feel blessed that we have had the chance to know you.

God Bless.

Emily and David Arbes
Emily Arbes
November 19, 2020
Cynthia Brooks
November 19, 2020
From screaming TURRRRBOOOO at the TV screen playing a Nintendo N64 racecar game, to shooting DOOM zombies on the computer, to simply shooting the breeze sitting around shaking our nuts in our hands first before eating them (peanuts that is lol because according to you that was the way to eat them properly) while listening to you tell childhood stories. Those were the days and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. You will truly be missed and forever in my heart Dad! Thank you for also accepting me for who am and for taking me in as your second son. Cheers! Love ya!
JERALD R VANDUNK
Son
November 18, 2020
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