William J. Maher

June 24, 2016

William J. Maher
U.S. Veteran

US Navy

World War II Veteran

WILLIAM J. MAHER- of Woburn, June 24, 88yrs old. Beloved husband of Frances T. (Canny) Maher. Loving father of Denise M. Johnson of Haverhill, Robert W. Maher his wife Susan of Londonderry, NH, Theresa F. Denn her husband the late George of Haverhill, Elizabeth A. Denn of Dracut, Kathleen M. McNamara her husband Thomas of Londonderry, NH., Michael J. Maher his wife Kim of Newton, NH., Daniel P. Maher his wife Tammy of Londonderry,NH. Devoted brother of Lawrence P. Maher his late wife Dorothy of Peabody, Gerald Maher his wife Judy of Haverhill, Margaret Deering her late husband J. Arthur of Andover, Patricia Sabbey her husband Norman of Boston and the late Robert Maher. Special “Grampa” of 14 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild, also survived by many nieces and nephews . A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Wednesday, June 29th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Barbara’s Church, 138 Cambridge Road, Woburn at 10. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to calling hours at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 28th from 3-7 p.m. Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn


William J. “Bill” Maher passed away Friday morning, June 24th in Burlington. Together with his beloved wife, Frances T. (Canny) Maher, they were three weeks shy of celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

Born in Winchester, he was the son of the late Patrick and Margaret (McCall) Maher.

Bill grew up in Somerville and graduated from St. Clement High School in Medford. He furthered his education at the American Television Institute in Chicago and other technical schools in Boston where he studied electrical engineering. He served in the U. S. Navy as a pharmacist’s assistant during WWII.

Bill loved to dance and met the love of his life, Fran, at a dance at the Lithuanian Club in Cambridge. He impressed Fran by knowing how to dance the Polka without her having to teach him. They continued to dance throughout their lives together, moving ever so gracefully over any dance floor they touched. They married in 1956, initially living in Medford and then moving to Woburn in 1962 where they raised their family of seven children.

Family was the center of Bill’s active life. He worked as an electronics technician for most of his professional life while holding many volunteer positions throughout his life. He loved boating and taught seamanship and boating skills through the United States Power Squadron. He was an avid photographer who captured thousands of memories on slide film which he would then show by projector and screen to family and friends gathered around in the living room to relive the wonderful experiences.

As his children grew, he grew with them, expanding his love of learning and thirst for community involvement. He was a Sunday school teacher and Usher for many years at St. Barbara’s Church. He helped found Boy Scout Troop 500 here also with Bob Lilly and Fred Carly who became his best friends. Together they guided and mentored hundreds of boys through all levels of scouting, including the Order of the Arrow, even after their own sons were grown and out of scouting. Bill earned the Silver Beaver Award, a council-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. Recipients of this award are registered Scouters who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council. In addition to scouting, Bill was a member of the Woburn Conservation Commission and WREN (Woburn Residents’ Environmental Network). He was also a longtime member of the YMCA and excellent swimmer all of his life. Whether camping with the scouts or his family, cleaning up the Aberjona River or Horn Pond, planting trees, overseeing a community garden, traveling, or taking a walk, Bill inspired many through his love of nature, the environment and his community. He was a quiet man who led a truly exemplary life. He will be missed by all who had the opportunity to be a part of his remarkable life.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory can be made to the VNA of Middlesex-East, 607 North Avenue, Suite 17, Wakefield, MA 01880.


6 Entries

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  1. Dear Fran and Family,

    We were so saddened to hear of the passing of Bill. He was such a wonderful man and surely will be missed by all.

    John Saladino and Betty

  2. Jim & Lisa Deering, Orlando, FL

    Fran, family and cousins – Nothing I could say could possibly describe the loss of one of the best uncles ever. Memories flash of family cookouts in the back yard and Bill’s infectious laugh. Even through we’re removed geographically, we’re always there in thought.The story of your family sharing a favorite meal with Bill this past Father’s day warms our hearts. I know that my uncle Bill, my godfather, is at peace today.

    Jim Deering and Fanmily

  3. Fran and Family we are so sorry for your loss. Bill was a great guy. You both welcomed us into th neighborhood .
    We will miss him and Fran circling the Mayfower neighbor hood. We are always here for you Fran.
    Ellen (Coakley) Szetela,Mike and Michael Szetela.
    45 Mayflower Rd

  4. Dear Lord, please comfort Fran as she mourns the loss of her husband, Bill. Be with Terry, Denise, Bobby, Liz, Michael, Kathy and Danny and their spouses and children. Bring peace to Peg, Larry, Jerry and Pat, and all the family and friends whose lives were enriched by Bill. You proclaim in your word that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Let us recognize that as we close our eyes here on earth, we open them in heaven welcomed into your loving embrace.

    With love and heartfelt sympathy, Lynne & Fred Williams

  5. Frank J. Lilly (Saint Cloud, Florida)

    To my second family, Marie and I extend our deepest condolences.

    It seemed as if I was the eighth sibling in the Maher family. And whenever I had a chance to visit, I would always greet Bill with a hug and reference him as DAD.

    We are all mourning his loss, but as we reflect back on his life, we will always remember his big smile and welcoming personality.

  6. Dear Fran and Family,
    Fred and I are so sorry to hear about Bill. He was a wonderful man. Thank God for all the good times and good memories you all have.
    Love and Prayers,
    Fred and Jean O’Connor and Family

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