CUSEC is saddened to report the loss of one of our founding Board Members, J.E. "Jim" Maher. Maher passed away on April 12, 2010. Director Maher was a previous director of Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). He led MEMA for nearly twenty years as director, holding the post through the administrations of five governors. Maher was the inspiration for the J.E. Maher Award, an award given to individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the field of emergency management.
Maher was a decorated veteran, seeing combat in Korea and Vietnam. He retired from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1971. During his years at MEMA, Maher sat on numerous boards and associations including the National Emergency Management Association (President), Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (Chairman), and the Advisory Council for the National Institute of Urban Search and Rescue (Chairman). The entire CUSEC Board of Directors and staff offer our deepest sympathies to the Maher family.
Obituary as follows -
Lt. Col. J. E. "Jim" Maher, USMC, Ret. Of Brandon, MS passed away on Monday, April 12, 2010. Col. Maher, the son of the late James Earl and Anna Margaret Tovick Maher, was born October 21, 1929 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was a graduate of Benson Polytechnic School in Portland, Oregon and was appointed a Midshipman in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1947. Col. Maher graduated from the University of Mississippi and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1951. He served in combat in Korea and Vietnam and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in June of 1971. His military decorations include the Bronze Star with Combat "V" and the Meritorious Service Medal. Col. Maher was appointed as the Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency in 1980 and served in the State of Mississippi as such until his retirement in 2000. He was the past president of the National Emergency Management Association, Chairman of the Mississippi Emergency Response Commission, past Chairman of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium, member of the Marine Corp Association, and a member of the 2nd Marine Division Association.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Brown Maher; his children, Anna L. Maher, Mary Elizabeth Maher, Sandra Maher McKelvy, James E. Maher, Jr., and Patricia J. Maher; and two grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at Lakewood Funeral Home on Friday, April 16, 2010, at 2:00 PM with visitation beginning at 1:00. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the 2nd Marine Division Association Scholarship Fund, PO Box 8180, Camp Lejeune, NC 28547 or to the 1st Presbyterian Church of Charleston, MS.