Jeffrey Scott Maher passed away the morning of Wednesday, September 25, 2019.
How can we possibly sum up such a unique existence in just a few short sentences? Let's give it a try. He wasn't dangerous. Just different. He wasn't childish. Just childlike. He didn't march to the beat of a different drummer. He preferred to dance instead. He wasn't stubborn. He was steadfast, even once electing to keep his mustache rather than a high-paying job. He was wise beyond his years, even when the years behind him began to pile up. He was outgoing yet reflective, bold yet sensitive. He was a fierce competitor, yet willing to share his wisdom with anyone who would ask. He was our brother, our friend, our teammate and soulmate. And now he has left us for a time. No more pain. No more tears. No more struggling to "be normal" in a world where normal no longer can be defined. He is, finally, at peace. His resume would tell you something different, but Jeffrey Scott Maher wasn't a college basketball coach. He was a mentor, adviser and role model to the collegians who had the privilege of taking the court with him. Basketball was simply his platform for teaching life--and living it to the fullest. He could be demanding in that role, yet never demeaning. He could get in a player's face, then invite the player to get into his car so he could help counsel and listen to him. He knew the game, but he knew people even better. He loved the strategy, but he loved his players even more. The ball was simply a symbol of something much bigger, something much more profound. It was his tool to teach how we all must bounce back from adversity. Fall seven times, get back up eight, then do it again the next day, and the day after that. Jeff was preceded in death by his father and master teacher in giving, William E. Maher; and his grandparents, William L. and Mary Alberta Maher, as well as Charles E. and Pauline A. Cowell. Jeff is survived by his loving and dedicated mother, Linda J. Maher; a brother, Mark W., of Louisville, Ky.; three sisters, Marci L., of Louisville, Ky., and Aimee J. and Kristen A., of Hilton Head Island, S.C.; the love of his life, Laura A. Maher, of Lewisburg, Pa.; three uncles, Charles E. (Carol) Cowell, Robert (Barbara) Cowell and Robert L. (Patty) Maher; two aunts, MaryEllen (Al) Rea and Lori Cowell (John Mazich); cousins, Alexis, Alison, Charles, Douglas, Kiley, Merilee, Michelle, Patrick, Robert and their families; Coach Jeff Maher's "family," not by birth but by ball, and his core group of friends who supported his journey through life. In addition to his family and friends, there are countless others who never met Jeff, yet are thriving today because of his impact on us. Teach one, touch many. If Jeff has touched your spirit in any way, please join us this Friday, October 4, 2019, as we celebrate a life well-lived. Visitation with the family begins at 9 a.m. at St. Angela Merici Church in White Oak. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10 a.m. at the church. Interment will take place at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery in Pleasant Hills. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to the family for a charity of their choice. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to William H. Craig Funeral Home, Inc. 3000 Versailles Ave. McKeesport, PA 15132.
Originally published October 03, 2019.