John Maher photo.jpg

John A. Maher

On Saturday, October 3, 2020, John Alexander Maher, of Charles Town, WV, passed away surrounded and survived by his wife of 45 years, Karen Rhyne Maher, son Sean Maher and his wife Elizabeth Austin of Shepherdstown, WV, and daughter Katie Maher Golden and her partner Kevin Lenaburg of Santa Monica, CA.

Born at Georgetown Hospital on September 8, 1955, Maher grew up in Ashton, MD, in the house his parents John Thomas Maher and Marjorie Ellen McKay Maher (both of whom preceded him in death) built. Maher is survived by his three sisters, JoAnne Dehne, Susan Maher and Kathy Peterka.

Maher graduated from Good Counsel High School and earned his automotive ASE certification from Lincoln Technical Institute and went on to become a master technician. Most importantly, Mr. Maher’s legacy is the thousands of high school students he taught automotive courses over 22 years in the Montgomery County, MD public school system at Thomas Edison High School and more recently Seneca Valley High School. 

The Maher family moved to Charles Town, WV in 1981 and built their warm, inviting home over 30 years ago. The door is always open to friends to enjoy the magnificent garden, watch life go by in a rocking chair on the wrap around porch, sit by the fireplace, or open a bottle of Moon Valley Wine, a home-winemaking venture that includes his beloved 8th period teacher friends.  

Mr. Maher was very active in the 1980’s and 90’s as a volunteer with the Independent Fire Company as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and firefighter. He served as the Ambulance Chief and was instrumental in the creation of the Jefferson County Ambulance Authority.

His next philanthropic adventure, along with his wife and a community of dedicated volunteers, was starting the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle, a safe place where youth can gather with the goal of helping them to become productive, caring and responsible citizens.

Mr. Maher and his family spent their vacations serving with Volunteers in Mission, traveling to Puerto Rico six times to help rebuild churches around the island that had been damaged by hurricanes.

John Maher made a strong and lasting impact on all the lives he touched. His generous heart, patience and caring spirit came naturally to him. We know he is in a better place and look forward to the future when we will see him on the other side.

Funeral services will be held Monday, October 12th at 11 a.m. at Eackles-Spencer and Norton Funeral Home, 256 Halltown Road, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425.

The family will receive friends an hour before the service.

A celebration of John Maher’s life will take place directly after the service at the family home.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle by visiting

Condolences may be expressed at


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