Lawrence William Maher Jr., 86, Vero Beach

Lawrence William Maher Jr., 86, died March 10, 2011, at Palliative Care Center & Hospice of Catawba Valley in Newton, N.C.

He was born in Vero Beach, attended St. Anastasia’s Elementary School in Fort Pierce, St. Leo’s Preparatory School in Saint Leo and graduated from Vero Beach High School in 1942.

He was an Army veteran stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.

Before retiring, he operated the family-owned Maher’s Department Store in Vero Beach, was instrumental in opening what then was Florida National Bank and was a founding director of the bank for many years.

He operated a beer and wine distributorship in Miami for many years.

He was involved in commercial and residential real estate, building the Colonial Manor Building on Royal Palm Boulevard.

He started Global Aero Ferry Service.

He worked with the United Nations, ferrying supplies and planes to Colombia, Spain and the former Belgian Congo.

He owned and operated the Pocahontas Building in downtown Vero Beach.

He built and managed the Appalachian South Apartments in Boone, N.C., for students of Appalachian State University.

He was a member of St. Helen Catholic Church in Vero Beach and St. Aloysius in Hickory, N.C.

Survivors include his wife, Phyllis Snyder; son, Larry Maher III, of Taylorsville, N.C.; daughters, Cathy Williams, of Vero Beach, Maureen Tipton, of Huntsville, Ala., and Denise Rodrigues, of Mobile, Ala.; sister, Mary Anne Skiscim, of Vero Beach; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Charlotte Botsonis; and first wife, Garnett Maher.

Memorial contributions may be made to Palliative Care Center & Hospice of Catawba Valley, 3975 Robinson Road., Newton, NC 28658.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. March 17 at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Hickory.

Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the church.

Arrangements are by Bass-Smith Funeral Home.

A guestbook is available at

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