Jeanmarie Maher '65, a tireless worker in Democratic Party political causes, died in her home in San Francisco on July 22, 2014, after a long illness. Ms. Maher, who suffered from chronic pulmonary disease, was 72.
She worked for the Asia Foundation and then began a long life of political activism, working at various times for a number of political figures, among them former Assembly Speaker Jess Unruh, former Gov. Gray Davis, former state Controller Ken Cory and state Democratic Party Chairman John Burton. Ms. Maher sometimes worked in paid positions, but often as a volunteer in the hard grunt work of political life, helping raise funds, run campaigns, do mailings and make phone calls.
"She was a real go-getter and dedicated to Democratic Party principles," Burton said. "She worked hard for causes she believed in."
Among them was tireless opposition to the death penalty in the United States, and because she was of Irish descent, efforts to promote peace in Northern Ireland. She was a member of several Irish political groups and had connections in Britain, Northern Ireland and the Irish republic. She met with at least two Irish prime ministers. She also was senior supervisor in the offices of California Attorneys General Jerry Brown '59 and Kamala Harris.
Ms. Maher had a sense of adventure and was in the crew of the paddle wheel tug Eppleton Hall, an antique vessel that sailed from England in 1969 on an epic voyage to San Francisco. Born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, in 1941, she moved with her family to California when she was a girl. She graduated from Santa Clara University and moved to San Francisco. She is survived by her brother, Charles Maher of Coeur d'Alene; a niece, Jennifer Brooks of Mary Esther, Fla.; and a nephew, Richard Maher of Plymouth, Minn.
submitted Aug. 14, 2014 11:21P