Cover photo for John "Poppy" Maher's Obituary
John "Poppy" Maher Profile Photo
1932 John 2019

John "Poppy" Maher

June 8, 1932 — May 13, 2019

Jack, affectionately known as “Poppy”, 86, entered eternal life surrounded by his family, at his winter home in North Fort Myers, Florida after a long illness.
Born in Lafayette, NY on June 8, 1932 to Leo Dominick and Agnes Julia (Sheehan) Maher. He was the 5th of 12 children.
Growing up on a rural, dairy farm in Truxton, NY Jack quickly determined that farming was not the life for him. In 1952 he enlisted in the U.S. Army, 24th Infantry and served in the Korean War until his honorably discharge in 1954.
Having always had an interest in mechanics & a natural instinct for operating machinery, he became a heavy equipment operator for Local 302, International Union of Operating Engineers in 1955. In the years that followed he worked on the construction of many major projects throughout New York State including the Plattsburgh Missile Sites, Plattsburgh Air Force Base & Interstate 87 but his dreams of adventure came true when he headed North to Alaska in 1975. He spent the next 17 years in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska helping in the construction of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline.
During his down time in Alaska, Jack enjoyed fishing & hunting in the wilderness as well as his great friendship with Charlie & Rose Stole. Jack retired in 1992.
Jack is survived by his wife of 60 years Mary Jane Lester of Cliffside Park, NJ, his daughter & loving caregiver Mary of Plattsburgh, NY, sons Clark of Cliffside Park, NJ & Walt of Ticonderoga, NY, his granddaughter Chelsey (Jason) Wheeler of Mooresville, NC, great granddaughter Trinity Alana Wheeler, brothers Vincent, Bernard(Margaret), Thomas(Kathy), sister Kathleen Davidson, many nieces and nephews, brother & sister in-law Ted & Colleen Wagner & his fur baby Charlie.
Jack is predeceased by his parents, Leo & Agnes, siblings: Therese, Joseph, Frank, Mary, James, Robert and Helen.
Jack was a communicant of Saint Peter’s Church in Plattsburgh, NY, a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus in Ticonderoga, NY and a member of the American Legion Post 20 in Plattsburgh, NY.
There will be no calling hours. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at St. Peter’s Church in Plattsburgh, NY on June 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM. A celebration of his life will follow at the Fourth Ward Club in Plattsburgh, NY. His remains will be scattered at his beloved hunting camp.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: Hope Hospice, 2430 Diplomat Pkwy East, Cape Coral, FL. 33909 or Friends Comforting Friends, 25 Steamboat Landing, Ticonderoga, NY 12883.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Heald Funeral Home, 48 Court Street, Plattsburgh.
To light a memorial candle or leave an online condolence please visit
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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