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Bruce Maher

July 25, 1937 - July 6, 2018

Bruce Maher, two-time MVP for the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, dies at 80

By Kit Maher

Bruce Maher, best known as a professional football player for the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, died on July 6th at his home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 80.

An athlete to his core, Maher showed a particular…read more

Bruce Maher, two-time MVP for the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, dies at 80

By Kit Maher

Bruce Maher, best known as a professional football player for the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, died on July 6th at his home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 80.

An athlete to his core, Maher showed a particular prowess on the field, marked by his grit and humility. Drafted in the 15th round of the National Football League in 1959, Maher spent eight seasons for the Lions (1960-1967) and two seasons for the Giants (1968-1969). He was named NFL team MVP not once, but twice: first for the Lions in 1965 and for the Giants in 1968.

A two-sport All American athlete at University of Detroit, Maher was a fierce competitor on the football team, as well as a catcher for the baseball team. Maher was nominated and played in the 1960 College Football All-Star Game at Soldier Field in Chicago. Hailing from Detroit, Maher was inducted into the Hall of Fame at both his high school and college: University of Detroit Mercy in 1979 and University of Detroit High in 2015. He was also named Detroit News First Team All-City and Detroit Free Press First Team All-State football player.

After his rookie season with the Lions, he played a year of minor league baseball for the Detroit Tigers Class B affiliate in Durham, NC before fully committing to professional football. Over the course of ten seasons in NFL, he played 136 games, collected 22 interceptions, recovered four fumbles and caused three safeties.

More than an exceptional athlete, Maher built a family, of which he was the rock. A husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend, he is survived by his wife, Gerda Marie Maher, his six children: Sheila (Francis), John (Kelly), Sharon Lee, Luke (Marie), Matthew (Elizabeth) and Jesalyn (Jared), and 13 grandchildren: Vincent, George, Laine, Kit, Samantha, Jack, Dylan (Becca), Elijah, Gracie, Morrison, Hendrika, Luella, Yves and his namesake, Bruce.

A man of rare talent, Maher held a strong presence at the head of his family and co-founded the largest privately owned telecommunications company in Wisconsin in the early 1980s. Still competing through his seventies, Maher enjoyed golf and played in annual Gus Macker basketball tournaments with his sons.

“Keep the Faith,” was Maher’s mantra and he kept it through a nearly 20-year battle with cancer. His last moments were spent alongside his family at his home in Wauwatosa, WI. They will remember him for his mental toughness, authenticity, kindness, sharp wit and generous nature. Bruce was the life of the party, in true form at the center of his living room, bent over a guitar, singing and dancing the Blues.

A memorial service will be held Friday, August 3rd 2018 at 3:00 PM at Gesu Catholic Church, 1145 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233. Contact: (414) 288-7101.

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Service Information

Service Information

Gesu Catholic Church

Address:

1145 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Date: Friday, August 3, 2018

Time: 3:00 PM

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