James Riley Maher

James Riley Maher, of Overland Park went peacefully into God’s awaiting arms on Monday, September 14, 2020, surrounded by his loving wife of 57 years, Rosemary, and their seven children Riley, Maura (Paul Martin), Carrie, Christopher (deceased), Amy (Terry Siebes), Brian (Kirsten Creal) and Terry (Katie Houlehan).  Jim and Rose have been blessed with 16 grandchildren – Kathleen Fortino (Anthony), Matthew, Margaret and John Martin; George and John Siebes; William Maher; Brady, Maura, Jane and Michael Maher; and Rose, August, Daniel, Bridget and Finn Maher. 

Jim was born on November 28, 1937, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the youngest son of Francis and Jane Maher. He was preceded in death by his four brothers Denis, Richard, John, and William and is survived by his adored sister, Gloria (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).  

A faith-filled family, Jim’s love for our Lord began early in his childhood.  Humbly presenting himself at Mass every day, Jim estimated he received communion over 22,000 times. He went to Immaculate Conception High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and earned a basketball scholarship to play at Creighton University. Jim would always say, “Never be late for Mass or a basketball game.” 

Jim and Rosemary met teaching school in Dallas, Texas, in 1961.  A career change brought them to Kansas and in 1976 he founded Bankers & Investors, an investment firm in Kansas City, Missouri.  In 1984, he ran for the United States Senate.  In 2001, he sold his investment firm to a large bank and retired.

He was a patriarch of many sports events, especially at St. Thomas Aquinas and CYO games for Ascension, Cure of Ars, Nativity, and Holy Spirit.

Throughout his life, Jim focused on one thing … growing in his love and devotion to our Lord.  Jim made his life a daily expression of faith in God, kindness to others, devotion to his wife and family, compassion for the poor, and immense love for his country.

Jim was often seen with his hands raised, saying “Thanks be to God!” Jim grew God’s Kingdom on earth by building up the hearts and spirits of others … through a kind word, an encouraging comment, or his joyful smile. As he left us, he gave us these instructions …. Follow Christ, be kind to others, continue to learn, and take care of those in need.

“Well done, my good and faithful servant.  Come, share your master’s joy.”  

Mass of Christian Burial 

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, September 18, 2020, at Church of The Ascension, 9510 W 127th St, Overland Park, Kansas.  A video and reflection time will begin at 9:30am.  The mass will also be lived stream at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9i7q97RlCFTsnBEnW3mWxA/live .

          Your prayers, thoughts, posts and cards are more than enough.  The Maher family is extremely grateful and kindly request no flowers. 

Please join us under the tent in the parking lot immediately following mass for coffee and donuts. 

He will be laid to rest at 2 p.m., Friday, at Saint Lawrence Cemetery in Easton, Kansas.

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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Wednesday, Sep. 16th 2020 | 47 Comments »

47 Comments on “James Riley Maher”

  1. jim burwinkle Says:

    jim and alice burwinkle. we are very sorry to hear of jims passing. we always think of the times we spent with jim and i remember him from high school. we know jim is happy and relaxed now and hopefully will be able to follow a better bb season next year. jim

  2. Vince and Joan Totta Says:

    We will really miss Jim. He had the ability to make everyone feel special. We send the family all our thoughts and prayers .

  3. Didier Family Says:

    Condolences from the Didier family. Jim was a wonderful man and an incredible example of faith and service to his community. It was truly a privilege to get to know him and learn from him over the past 9 years. We will miss his cheer, spirit, and optimism.

  4. Everett and Sandy Fritz Says:

    We have enjoyed Jim’s “Hello, Everett!” each time he drove by our home and each time he was in the lobby at Holy Spirit walking out. God bless the whole family.


    Dear Rosemary and Family,

    I share your sadness in the loss of Jim.
    I have fond memories of our social and business time together.
    He is a dear friend.

    May the LORD comfort you all.

    Howard E.

  6. Randy and Joan Covitz Says:

    Rosemary and family: We were so saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. Boy, the fun we had watching the boys play basketball and soccer together. And I loved seeing him at the NAIA Tournament and receiving his messages on my voice mail where we left inspiring comments. We know you’ll take comfort from all your wonderful memories of Jim, and that will help get you through this difficult time.

  7. Jay Ryan Says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I know God will reward him for his faithfulness. Blessings to you and your family.

  8. Jack and Marge Gladbach Says:

    Rosemary and children, our hearts go out to you. Jim was one of our people as is your family.

  9. Jack and Marge Gladbach Says:

    Jim was one of our favorite people as is your family

  10. Jim and Janet Super Says:

    Jim Maher was the quintessential basketball fan. A kind and gentle man, Jim appreciated the game of basketball on a level most fans never achieve.
    Although I was often coaching against his favorite team, STA, he was always supportive. I could count on him to be seated court side during the tournament, and after the game, to offer me heartfelt encouragement, win or lose. Becoming friends, we shared updates on our families and of course, basketball, the game he loved. His positive influence will be missed by many. We are sorry for your loss.

  11. kathi Brandell Says:

    Jim was truly an amazing father, neighbor, and friend, who I know will be missed dearly. There is a special place in my heart where he will live on forever. Keeping Rosemary and the entire family in my thoughts and prayers. May all of you find comfort in your memories.

    With my Deepest Sympathy,
    Kathi Brandell (Kranker)

  12. PAUL KRANKER Says:



  13. Tom & Sandy Long` Says:

    Rosemary and family,

    It is so difficult to believe that Jim is gone. I know the Lord welcomed him with open arms. His presence at the games was always anticipated. He always had a kind word and smile. He was and always will be one of our families’ favorite people.

    Prayers and thoughts for your family.
    Tom & Sandy Long

  14. George and Maggie Lents Says:

    Rosemary and Family,
    We share in your sadness and Jim is a great loss to all of us who knew him. We will miss his jovial smile and graciousness. No doubt the Good Lord embrace him and took him straight to heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful family. God Bless

  15. Cammie and Bill Greif Says:

    Rosemary and Family,
    It was our delight to meet you and Jim and share the Ranch life with your family. Jim was indeed a special man with a very big heart. His desire to share the ranch life with his grandchildren was a very special treat. God Bless you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  16. Rick and Mary Jane Doran Says:

    Our deepest sympathy for the entire Maher family. We remember Jim as a very friendly man seeing him at Saint Thomas Aquinas sporting events and at Mass at Ascension. He always had a smile and a genuine greeting for everyone! He will be greatly missed! Take care.

  17. Roger & Nancy Neighbors Says:

    Jim was such an inspection to all the basketball families at St Thomas Aquinas. He always sent good wishes & “God bless you” with his hands waved in the air. Such a blessing to have shared just a tiny part of his life. We are sending love & prayers to Rosemary and the entire family. God is with you always.

  18. Sue & Andy Dubill Says:

    Rosemary & family–we are so sorry to hear of Coach Maher’s passing.One of the finest gentlemen I have ever encountered. He ALWAYs had a smile, a wave and a “Hi Dubill family” when we would run into him at an event or around town. He always had something great to say about our family–chatting with him was special. My grandsons got to experience his love when they would run into him when they were out with their dad who played for coach at STA.He will be missed by many!!

  19. Jim Rusconi Says:

    Praying for Rosemary and the family. Always glad to see Jim at any event. Such a kind caring person. He probably has some kind of tournament already scheduled in heaven. A fine man who will be missed but never forgotten.

  20. Kitty Colwell Says:

    Dear Maher Family, I was so sorry to hear of Jim’s death. I never called him Jim he was always Mr. Maher. What a wonderful man. I never saw him without that infectious smile. What a legacy he left and how proud you all must be of him. I will miss his greeting whenever he saw me with his big voice always saying “hi Mrs. C”. Tom will be so happy to see him come. Thoughts and Prayers.
    Kitty Colwell

  21. Michon & Tom Quick Says:

    There is no one like Jim Maher! What a happy, welcoming, respectful person. Anyone who encountered him was blessed by his contagious smile and warm greeting. Rosemary and all the Maher family, we are thinking of you during this difficult time, and know that the many fond memories you have of Jim will live on in your hearts and bring you Peace! Jim is such a testament to our Catholic faith – for that we are grateful to have known him. Rest peacefully, our Saint-of-All-Saints Cheerleader!
    ~ Michon & Tom

  22. Mike Colwell Says:

    Dear Mrs. Maher and the entire Maher Family,

    We were sorry to hear about Mr. Maher’s passing. He was a wonderfully sweet man who always had an encouraging word. He will be missed.

    Our deepest sympathies,
    Mike and Karen Colwell

  23. Larry Habluetzel Says:

    Dear Maher Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. My son Chad played basketball for Jim at Queen of the Holy Rosary when he was young. Chad played with Brian, Chad Elstun, and Donnelly.
    The player that was much younger and not playing on the team yet was Terry. Nobody could dribble and shoot like that little guy. Terry went on to a good college career. Jim was always so proud of his family. Everytime I would see him at the grocery store he would always say “Hello to the Habluetzel’s and how is Chad”. I have never known a kinder and more caring gentleman than Jim Maher. God bless Jim and God bless his family.
    Larry and Carol Habluetzel
    Overland Park,Ks.

  24. John Dougherty Says:

    Jim was always a great source of encouragement to me in the short time that I knew him. He was truly a model of Christ, and he will be missed! 2 Timothy 4:7-8 reminds me of Jim: “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for His appearance.”

  25. Roger and Nadyne Jackson Says:

    Dear Mahers,

    We are so sorry for your loss. Jim has seen more basketball than me and actually knew something about the game. I will think of you and remember him kindly when the ball is bouncing at St. Thomas Aquinas and Bishop Miege.

    Love, Roger and Nadyne

  26. Hugh Ryan Says:

    While I did not know Jim directly, I did have the privilege of working with and knowing Terry. One can quickly see the high morale character, work ethic and caring demeanor that Jim passed along to his family.

  27. Bob and Judy Frankovic Says:

    Dear Maher Family,
    This is such sad news but knowing Jim is in the arms of our Savior is comforting.
    When the Maher family moved into our neighborhood, Jim was always quick with a hello or compliment about the flowers tended in our yard. He always had a smile and something kind to say. He will be missed.
    Our deepest sympathies to all of the Maher family and especially Rosemary.
    Judy and Bob

  28. Candy Tai Says:

    Jim always made you feel like you were important. I love how no matter what game we were at to watch the kids play, he had nothing but positive encouragement for them. Even as we parents would be critical of our kids, Jim was there to remind us with his kind words, how to be better parents. I will miss seeing him around church, soccer, basketball, baseball, and football games. May he be welcomed into His kingdom as the faithful servant that he was here on earth. We are here to support the entire Maher family and will be praying for you all!

  29. Roger and Nadyne Says:

    Rosemar;y and family,

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Jim was a special man.
    I know he will be watching over all of you.

    Blessings, Roger and NADYNE

  30. Jerry Sullivan Says:

    To Rosemary, I grieve with you and your family. I will miss seeing him at the High School reunions for the I.C. Class of 1955 in Cedar Rapids. Our numbers are diminishing, but the connection will always be there. His legacy will always remain. My wife, Dee, and I will miss him at the next Reunion, but we look forward to the heavenly Reunion we will have. I recall so well the performances on the basketball stage at I.C. He was a first team All-State player. The Lord now has most of the starting five. With love Jerry and Dee Sullivan

  31. Mike and Denise Slaven Family Says:

    Dear Maher Family,

    Your husband-dad-grandpa reflected Christ in his words and actions. Jim called himself and Rosemary “Roaming Catholics” as they attended Mass at many churches throughout the city. Jim came to daily Mass at Holy Spirit often, and Denise was the recipient of countless $2 bills–“just because”. He not only gave away money, but more importantly joy and enthusiasm and good-will!

    He was so proud of each of his grandchildren–and with good reason–they are all very talented in music and sports and his spirit lives on in each of them whenever they share a memory of him.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you. You may bury his body but his spirit remains alive in all those he touched. Rest in peace, Jim!

  32. Jo Marie & Earl Hogan Says:

    Our deepest sympathy to Rosemary and Family on the passing of a very spiritual man: husband, father, and grandfather.

  33. nancy mccarthy Says:

    We always loved being greeted by Jim at STA games.
    His support was unwavering and we appreciated his kindness to Ryan and Lauren.
    Hug’s Rosemary….you are in our prayers

    John and Nancy McCarthy

  34. CC & Corrine Warlop Says:

    Rosemary and family, we are sorry to learn of your loss. Jim is now reunited with Chris❤️ Let your memories ease your grief. Our prayers are with you all.

  35. John J Gillcrist Says:

    Dear Rosemary,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We will miss Jim’s warm and welcoming wave to us at morning mass.

    John and Terry Gillcrist

  36. Carolyn Pickett Zeligman Says:

    Dear Rosemary and family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I will always remember his smiling face and his wave greeting me as “teacher”. I know my kids, especially Laura, fondly remember him accepting their paintings and greetings when they were little.
    You are lucky that you have had so many wonderful years with him. I know he will be missed so much, but know that he was a positive influence on many of us.
    Again, my thoughts are with you and I hope that your memories will always bring you great joy.
    Your neighbor,

  37. Ken & Patty Heinz Says:

    The Maher family has been great friends of the Heinz family my entire life. Jim was always quick with a smile and friendly greeting. I saw him at morning Mass a few months ago and he shared a great story about my parents. Our prayers are with the entire Maher family. Jim will be missed.

  38. Sean Reilly Says:

    The kindest and most genuine man I ever met. I am a better man for knowing Jim.
    Thw world lost a giant. Heaven gained a terrific FAN.

  39. Josephine Valenzuela Says:

    Our heartfelt condolences to Rosemary, his children and grandchildren. He was such a joy to visit with when Joe and I traveled to visit our grandchildren. We will miss seeing him when we go to games in the future. We know he will be there in spirit. May God’s perpetual light shine on him. God bless your family. We will keep you in our prayers.✝️

  40. Sally & Vince Teahan Says:

    This was a true gentleman! If we could all emulate Jim’s demeanor how much more wonderful would our world be!
    Rosemary and family, our hearts ache for you all and you are in our thoughts and prayers. May our Lord’s peace be upon you and our Mother Mary’s arms wrap around you and give you comfort.

  41. Matt Campbell Says:

    We can’t say enough good things about this guy.

    In the interactions I ever had with Jim, to me, he might have been the greatest example of how to live your life because he always had something positive to say to everyone, he truly treated everyone equally, he would tell you “God Bless You fellas” when he left the gym that night, and you almost instantly felt better when you saw Jim. Not only all of this, but he was a great basketball player too (one heck of a 3-point shooter I might add), and played well into his what 80’s (we were always guessing his age)? What a phenomenal role model to emulate.

    When I saw him, he would ask me if I could teach his grandkids how to play basketball, to which I would respond: “They’ve got no better teacher than you Jim. I need you to teach me how to shoot.” I never did get that lesson on shooting.

    I’m going to miss it when I come up to play and he’s not there to say “Good players here tonight fellas!” or “Players waiting!”

    God Bless You Jim!

  42. Maggie Shine Says:

    Dear Rosemary and family,
    I am so sorry to hear about Jim’s passing. I totally admired and respected him. He was such a good person. I always looked forward to going to work to see him, Riley, the rest of the gang and Maher family members who came by. When we all had to leave 15 West 10th Street, Jim told me I could share his office. He told me to stay as long as I wanted, “Pay rent, don’t pay rent” he did not seem to mind. (Of course, I paid rent). Jim gave me sound business advice when I asked. I was just thinking of him last week and wanted to invite him for lunch. I am sick I did not attend his funeral, I did not know he was even sick. My heart goes out to the entire Maher clan. You are in my prayers. I know Jim is in heaven watching over us.

  43. Mike Mullen Says:

    Jim was a true follower of Christ and a great example of how to live the faith in everything he did. I will never know a better friend. God Bless the Maher family.

  44. Kenneth Zimmerman Says:

    I mourn the loss of my boss, my friend, my family, my guardian angel as Heaven has now made it, that Jim will live with our Lord in a house of many mansions. May I just give my love and condolences and heart to my honorary family, the Jim Maher’s who are so much a part of my life and memories. Jim was a blessing to all who knew him. He touched so many lives. He has got to be the most uplifting Man I have ever known. And his faith in Jesus Christ shown within him in just the right special way. He never missed a chance to stop, bow his head, close his eyes and offer thanks to the Father. His spirit lives on with our Lord and in our Hearts. Kenny Zimmerman from Stilwell, Ks now living in Sheboygan, WI

  45. Laura Zeligman Says:

    I lived down the street from Mr. Maher (as I knew him) as a kid. He was always very kind and encouraging me. I used to go door to door to houses to sell the pictures I had drawn and go on scavenger hunts and do other random activities. While I don’t remember all of my neighbors, I remember him for how friendly he was to me while I was on these adventures. He also always sent well wishes to my parents and asked about KU basketball (because we are big fans). My thoughts go out to Rosemary and the family during this hard time. May the good memories bring you comfort now, and knowing that he touched the lives of many.

  46. Rita Heinz Dahle Says:

    I remember attending pre canna meetings at the Maher home in the 70’s. Jim and Rosemary were the perfect role models! I am so sorry for the loss of a husband and father that was such a kind person.

  47. Joe & Janet Kolich Says:

    Dear Rosemary and Family,
    We will miss Jim at daily Mass. He always made everyone feel that they were important. The “Roaming Catholic” has arrived at his final destination. Bet there were plenty of people there to meet him and his BOOMING voice would joyfully greet each and every one. We were privileged to have him as a friend. God Bless. Love and Prayers. Hope he’s looking out for us down here hoping to join him some day. Joe & Janet Kolich

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