Miss Keepers of the Crown

Betty Fox Maher 1966Betty Fox Maher - Miss Kansas 1966

Betty Maher, of Fort Myers, died at her home on Sunday the 17th of February. She was 66.

She was born to the late Lionel and Josephine Fox on May 30th 1946 in Oakmont, PA. Betty graduated from the College of Emporia in Kansas in 1968 with a Degree in Music Education with a principal focus on piano, vocal education and performance. She married Stephen Maher in 1980 and they lived together in Fort Myers until her passing.

Betty's love for music and the theatre can be traced back to her scholarship beauty pageant days in Kansas where she was crowned Miss Kansas in 1966 and went on to represent her state in the Miss America Pageant that same year. After moving to Florida she remained active on the stage where she amassed many leading roles in both dramas and musicals, bringing to them her skills and experience from having performed with Doc Severensen of the Johnny Carson Show, at the Bell Telephone Hour, and her time performing as lead vocalist for a Mid West dance and swing band during the 1960s. Betty was a frequent MC at numerous Miss America State pageants around the country throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Betty was a long time middle school teacher in the Fort Myers area and spent the last 30 years of her teaching career at Fort Myers Middle School until her retirement in 2008. Betty was passionate about making a difference and thoroughly enjoyed teaching her students Language Arts, Drama and multiple aspects and joys of the performing arts. She was awarded the Golden Apple Teacher Award in 1994.

Betty is survived by her husband, Stephen, his children Cari and Robin Maher and three grandchildren: Clarinda (8), Aslynn (6) and Lily (4). She is also survived by her brother Joseph Fox of the Baton Rouge, LA area.

In lieu of any cards or flowers, Betty and her family would appreciate such expressions of caring you might wish to make be made to Doctors Without Boarders at 333 Seventh Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001 or www.doctorswithoutborders.org.

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