The Center for Performing Arts at Northeastern State University was filled nearly to capacity Thursday afternoon, as family, friends, colleagues and students of Dr. Tiffany Maher gathered for a memorial service.
Maher’s life ended tragically a little over two weeks ago, when she was found murdered in her home on the south side of Tahlequah.
Maher, assistant professor of chemistry at NSU, was remembered fondly by Dr. Steve Turner, NSU president; Dr. Martin Venneman, dean of NSU’s College of Science Health Administration; colleague Dr. Misha Barybin, who worked with Maher at Kansas University while she obtained her Ph.D.; and her brother, Greg, who presided over the ceremony.
Maher’s mother, Diane, met with attendees prior to the memorial, introducing herself, shaking hands and thanking people for coming.
Turner pointed out although the circumstances were sad, the event itself was a celebration of Maher’s life. Upbeat music played throughout the ceremony, which included a sing-a-long of Reba McEntire’s “Let the Music Lift You Up.”
“Tom, Diane and Greg, we appreciate you sharing Tiffany with us,” said Turner. “I see the NSU family as an extension of your family, and we’re so fortunate to have had Tiffany with us.”
Turner said Maher had the heart and soul of a teacher, making science fun and bringing it to life for her students.
Maher received the NSU’s Circle of Excellence award this past spring. The award is peer-reviewed, and can only be bestowed upon a recipient once in a lifetime. Maher earned the award in only her fourth year at the university.
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