James Richard Meagher died peacefully at his home on April 10th.
Dick was born August 31, 1931 in Ottawa Illinois to James W. and Margaret Meagher (nee Walsh). Unable to be kept down on the farm, Dick ran away from home at age 14 and made it as far west as Seattle where he survived on odd jobs. At the age of 17 years and 1 day, Dick entered the Navy for a 2 year enlistment. His time in the Navy was extended by a stop loss order by Harry Truman because of the Korean War. After the President’s order extending his enlistment, he was posted to Alameda Naval Air Station. It was there he met phone company employee Rose Halligan. The two were married at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Reno on August 5th, 1950. The couple moved with their two boys to Napa in 1957 where two more boys were born.
Dick worked at many jobs during his life. After the Navy, he owned a restaurant in Colorado and a gas station in Napa, worked for an asbestos mine, the post office, and was a civilian employee for the Army in the Marshall Islands. Dick also was the proprietor of Maher’s Discount Store on Jefferson Street. It was a retail venture that was part hardware store, part boutique. He designed a ladies blouse that he contracted a firm in the L.A. Garment district to manufacture, and he sold them exclusively at his store. Later he went on to work at the Christian Brother’s Greystone Winery in St. Helena, as a tour guide, worked in the sales room and in Public Relations as well. He carried the skills from the Christian Brothers to the sales room at Mont St. John Winery (now Madonna Vineyards) before retiring.
Despite a lack of a formal education, Dick was a voracious reader and he enjoyed poetry and studying his Irish Heritage. He was always good for a story or poem and enjoyed spending time with anyone.
Preceding him in death was his wife Rose, his sons Christopher and Michael, and his sisters Delores Haines and Kathy Garrett. Surviving family members are his sons David of Napa, Eric of Reno NV, and his daughter-in-law Judith (nee Bassham) of Winnemucca NV. Also Dick leaves grandsons Joshua and Kevin, granddaughters Kelli and Kelsey, and seven great-grandchildren.
In lieu of a service, Dick’s family and friends ask that donations be made to Collabria Care (formerly Napa Valley Hospice) 414 S. Jefferson St., Napa, CA 94559. Arrangements are being handled by Claffey and Rota in Napa.