Martin L. Maehr, age 84, died in Ann Arbor on January 10, 2017, surrounded by his family. The cause was complications from Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Maehr was a professor of education at the University of Michigan's School of Education and professor of psychology in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. He retired in 2005 when he was named Professor Emeritus by the Regents of the University of Michigan. Dr. Maehr received his B. A. and M. Div. degrees from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nebraska. Prior to the University of Michigan, Dr. Maehr served on the faculty at Concordia Senior College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and the University of Illinois. At the University of Illinois, Dr. Maehr held several positions including Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology, Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs in the College of Education and Director of the Institute for Child Behavior and Development. At the University of Michigan, Dr. Maehr served as the first Director of the Combined Program of Education and Psychology. Professor Maehr's research focused on intrinsic motivation and social-cultural origins of achievement. He was widely published and received numerous awards, including a Pew Foundation resident fellowship at the Erasmus Institute, University of Notre Dame, and a senior school fellowship at Leuven University, Belgium. Dr. Maehr's research afforded him the opportunity to travel widely. In the 1970s he was a member of University of Illinois' Tehran Research Unit at the University of Tehran, in Iran, where he lived with his wife Jane and their three children. Later, he spent time at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia and lectured in universities throughout China, Australia and Europe. Despite extensive world travel, the place Dr. Maehr was most passionate about was Beaver Island, a community in Northern Michigan that he and his family began visiting more than forty years ago and where they maintain a home. Dr. Maehr played baseball in college and was an avid tennis player, regularly participating in Liberty Athletic Club's tennis program, where he was known as "the Silver Fox." Dr. Maehr is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jane, and his children Marty (Ann Arbor), Mike (Urbana, Illinois) and Kate and her husband Sam Pickering (Oak Park, Illinois) and his grandchildren Sylvia, Naomi, Joe and Ben. Memorial services will be held at a later date in Ann Arbor and on Beaver Island. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association, the Greater Chicago Food Depository or Trinity Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor.
Published in Ann Arbor News on Jan. 15, 2017