The former mayor of Terrace who was heavily involved in the community and as an advocate for bringing services into the city has died.
Dave Maroney was 91. He passed away in Mills Memorial Hospital surrounded by family on Nov.11, 2018.
Over the years, he was recognized with a lifetime achievement award for his work in the Lions Club, where he also volunteered many hours to officiate logger sports and rodeo events.
He was also awarded a lifetime membership to the Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway Association, a coalition made up of various municipal governments from B.C. to Manitoba that lobbied senior governments for money to improve Hwy 16.
He began a career in politics as an alderman in 1972 and served until 1977. While on council, he sat on the planning, public works, industrial, tourism, recreation and finance committees.
“He was positive and forward thinking so he wanted more services for Terrace. Back then, there wasn’t a bus, there wasn’t a mall, so he really fought to bring that here,” says Michael Maroney, Dave’s son.
Dave was elected mayor in 1977 after successfully contesting a by-election, serving in that position for four years until 1981. During those years, Dave saw the city through major economic growth, and was one of the main drivers behind the opening of the Skeena Mall in 1978 that positioned Terrace to become the northwest’s shopping and service centre.
In 1990, the city named Maroney Avenue in his honour.
Current mayor Carol Leclerc says the city has lost an esteemed and dedicated member of the community.
“On behalf of our city council I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the Maroney family on the recent passing of Dave, a highly respected and valued member of our community,” Leclerc wrote in a message to the Terrace Standard. “Dave’s public service and community spirit were exemplary and he will be greatly missed.”
Not one to take it easy in his retirement years, Dave spent some of his time as a greeter at Walmart, where he enjoyed catching up with residents. He was on the city’s bylaw variance board until last summer, and made an appearance back in August at the Skeena Mall’s 40th-anniversary celebration.
“He always had to be busy. Right up until his last days, he had to be moving and doing something,” Michael says.
Outside of his work in the community, Michael says his family and the church were very important to him — no matter how busy he was, the family always gathered together for Sunday dinner.
He says Dave loved flying and had his private pilot’s licence for many years, often taking his children up in a small plane that he flew around the North. Many weekends were also spent at Meziadin Lake clearing the lot and building the family’s cabin.
“We had a pretty close-knit family, we always spent Sundays together. There was always an adventure somewhere,” Michael says.
Maroney was born in Nashwaak Village, New Brunswick on July 8, 1927, and was the second child of six, son of Fred and Elizabeth Maroney. He first came west in 1945 after joining the army to train in Vernon, B.C. The war ended at the end of his training and he returned to the east coast.
He returned to B.C. once again to work in a logging camp around Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. After a year or so he again returned to the east coast, and in 1947, he met Jean Shannon and they married in 1949.
They came west where he worked as an equipment operator and mechanic on construction jobs on pipelines and railway in Vancouver, Terrace and Kitimat between 1952 and 1958. During this time, he helped to build the railway connecting Terrace to Kitimat.
He spent 15 years in the logging industry with Skoglund Logging, and he decided to go into business himself and bought Terrace Equipment Ltd., a business he had for 30 years before closing it down.
He is predeceased by his wife and daughter, and survived by his five children, 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.