Joseph Charles Maheras, 76, a longtime Billings physician, died Jan. 10, 2014, of cancer.
He was born June 14, 1937, to Celia Argenta Miles Maheras and Peter John Maheras in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was raised on the family farm with five siblings.
He graduated from Idaho Falls High School in 1955 and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Chicago. He studied chemistry at the University of Oregon and received a master’s degree in chemistry from Idaho State University.
He entered medical school at the University of South Dakota in 1963. He married Mary Gugin on Aug. 20, 1966, and they both received their doctor of medicine degrees from the University of Washington Medical School in 1967. Internship and residency in internal medicine took them to Hennepin County General Hospital in Minneapolis.
During the Vietnam War, Dr. Maheras served in the Medical Corps as the surgeon for the 172 Infantry Brigade at Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was discharged as a major in 1972 and returned to Hennepin County to complete the residency program.
The family moved to Billings in 1975, and he began his 36-year medical career at the Billings West Medical Center. He served at both St. Vincent Healthcare and the former Deaconess Hospital, and his practice led him from Billings West to the Broadwater Clinic to temporary retirement in 2005.
He then assisted until 2013 at the Sleep Center at St. Vincent Healthcare. He was elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2008.
Dr. Maheras served in numerous leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America and received the District Award of Merit, the Silver Beaver Award, and the God and Service Award. He was a member of the Order of the Arrow.
He played the accordion, clarinet and concertina and sang for more than 30 years in the chancel choir of Grace United Methodist Church. He had recently joined the Big Sky Chorus.
Since his initial retirement in 2005, he had been building a cedar strip canoe. It will be launched when warm weather returns.
Survivors include his wife; sons, Andrew and Toby; a daughter, Amy; three grandsons; sisters, Elaine, Ruth and Joy; and a brother, Ted.
A time of fellowship and greeting will be held at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15. Services will be at Grace United Methodist Church, 1935 Ave. B, at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, followed by a luncheon in the church Fellowship Hall.
Memorials may be directed to Doctors Without Borders or St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation.