William L. Maier (1949-1984)
William L. Maier, Bill to everyone, passed away in Tallahassee on Sunday, August 19, 1984. During his 35 years he met more people and touched more hearts with his optimism and contagious smile than most people could in two lifetimes. Many of our lives were enriched by knowing Bill and working with him to further the objectives of Aquatic Plant Control and the professional attitudes that accompany these goals. Bill was a charter member of the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society, served on its Board of Directors from 1978- 1980 and was president of FAPMS in 1981-1982. Aquatics Magazine was conceived and developed singlehandedly by Bill in his desire to provide authentic, readable information to aquatic applicators. He was the Editor of Aquatics for the first two years, the difficult and formative years, of its publication (1979-1981) . At the time of his death he also was serving on the Board of Directors of the National Aquatic Plant Management Society. His voluntary work and unselfish efforts on behalf of Aquatic Weed Control is a matter of record which should serve as an inspiration to all. Bill’s work in Aquatic Plant Management in Florida began in 1972 when he moved from Ft. Lauderdale after receiving his B.S. Degree from Northeast Missouri State University. In Ft. Lauderdale he worked at the University of Florida Agricultural Research Center conducting research on biocontrol of water hyacinth. In 1974 he became the first Regional Botanist in the South Florida area where he was employed by the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission. In 1976, he became a section administrator in the Bureau of Aquatic Plant Research and Control, Florida Department of Natural Resources, where his duties included overseeing the matching grants and weed control program. In March 1984, Bill resigned from service to the State of Florida and became a marketing specialist with Monsanto Agricultural Products in Chico, California. The statements above briefly summarize Bill’s dedication, experience and service to Aquatic Plant Management, but he will be most remembered by those of us who knew him by his enthusiastic attitude, optimism and ever present smile. Whether overseas, out of state, at the hunting camp or in the field studying aquatic weeds he was always first to greet a stranger, talk to a colleague, grab a shovel or help lay-out plots. Since he was first diagnosed with cancer in 1978 he led his friends through the hard times providing encouragement to all of us. During the following years we had the opportunity to get to know Bill better and value life and friends like we never had before. His illness never stymied his goals of professionalism and dedication to Aquatic Plant Management. Bill believed that the value is in the worth, not in the number, so he dedicated his time to serving others whether it be telling hunting stories to a young boy or giving weed control advice to a private applicator. He did it with class, his heart and his best with malice toward none. We mourn Bill’s death but he wouldn’t want us to. He said “Hi ya guy, okay fine, no problem, I’ll be okay.” And you know, we believe him .