December 20, 2020

The OI is saddened by the recent loss of Jill Carlotta Maher. Carlotta was the very heart and soul of the OI. Beloved by all of us, Carlotta served as a dedicated volunteer leader and an ardent supporter of the OI for more than 50 years. A Life Member of the OI Advisory Council and its Executive Board, Carlotta will be deeply missed — indeed, it is difficult to conceive of the OI without her.

Carlotta spent her grade-school years in New York City, where during weekends and vacations she frequently visited the Egyptian galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A move to the very small town of Parkville, Missouri, followed. After high school in Kansas City, Missouri, Carlotta attended Radcliffe, where she majored in chemistry. Upon moving to Chicago, Carlotta worked for a medical geneticist at the former Children’s Memorial Hospital until a chance visit to the OI changed her life. She soon became a docent, as a member of our first docent class, and later chair of the volunteer program. She took graduate courses in Egyptology, worked four seasons on the Iraq Expedition at Nippur, served as assistant to the director of Chicago House in Luxor since 1985, and held that formal title until her final day. Her passionate interest in the work of the OI never ceased, and all of us were honored by her decades of active engagement in and unequaled commitment to our work. Carlotta married her husband David shortly after both completed their undergraduate degrees at Harvard in the early 1950s, and together they raised two children and adored their three grandchildren.

In you wish to make a donation in memory of Carlotta and more than 50 years of service at the OI, please click here.

Caption: Carlotta Maher, center, with recipients of the James Henry Breasted Medallion at the OI Centennial Gala, September 14, 2019

Feature: Carlotta Maher: Queen of the Nile, Chicago Classic Magazine, April 16, 2016

Obituary: New York Times, December 20, 2020