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Larry Mahaney, philanthropist supported college baseball; 76

BANGOR -- Larry Mahaney, a well-known Bangor businessman and philanthropist known for his support of college baseball programs in Maine, died in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Sunday, four days after a stroke. He was 76.

The former board chairman and chief executive officer of Webber Energy Fuels had said his work on Aroostook County potato farms as a youth gave him the aspiration to achieve, while learning to play poker contributed to his success in business.

''I learned patience, learned to play the hand dealt to you," the Easton native told a gathering at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1999. ''I learned to bluff a little."

A standout athlete who played basketball while earning bachelor's and master's degrees at the university, Mr. Mahaney coached high school sports before becoming manager of Webber's heating oil division and director of advertising and public relations. At the time, he was married to Louise ''Jackie" Frost, granddaughter of one of the company's founders.

Mr. Mahaney became president of Webber Oil in 1969 and diversified the family-run company into other ventures.

Husson College baseball coach John Winkin, who formerly coached at Colby College and the University of Maine, said Mr. Mahaney took his ''coaching into business from a motivational, organizational, and competitive" standpoint.

''That's why he has been so successful. He was a coach competing in a business world," Winkin said.

Mr. Mahaney's support of baseball programs led to the development of the clubhouse at the University of Maine that bears his name.

There are also Mahaney Diamonds at the university and at St. Joseph's College in Windham, as well as a Larry K. Mahaney Gymnasium at Thomas College.

More recently, he supplied $1 million last fall for a lighted, 38,000-square-foot dome practice facility at the university that is now complete and also bears his name.

Mr. Mahaney was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.

He leaves his sons, Lance of Palm Beach, Fla., and Kevin of Bangor and Greenwich, Conn.

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