Mike Maestre in his youthful days as a decorated soldier.
The Reporter records with a keen sense of loss the death of former Belize businessman, Mike Maestre.
He passed on quietly the second day of March 2008 at 2:30 in the morning in his hospital bed in St. Petersburg, Florida with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Rebecca at his side. All his family was nearby and had spent his last days with him.
Mike Maestre came to Belize in 1946, after serving in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. He joined his father and brother to further develop their businesses in Belize.
Maestre’s Industries Ltd. was one of the city’s leading enterprises, being manufacturers of Colonial cigarettes, “Maestre” windows, fine furniture, soaps and mahogany boats. Today under new ownership the company still manufactures cigarettes and the finest windows and glass works in Belize.
Mike Maestre was always innovative and full of energy. As a businessman he became a manufacturer, a saw miller, and a builder. He lived for a challenge whether in the work place or in the field.
Mike’s greatest loves were his work, his beloved wife Liz, his soul mate to the end, his boat “Comet”, St. George’s Caye, his garden, his food and of course his children.
Mike fished, played snooker and bridge, tended his garden and played golf with the competitive determination that marked everything he did. With him the challenge was always on for the black ball in the corner pocket, a hole in one, the sweetest grape leaf on the vine, the largest figured mahogany tree and of course the ever elusive King Fish and Red Snapper.
Mike Maestre married his lovely wife Elizabeth Gazil, in 1940 and true to their promise to each other 67 years ago, remained married until death did them part.
He left a legacy to be proud of. His contribution to the economy of Belize and to so many individual lives is unquestionable. But greater still are his four children, Jeanne, Rebecca, Dennis and Steve, his eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Michael C. Maestre after 88 active years has gone to a better place to rest easy.
A memorial service was held in Orlando, Florida. He has been laid to rest in a cemetery near his home there.