David Maas, First V.I. Lt. Governor, Dies at 90

Feb. 4, 2004 – Funeral services were held Friday in North Carolina for Cincinnati native David Earle Maas, who served the Virgin Islands as its first elected lieutenant governor under Republican Gov. Melvin Evans.
Maas died at his Sandy Ridge, N.C., home Tuesday at age 90.
Although he left the territory decades ago, he is long remembered for his contributions to the territory's tourism industry.
In a statement issued Friday from Government House, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull proclaimed a period of mourning in memory of Maas. Flags throughout the territory have been ordered to half-staff until the day of the former lieutenant governor's internment. "The passing of Lieutenant Governor David E. Maas represents a loss to the people of the Virgin Islands of an individual of great stature and notable significance in Virgin Islands history," Turnbull said in the release.
"In many ways, we are still traversing the path Mr. Maas helped pave in terms of actively marketing the beauty and potential of our islands to the world," Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards said Friday in a news release.
He called Maas a man of immense creativity and immeasurable depth.
An attorney who graduated from Chase College of Law in Cincinnati in 1940, he moved to the Virgin Islands in 1945. Maas worked as an attorney.
He married Eleanor "Nudi" Maas in the Virgin Islands. The couple owned and operated Sapphire Bay Beach Club from 1957 to 1966.
"He was always interested in tourism, and he loved these islands," former Tourism Department director Leona Bryant said Friday.
She said he encouraged the territory to expand its tourism industry and to perfect its tourism product.
In 1966, the Maases moved to High Point, North Carolina, but to the appointed post of government secretary in 1969. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1970, but resigned for personal reasons in 1973 and was replaced by Athniel "Addie" Ottley.
He and his family then returned to High Point.
He and his family then returned to High Point.
During his Virgin Islands time, he was appointed to the V.I. Code Revision Commission by President Harry Truman, active in the development of the Republican Party, elected Republican state chairman for the Virgin Islands during the President Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, served as a member of the U.S. section of the Caribbean Commission and served on the executive committee of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors.
Additionally, he served as honorary consul of Norway and Venezuela in the Virgin Islands.
He served on the St. Thomas Tourist Development Board, on the V.I. Tourist Development Board, was appointed commissioner of trade for the Virgin Islands, and served as a member of the V.I. Police and Fire commissioner.
He edited and published "The Beachcomber," one of the first periodicals devoted to tourism in the islands, served as chairman of the V.I. Banking Board, and was chairman of the Reformatory Planning Commission.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Nudi, son David, daughter Heidi Maas Culler, son-in-law Robert Ranson "Randy" Culler Jr., five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Until his retirement, he worked as an attorney. In 1982, he helped create the anti-crime organization, Crimestoppers of High Point.
Memorial contributions may be made to Crimestoppers, in care of Robyn Lee, High Point Police Department, 1009 Leonard Ave., High Point, NC 27260.

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