Lexington homebuilder Jeff Maynard died early Wednesday of a stroke while on a fishing trip in Canada, friends said.
He was 48.
Born and raised in Lexington, Mr. Maynard attended Henry Clay High School and the University of Kentucky before starting his homebuilding business, Jeff Maynard Builders.
Friends remember Mr. Maynard as a funny, generous and hard-working man who was dedicated to his family and friends.
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"He was always smiling, always laughing," said Jeannine Schaefer, another friend. "He had a great sense of humor. You never saw him where he wasn't smiling."
Mr. Maynard was inspired to build homes when he started sweeping floors for local homebuilder Mike Cravens at the age of 14.
"He just had a real talent," Cravens said. "One of his trademarks was putting stone on his houses."
Mr. Maynard operated Jeff Maynard Builders for more than 25 years, building about 10 to 40 houses a year, said David Burke, a close friend of Mr. Maynard's. Mr. Maynard built homes in the Waterford, Meadowcreek, Hartland, Andover Hills, Andover Forest and Gleneagles areas, according to his company's Web site.
Mr. Maynard's family decided to donate his heart, because they thought it's what he would have wanted, said Shauna Elko, a family friend.
"His whole life revolved around his family, more than anyone I've ever met in my life," Elko said.
Mr. Maynard is survived by his wife, Lois Ann; his four children, Josh, Haley, Mick and Karly; his parents, Richard and Ruth; and his sister, Cindy. Funeral arrangements are pending.