Dr. Maresh was born in Bucharest, Romania, on February 2, 1904 to Sarah and Herman, the fourth of six children. The family was neither traditional nor Zionist.
He studied dentistry in Paris and Bucharest, and the clinic he opened in the latter city was quite successful. He was very popular among all classes. On October 15,1933 he married Paulina “Paula” Berkowitz from Galați. On May 15,1935 their son Avraham (Rico) was born.
Paula’s family was very traditional and Zionist, and she encouraged Shmuel to make aliyah, particularly after World War II broke out. They liquidated their home and property, leaving behind their extended family (which would ultimately join them in the Holy Land). Finally, in March 1941, the small family received their certificates and set out. They sailed from Constanța to Istanbul, then took the Orient Express to Aleppo. From there they travelled via Lebanon, finally entering Palestine at Rosh HaNikra. After a nine-month stay at Atlit (where the British authorities sent them), they were released and travelled to Jerusalem. Dr. Maresh was deeply impressed by the city and the experiences of both World War II and the struggle for Jewish independence. His attitude towards the Jewish people and the Land of Israel changed forever.
He worked in a clinic in the city center, spending his free time improving his Hebrew. The family lived in the Makor Baruch neighborhood. David “Dusya” Or, a veteran Lehi member, was among his many friends, and he convinced him to join the underground as the Arab attacks began after the announcement of the Partition Plan.
Once the State was established, Lehi opened its own dental clinic, first at its camp in Lifta and then at Camp Dror in Talbiyeh. Dr. Maresh was dedicated in his treatment of hundreds of Lehi members, on a regular and voluntary basis. After the Bernadotte assassination, Dr. Maresh was imprisoned for ten days, then released.
When the War of Independence ended, in early 1949, the family moved HaYarkon Street in Tel Aviv. Once again, he opened a clinic and was very successful. His wife worked as his assistant and also maintained their home. She joined Mishmar HaAm during the War.
Paula’s untimely death wounded Shmuel to his core, and he never truly recovered. Three years after her passing, he passed away as well, on December 13,1974 at age seventy.
He was survived by his son, Professor Avraham Maresh, head of the Pediatric Surgery Department of Soroka Medical Center and teacher in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba; his daughter-in-law Ofra; a grandson and two granddaughters.