Maxine Rosemary Rowley, age 100, passed away on October 2, 2018 at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, IL. She was born in Port Sanilac, Michigan on July 8, 1918 to her loving parents, Elwyn Williams and Lottie Hin.
Maxine was the oldest of 5 children. She was baptized and sang in the choir at the Methodist Church in Belding, Michigan. Maxine contracted scarlet fever at a young age during the depression. Her parents couldn’t afford proper medical care, and as a result, her ears were affected, causing her to eventually become deaf.
She graduated from Michigan State University with a major in Education and a minor in Music. After college, Maxine became an Elementary School teacher.
A few years later, Maxine was given the name of a soldier. At that time, all the girls wrote inspirational letters to the soldiers overseas. Maxine and Louis wrote for quite a while. He wrote and told her he was coming to Fort Dodge, Kansas and asked her to meet him. At the same time, she was offered a job as a principal of an elementary school. She had a feeling that Louis might propose, and she had to make a choice. SHE CHOSE FORT DODGE. Her sisters helped her get packed, including something for a wedding, if needed.
When the train arrived in Fort Dodge, Maxine took off her glasses so Louis wouldn’t see them. Little did she know, but Louis was outside putting a hat on his head. He didn’t want Maxine to see his baldness, which was the result of a terrible motorcycle accident where, under intense pain, he pulled his hair out. Maxine really liked Louis and when Louis proposed Maxine said, “yes.” They were married at the Fort Dodge Army Air Field Chapel, and Maxine became a military wife.
While stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, Maxine and Louis started a family. Their oldest daughter Rosemary was born October 28, 1946 and Apryl followed on April 2, 1954. The family moved to many places in the Air Force – from Arizona to Newfoundland to California and finally to SAC headquarters in Nebraska. Maxine continued teaching at the various military base elementary schools. While at Offutt Air Force Base, Louis retired from the Air Force and the family moved to Santa Clara, CA.
Although Maxine’s hearing worsened, she had a busy life. She became active with the Hearing Loss Association for America, worked with deaf children, and took lip reading and sign language classes. Maxine also took sewing classes and became an accomplished seamstress. After retirement, Louis worked at Raytheon, San Jose City College, and finally at Fairchild. Maxine and Louis attended the chapel at Moffett Field regularly.
On March 7, 1983, Louis passed away in his sleep. Maxine was devastated, but her faith helped her through. She remained in her Santa Clara home for several years before moving to a condo in San Jose, which was closer to her younger daughter, Apryl. Maxine joined a gym and lined up a personal trainer. She continued to sew, remained active in the Hearing Loss Association and her sign language group. She joined Mount Olive Lutheran Church, attended regularly, and participated in Bible Studies.
In 2015 Maxine was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation and Congestive Heart Failure. She chose to move to Bolingbrook Illinois to live with her older daughter, Rosemary, who was a retired nurse. Maxine continued at the local gym with a new personal trainer and the family found a wonderful caregiver to provide support for Maxine. Maxine attended her great-grandchildren’s sporting events and St. Francis of Assisi Parish when possible. She celebrated her 100th birthday on July 8, 2018 with family, friends, and a magic show.
In September 2018, Maxine moved to Hampshire Illinois to live with her granddaughter, Debbie Benenhaley. She started attending a local gym with a new personal trainer shortly after. Early in the morning on September 24, Maxine fell, breaking her right hip and was taken to Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, IL. She joined God’s Angels on October 2, 2018 while surrounded by her loving family.
She was preceded in death by her dear husband, Louis, her parents, and four brothers and sisters.
Maxine is survived by her daughters, Apryl M (Ron) Roberts and Rosemary (Norb) Przybylski; her Grandchildren, Alissa Wright, Eric Wright, Debra (Bill) Benenhaley, Larry Heintz, and Russ (Tamara) Heintz; and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews
Visitation will be 10:00a.m. until time of service at 12:00p.m. at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 1989 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035. Interment to follow at Mission City Memorial Park, 420 N. Winchester Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95050. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin IL 60120. For more information call 847-741-1128 or visit www.symondsmadisonfuneralhome.com.