She was born in 1927, and lived in Carroll, Iowa until her death in 1991. In the fall of 1949, Maxine, together with her husband Richard W. Collison, moved to Ames and settled at 449 Pammel Court just north of the ISC campus. The master plan was that Richard was to begin a six-year program in veterinary medicine and as a registered nurse Maxine was going to be the breadwinner. The couple had just been married two weeks before school started that fall. Richard was a WW II veteran and had college assistance through the GI Bill, and Maxine had her nursing profession. Between the two of them they had about $600 cash, a 1941 Chevy, a little furniture that Maxine had and no debts. The financial plan was that they would have no problem for the next six years or so - right ? Wrong!
While her husband started in the pre-vet curriculum, Maxine quickly found a nursing job and all was fine. As cold weather approached, their tin home in Pammel Court seemed to be hard to heat. Its cement floors were also cold and a lot of cold air seeped in around the windows. The central heating system an oil-burning space heater set in the middle of the living room (?) would either not work or get so hot and smelly that the door and windows had to be opened. Around Thanksgiving time that fall, after she had conquered all the little problems of working and Pammel Court living, a funny thing happened. Maxine was pregnant! Sure enough, the following summer their first child, Barbara, was born. The next five years are but a blur! Finances were a shambles, Maxine worked between subsequent pregnancies, Richard went to school full time - two years of pre-vet - then four years of vet school. Each worked as much as possible at night jobs, weekends and summers, rotating between school, caring for the kids and an 11 PM to 7 AM nursing job at the ISC Hospital.
In the spring of 1966 Maxine and her husband, together with their four children, moved from 449 Pammel Court to begin a new life in Carroll, Iowa, where Richard began his practice and Maxine became a full time homemaker for her husband and mother to what would eventually be nine children – six girls and three boys.
What is so remarkable about this extraordinary woman is that throughout all the trials and hardships of her early married life, not once did she complain. Not once did she lose sight of the twin goals of a happy married life for themselves and the children and the graduation of her husband from college. It was Maxine's constant encouragement to both her husband and children that made life so enjoyable.
Her great personality and boundless love for the family was evident for everyone to feel. Maxine gave unselfishly of her time and effort to anyone of the family who needed it at that moment and that is but one remembrance that the family will cherish forever and an example for all the children to follow. In May of 1991, after a long battle with emphysema that was the only problem of her sixty four years of life that she could not conquer, Maxine quietly passed away.
She left behind her husband, nine children, nine sons- and daughters-in-law, and nineteen grandchildren. She left behind forty-two happily married years of memories for her husband. She left behind years and years of happy memories of each of the children as they grew into adulthood. And for those grandchildren old enough to remember, she left behind the image of a grandmother that would do anything for each and every one of them. Maxine was a true heroine in every respect.
She touched the lives of so many people in such a positive and lasting way that it is hard to imagine life without her. She made the most of every talent she had and she imprinted those talents on those around her. The legacy Maxine leaves is love, importance of family, and the determination to attain worthwhile goals regardless of the obstacles that may exist. She taught by the way she lived her life and her husband and family were the fortunate recipients of her generosity!
Maxine, we love you and we miss you very, very much! -Dick and all the kids.
Time has passed. Sometimes it feels like many years ago. Other times just like yesterday. We think and remember the things we've done together And all the words you've said. Remembering all that we can. Feeling all that we can. Helps keep you close to us. -Deb Rhinehart
Honored by: Richard Collison