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Katherine Maxwell

August 20, 2012

Dr. Katherine Gant Maxwell passed away at home after a very long illness.

Katherine was born in El Paso, Texas, on Nov. 27, 1931, the only child of Lillian and Leslie Gant. Her mother died shortly after childbirth. She was raised by her maternal grandparents, and lived in Anthony and Clyde, Texas. She graduated from Clyde High School in 1950 as Valedictorian and President of her class. She was a Drum Majorette, and was voted Most Likely to Succeed, which she did in so many different ways. She graduated from Abilene Christian University with a B.S degree in Psychology in 1955. She married Fowden G. Maxwell after graduation and spent the next several years in Lubbock, Texas, and Manhattan, Kan., while her husband completed his education. She devoted her time to church, her husband, and their three children.

In 1961, she moved to Starkville with her husband who accepted a research position with the USDA and Mississippi State. Katherine involved herself in Starkville Civic and Art Leagues, and served as President of the Starkville PTA. She continued her education, earning a M.S. degree in Sociology in 1962 and a PhD in Educational Psychology in 1974.

She tested children for learning disabilities in various schools in Mississippi and Florida prior to moving to College Station where her husband became a Professor and Head of the Entomology Department. In addition to private practice, she continued testing children for special education and learning disabilities in public schools until she retired.

In 1984, Katherine began her writing career, writing poetry, children’s stories, and What Makes Bosses Tick? New York; Vantage Press, 1986. A prolific writer, she produced over 100 poems with more than half of them published in poetry books. A poetry book “Katherine’s Garden” is being published by her son, Randy Maxwell. A number of international companies are endorsing books inspired by Katherine’s “Little Betty Beep Beep.” “Buck and Mike Strike it Rich,” her first children’s book, was illustrated and published by her own company, “Hummingbird Publishing Company.” Katherine’s dream was to teach children and adults through her writing, to embrace “a sound psychological point . . . inconspicuously brought into the finale of the book.”

Her books will continue to help children and adults learn to improve the world in which we live, making it a better place for all of us: this is her legacy.

Katherine was an accomplished pianist, organist, and artist. From 1988-1989 Katherine was President of the following: Extension Service Club; Campus Study Club; Fine Arts Club; 3rd Vice President of the Texas A & M Women’s Club, and Program Chairperson for the OPAS Gala for which she illustrated the programs . She was a long time member of the A&M Church of Christ.

Her mother Lillian Gant of El Paso, and grandparents George W. and Kate Beard of Clyde, Texas, preceded Katherine in death.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Fowden G. Maxwell of College Station; children, Dr. Steve A. Maxwell of College Station, Dr. Rebecca A. Harvey of Houston, Texas and Randy Maxwell of Atlanta, Ga. She is survived by four grandchildren: Katherine N. Tomkins of College Station, Michael S. Maxwell of Abilene, Texas, Victor A. Maxwell and Christopher R. Maxwell of Atlanta, Ga.

Katherine was a loving and devoted, wife, mother and grandmother. We will miss her dearly, but we know that she is at peace with our Lord.
Visitation will be Sunday, Aug. 19th, 2PM at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station. Funeral services will be conducted on Monday, August 20th, 10AM, at the A&M Church of Christ Chapel, 2475 Earl Rudder Fwy S, College Station, Texas, followed by graveside services at the Memorial Cemetery of College Station, Field of Honor.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Research Foundation, Hospice Brazos Valley, or to the Fowden G. and Katherine G. Maxwell Student Enhancement Endowment in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University.

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