Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Maxine (Stockdale) Morrison
Maxine (Stockdale) Morrison escaped the mind-numbing prison of Alzheimer’s disease on Dec. 27. While the disease had a short-term victory, it will not take away the legacy of her life, the love and compassion she had for her family and friends and the love returned to her.
Early in life Maxine learned the lessons and values of hard work on her family’s farm. Whether it was milking the cows or hitching up and managing the horses, gender was not going to deter this young lady’s drive to do her share or more. In 1945 she met and married a young man, Mitchell W. Morrison, who shared her values of hard work and “family first.” Together, through the challenges that life presents to all of us, they built a strong family, proud of their heritage.
Six loving children were born of this union. Mitchell and Maxine’s values provided each child the foundation to build a great life, for which their children are forever grateful and appreciative. In order to help meet the family’s budget Maxine joined her husband in assuming more than one job to provide for a family of six. In addition to being a fulltime housewife, managing a very busy and active household, she worked as a waitress and a cook throughout much of her life. Even today, several years after her retirement, her children are fond of hearing compliments about their mother’s baking and cooking. Her employers didn’t need to teach her the value of “customer satisfaction.” While most of her great-grandchildren didn’t have the opportunity to get to know her, they will someday wonder about the excellent brownies they just ate and from that inquiry they will learn a lot more about their great-grandmother around the kitchen table.
While she enjoyed work, it took second place to her most important concern, her children and husband. Maxine demonstrated her love through the big and little things she did daily for her family. She was a great role model for how to cope with the challenges of life and how to raise children. She was the glue that held the family together. Later, when her husband, Mitchell, declined in health, she stood by his side constantly, being his caregiver for several years. She never heard the term “servant leadership,” but she was one.
Maxine is survived by her six children, Michael (Pat), Stone Lake, Wis., John (Mary) Austin, Mitchell (Connie), Mason City, Iowa, Sharon Thomsen (Reed) Avram, West Branch, Mich., Janice (Dean) Pike, Adams, Minn. and Michelle (Cory) Arjes, Austin; sisters, June Fagerle, Cresco, Iowa, Leona Hein, Gold Bar, Wash. and Genevieve (Bob) McNiff, Austin; 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Her husband; son-in-law, Ron Thomsen; parents and five brothers and sisters preceded her in death.
The family is thankful for the excellent and compassionate care provided by the unsung heroes at Lutheran Retirement Home in Northwood, Iowa. Alzheimer’s took our mother before Dec. 27. But its victory is shallow. Love lives on both in this world and the one she’s passed to.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008 at Grace Lutheran Church with Pastor Jeff Forbes officiating. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Mayer Funeral Home and one hour before the service at the church on Wednesday. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association or to donor’s preferred charity.