Maisie welcomed friends and newcomers alike with a radiant smile that put people at ease immediately. At home, her gracious attentiveness suggested that she had nothing better to do than serve you a cup of coffee and one of her freshly baked, home-made desserts. However, in actuality she was a whirlwind of activity from early morning until late into the night, beginning in childhood.
Maisie grew up in a small town in Eastern Washington. Her hardworking parents taught her to carry water home, stoke the wood stove, tend the food garden, and love God. Maisie’s aptitude for music led to a lifetime of choir activities. Maisie excelled in school and raised money for college by working in the apple orchards and at the jewelry store. After her first year of college, she worked in a radiology clinic.
During the Korean War, friends in Spokane introduced Maisie to a dashing serviceman, Leonard, who aspired to farm and start a family. Leonard always said it was love at first sight. Maisie would add that they enjoyed similar beliefs and leisure pursuits, including swing and ballroom dancing. They married soon thereafter. In Spokane, they were blessed with their first child. The second was born after they moved to Montana, where they farmed for a year following the completion of Leonard’s Air Force service. The rest of their children were born in Washington. During that time, Leonard began what would become a lifelong career with the Federal Aviation Agency. They raised their four daughters and two sons primarily in Auburn and became pillars of their church community there, but they also returned to Montana every summer to harvest the crops with Leonard’s parents.
In addition to the extra duties arising from their dual-state lifestyle and her full-time job as a homemaker and mother, Maisie chaired committees, sang in choirs, raised money for social causes, took in homeless people, sewed clothing, cleaned and cooked for the families of other women who were ill or dying, provided hospice care for her own mother, supported children in missions elsewhere in the world, and served dinner at the family home to young military men on leave. When she reached retirement age, the Chamber of Commerce and Soroptimist International presented Maisie with awards for “personal contributions of time, talent and resources directed at the betterment of the greater Auburn community” and “effective advancement of the status of women,” but she didn’t retire. She kept right on serving and doing all the things she loved. Retirement was for old people, and she was anything but old. Maisie took care of her husband during a long illness until he passed away while also keeping up with choral performances, swim aerobics, trips with her daughters, growing and canning food, grocery shopping for a paraplegic friend, operating a Pregnancy Aid center, and enjoying visits with her family.
In her mid-eighties, a heart condition eventually slowed her down physically, but she continued to support charities and individuals financially until her heart gave out at the age of 90. She died peacefully on a sunny fall afternoon after a brief intervention at the Auburn hospital in November of 2020. True to the way she lived her exemplary life, in the last minute before her passing, she smiled radiantly and gave a last wave good-bye.
Maisie remains forever cherished in the hearts of her six surviving children, seven grandchildren, and their spouses; her five great-grandchildren; one surviving sister; her nieces and nephews and their families; Leonard’s relatives; her church community; and lifelong friends. Maisie was also well known and loved by step-grandchildren and their families.
Due to the current Covid-related restrictions, a funeral Mass will be held for the immediate family only. In the summer, a separate gathering will be held in Montana for Maisie’s interment. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Holy Family School of Auburn (http://www.hfsauburn.com/donate.html).