WENGER: Maxine, loving mom, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, daughter, wife, mother-in-law, aunt and friend, has moved on, after a long, heart-breaking battle with dementia, on Monday, May 11, 2020 at Fairview Home. Until this disease took hold, she lived a full and productive life.
Maxine was born in Winnipeg in 1940. She was raised by good, honest, hardworking Catholic parents and surrounded by loving, caring and doting aunts. In her late teens, Maxine moved to Brandon to begin a career in Psych Nursing, only to set it aside for marriage in 1958 and start a family. At the age of 24 years, she had four kids under the age of four and family life kept her busy. But this did not slow her down and she started working at Central Park Lodge in the laundry room. A few years later, she worked her way through the ranks of Brandon University, working over 25 years as the Executive Housing Director. She was a very well respected and a much-loved boss. To this day, people fondly mention Max giving them or their brother, mother, dad or sister a job. She had a huge heart and was willing to give someone a chance. Maxine was known for hiring BU students in the summer so they could afford the next semester tuition at university.
To get away from all the hustle and bustle, the family spent long relaxing summers at Clear Lake. Maxine would love to soak up the sun, read books and enjoy a glass of Baby Duck wine with blue cheese and crackers. Maxine had numerous hobbies; she was known for her petty point pictures which involved long hours and was also an avid sewer, an amazing gardener, loved to cook and bake and especially enjoyed making homemade Kahlua, Baileys and jams. Maxine always had a project going, either crafting gifts for staff/teachers and making Apple People, wallpapering and liquid embroidery. She was also known for teaching exercise classes at the YMCA and would put us youngsters to shame.
When she retired, she became involved in the community, volunteering at COPS and helped organize the annual Brandon winter parade. Maxine also enjoyed garage sales and estate sales where she accumulated a number of antiques and collectibles over the years and had a flair in decorating her home. She also boasted a beautiful perennial flower garden and had an incredibly green thumb.
Maxine was an amazing mom, the cool mom, the trendy mom. She would never tire going to one of our numerous sporting events, or any activity. Mom was our cheerleader. Mom was the glue in our family, supporting us throughout the years, ensuring we grew up healthy, positive and kind individuals. Maxine was known as GramaMax to her 8 grandchildren and they could not wait to spend time with the cool Grama. She was amazing and her true love shone through in her choosing unique gifts, taking time to sit listen and talk, and really get to know them individually. The grandchildren all have a special place in their heart for GramaMax. Her stories and memories will never be erased. Maxine was full of life and was not afraid to pursue her dreams. She would lighten up any room or event with her quick laugher, her witty remarks, and free spirit. Dementia could not take these qualities away from her.
To all the staff on the 5th floor at Fairview Home, and to Debbie from Call Away, we thank you all. The following poem speaks volumes to persons that genuinely cared, showing love and respect to this beautiful soul. Our Family thanks you, and you are truly appreciated.
Blessed are they
Who understand my faulty step and shaking hands
Who know my ears today must strain to catch things they say
Who seem to know that my eyes are dim and my wits are slow
Who looked away when I spilled coffee at the table today
With a cheery smile who take the time to chat for a while
Who know the way to bring back memories of yesterday
Who make it known I’m loved respected and not alone
Maxine is survived by her children Garth (Vicki), Eric (Carla), Craig (Lori) and Joy Aelbers; grandchildren Bo, KristiAnne, Niki, Ben, Mathew, Ryan, Casey and Darcy; and great grandchild Olivia. Thank you everyone for the outpouring of condolences and support for Maxine. A family graveside service was held at Brandon Cemetery. Donations in memory of Maxine may be made to Alzheimer Society of Manitoba – Westman Region, Unit 4B – 457-9th Street, Brandon, MB R7A 1K2.