Mrs. Maxine Elva Simmons Symmes of San Diego, California, passed away of a stroke at the age of 81 on Dec. 2, 2008 in Poway, CA.
Maxine was born in her family's farm house in Jewell County, Kansas, near Belleville, on May 7, 1927. She graduated from Republic High School in 1943, and married Don Symmes on February 26, 1944, in New Bern, North Carolina.
After Don's return from World War II, Maxine and he settled in Kearney, Nebraska. Maxine worked as a secretary at Kearney Candy Company while Don attended college. Maxine bore three children in Nebraska before the family moved in 1957 to Brea, California, where two more children were born.
An active member of St. Angela's Merici Catholic Church, Maxine lived her faith everyday. She served on the Ladies Guild, the Altar Society, and as a volunteer for St. Vincent de Paul.
Maxine worked as an administrative assistant from 1970 to 1990 at Sunny Hills High School, Fullerton College and The North Orange County Community College District.
Maxine lived in Brea for 50 years, with brief sojourns in Escondido and San Diego. Maxine was exemplary in all her roles: wife, mother, grandmother, friend, neighbor, volunteer, and professional woman.
She earned her Associates Arts degree in California history from Fullerton Community College in 1961.
She enjoyed family dinners, neighborhood get-togethers, camping trips, and travels to Australia, Europe, and Hawaii. She grew roses and vegetables to share with family and friends. Excelling as a seamstress, Maxine made clothes and pieced and quilted beautiful, award-winning quilts.
Maxine is survived by her husband, Don Symmes of San Diego. Two of her three brothers also survive her: Robert Simmons of Kansas and Oliver Simmons of Nebraska. Her brother Donald Simmons predeceased her. Her five children both celebrate her life and mourn her passing: Kyle Symmes (Temecula, CA); Kathryn Symmes (Fort Collins, CO); Kristine Willoughby (Reno, NV); Kevin Symmes (Huntington Beach, CA) and Kolleen Symmes (San Diego, CA). Her daughters- and sons-in-law remember Maxine with love: Nancy, Larry, Tony, Kelly, and Jeff; as do her nine grandchildren: Kellen, Klayton, Julia, Marianne, Joseph, Maxwell, Marley, Lauren, and Daniel.
The memorial services for Maxine Symmes will be as follows: Visitation/Rosary on Tuesday, 12/9/08 from 6-8 p.m. at Loma Vista Memorial Park Chapel, 701 E. Bastanchury Road, Fullerton, CA. Funeral Mass on Wednesday, 12/10/08 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Angela Merici Church, 585 Walnut Avenue, Brea, CA 92821. Immediately following the funeral, the gravesite committal will be at the Loma Vista Memorial Park.
Immediately followed by a Celebration of Life/Luncheon to be held at Coyote Hills Golf Course at 1440 E. Bastanchury Road, Fullerton, CA 92835. In lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made in memory of Maxine Symmes to St. Jude's Hospital Memorial Foundation/Care for the Poor, P.O. Box 4138, Fullerton, CA 92835.
Published in Orange County Register on Dec. 10, 2008.