Patricia Grace (McKeon) Maxeiner, 89, of Fort Myers, Florida, left the loving arms of her family on Friday May 17, 2014.
Maxeiner was born on July 15, 1924 in Montgomery, Minnesota, to Dr. Joseph and Grace (Sullivan) McKeon. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree and membership in the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She worked as a social worker in New York City before moving to Edina, Minnesota, to marry and raise her family. There, in addition to being a full-time mom, she tutored high-risk students in reading and math, and founded a non-profit corporation, the Adoption Option Committee, Inc. (currently known as the highly successful Adoption Option Council of Minnesota).
Maxeiner relocated to Southwest Florida 30 years ago, and became a resident of Sanibel Island and later Fort Myers, Florida. She served as a volunteer and community leader in The Shell Museum, COTI (Council of the Islands), BIG ARTS, and the Sanibel-Captiva Sail and Power Squadron. She belonged to the parish community of St. Isabel Catholic Church in Sanibel.
Patricia Grace (McKeon) Maxeiner. PHOTO PROVIDED.
She will be dearly missed by her loving husband, Dr. S.R. Maxeiner, Jr. (Bob); daughter, Madeline "Maddy" Maxeiner and son-in-law, Tom Mahoney; daughter, Margaret Duxbury (David); daughter, Melissa Kodaly (Kryss); and five grandchildren: Nicole Marie Duxbury, Christine Melissa Duxbury, Jacob Han Duxbury, Mischa Fisher (Amber Rockliffe) and Heather Fisher, and the Murphy kids -- her treasured nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by one grandson, Jonah T. Fisher, by her brother James McKeon, and her beloved sister and brother-in-law Mary (McKeon) Murphy and William J.D. Murphy.
A steel magnolia, she taught us that one can be both fiercely independent and heart-and-soul committed to family. Over her 66-year marriage she shared many adventures with Bob. Her entire family felt the warmth of her fierce loving protection. From her insight and faith came simple but profound wisdom that provided steady light in times of trial. She could find the ridiculous in the most frustrating or humiliating situations-- if you listened carefully enough. She did not insert herself into the situation, just offered "opinions" from the sidelines that could reduce us to hilarity. She never spoke ill of others, no matter what. She was feisty, opinionated, deeply loving, funny, elegant, and a pillar of strength and grace. We will miss her forever.
A private funeral service and interment will be held in Minneapolis. A celebration of her life is planned in Minnesota on July 15, 2014, the date of her 90th birthday. Memorial contributions may be sent to St. Isabel Catholic Church, 3559 Sanibel-Captiva Rd., Sanibel, Florida, 33957; or to The Harry Chapin Food Bank, 3760 Fowler St., Fort Myers, Florida, 33901. Please visit www.harvey-engelhardt.com for online condolences.