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Obituary of Mary P. Maxwell, 82


Mary Pascoe Maxwell, 82 of State College passed away Monday, December 31, 2018 at Foxdale Village.

She was born April 4, 1936 in Cloquet, Minnesota, the third daughter of Truman and Floride Pascoe who preceded her in death as well as her two sisters, Barbara and Jean. On October 4, 1958 she married the love of her life, Ron Maxwell who passed away in 2011. She is survived by a daughter, Martha Emery and her husband, Mike and their son, Freddy of Lancaster, PA; a son, Edward and his wife, Julie and their two daughters, Katherine and Lily of State College, PA; and several nieces and nephews and their families.

Mary grew up in Port Edwards, Wisconsin and attended the Cotty Jr. College for Women and the University of Wisconsin Madison. After graduating with a MS in Child Development-Kindergarten Education, she taught in the Madison area schools. In 1963, she and Ron moved to State College where she taught in the College of Human Development at Penn State. When Ron was on leave from PSU in 1965, she taught at Tennessee State University in Nashville. In 1978, while Ron was on another leave from PSU, Mary organized the National Conference on Vocation and Avocation at Grand Valley State Colleges in Michigan. She is probably best known locally for having taught for 23 years at The Cooperative Playschool in which she retired in 1999. Mary’s approach to teaching young children was through exploration and play. She adored the children and working side by side their parents and in return, they equally adored her.

In addition to her professional activities, Mary was a long time Girl Scout leader and trainer. She rejuvenated the Brownie and Girl Scout programs at Houserville and Lemont schools in the 1970’s. With a committee of creative parents, she helped organize the first Children’s Day at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Mary, alongside Ron volunteered as a tutor and was instrumental in the fundraising for the Mid-State Literacy Council. The early fundraising days involved countless hour of organizing and participating in the council’s annual lobster boil. The fundraiser later switched to a spelling bee. Honoring Ron and Mary’s dedication to literacy, this year will be the 20th anniversary of the Ron and Mary Maxwell Community Spelling Bee. Also, through the Mid-State Literacy Council, students at Port Matilda Elementary corresponded with her through the RSVP’s Pen Pal Program. Mary often contributed articles to the Lancaster Farmer and Women’s Day Magazine and wrote with Ron a weekly Notes from Nittany column in The Pennsylvania Mirror.

Mary was an avid gardener and even in her later years enhanced the courtyards at Foxdale with flowers and plants she often transplanted from her farmhouse. She loved nature in all its beauty and spent many summers with her family and friends at their cabin on Penns Creek. She enjoyed sewing, painting and making collages which were often heartfelt gifts for family members and friends. She was a gracious entertainer and enjoyed hosting parties and dinners at her home nestled at the bottom of Mt. Nittany and later at Foxdale. It gave her great pleasure to cook and bake for those she loved. Mary was a loving wife, superior mother, amazing nana, loyal friend and inspirational teacher. She has impacted many lives and will be truly missed!

The family will receive Mary’s Foxdale friends at Foxdale Village Friday, January 11, 2019 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

A celebration of Mary’s life will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The family will receive friends at 3:00 p.m. with a service following at 4:00 p.m. at the Wyndham Garden State College located at 310 Elks Club Road, Boalsburg, PA.

Mary’s entire family wants to express their sincerest gratitude to all the nurses, doctors and staff at Foxdale Village for their loving care and support to Mary over the past seven years.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mary’s name may be made to the Mid-State Literacy Council. Donate on line at or mail to Mid-State Literacy Council, 248 E. Calder Way #307, State College, PA 16801. Donations may also be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Donate on line at or mail to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014.

Name of Deceased

Mary P. Maxwell



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Mark D. Heintzelman Funeral and Cremation Service

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