Maxine Yager

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 1, 1926 -- April 28, 2011

Maxine Yager passed away on April 28, 2011 at Westminster Manor Health Center in Bradenton, Fla.

Maxine Marion Jensen was born in Graettinger on May 1, 1926. She was the second of three children born to Leona and Alfred Jensen.

At an early age they moved to Lake Park, where Maxine attended school, completing high school. During her school years she participated in music, played in the school band, and was a forward on their basketball team. After high school, Maxine entered the University of Minnesota and later worked for Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis during the remainder of the Second World War.

On July 13, 1948, Maxine was united in marriage to Melvin "Rusty" Yager of Excelsior, Iowa. Their family expanded to include four children: Mark, Marie, Milan, and Marilyn.

Despite being a 'town' girl, Maxine learned the farming life, where they made their livelihood for seven years, before moving to Lake Park to run a hardware business for five years. The years in Lake Park were followed by a move to Spirit Lake to build a successful furniture business. During these years, their four children graduated from Spirit Lake High School. Following the college graduation of their youngest child Maxine and Melvin moved to Bradenton, Florida, in 1979.

A talented homemaker, Maxine cooked, sewed, and gardened while always making sure the house was festively decorated for the holiday of the moment. A "welcome home" sign always covered the front door when any of her children or grandchildren returned for a visit, and of course, a freshly baked treat would be waiting. Maxine's enjoyment of music, especially the piano, influenced her children and grandchildren to also play the piano and other instruments. She loved her church and was active in it, including teaching third grade Sunday school for more than 30 years. She served as president of the local and district church women's organizations, where she developed and presented many education and scripture programs for the United Methodist Women. Maxine was especially interested in relief programs, both overseas and closer to home, and was generous with her time toward these efforts. She also volunteered and was honored for her service as the church librarian for many years.

Maxine was a loving person, ready to talk and laugh with family and friends, and even during her final illness she would still whisper a "thank you" to every healthcare worker who cared for her.

Her brother, Richard Jensen, and son, Mark, preceded her in death. Maxine leaves her husband of 63 years, Melvin "Rusty" Yager; a daughter and son-in-law, Marie and Charlie Kireker of Middlebury, Vt.; a son and daughter-in-law, Milan Yager and Barbara Steakley, of Alexandria, Va.; and daughter, Marilyn Yager, also of Alexandria. She also leaves five beloved grandsons: Bennett Kireker of New York; Matthew Kireker of San Francisco; and Austin, Reid, and Jack Yager of Alexandria. Maxine also is survived by her sister, Shirley Johnstone, of Spencer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Trinity United Methodist Church, (designate in the memo line United Methodist Committee on Relief or UMCOR) located at 3200 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, Fla. 34205. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 3200 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton.