Mary Maxine May

| December 9, 2020 12:45 AM

Mary Maxine May

Mary Maxine May lost her 10-day battle with Covid on Nov. 30, 2020.  She was able to see and visit with her family through Face Time before drifting off to sleep and waking up in heaven with her Lord and family who had gone on before her.

Maxine was born upstairs in Mrs. Ryan’s Hat Shop in Ismay, Montana on Sept. 11, 1926.

Her parents were Katherine Cummings Griffin and James Robert Griffin.  She joined an older brother Jimmy and later Buford and Ona Lee would complete the family.  They lived in the Knowlton area.  Maxine loved her country life of milking at least seven cows and selling cream in Ismay for groceries, also gardening, cooking, raising chickens and cows.  She was happy to ride Beauty or Diamond a mile and a half to the Foundation School with up to 17 students for eight years.  For high school Maxine boarded out in Miles City with Gilmore’s, Peterson’s and Dr. Smith’s family.  She worked for her board and room and got home weekends, weather and roads permitting.  Graduation came early on May 4, 1944 for about 150 kids.  World War II was on and many boys were already there.  The students were needed to work in the beet fields.  Jack and Maxine had been dating at dances and shows for a year and got married April 4, 1944 at the First Baptist Church in Miles City.  Jack left two weeks later for Camp Roberts, California.  

“A short marriage” Maxine said, but she got to join him part of the summer and then returned to Miles City and worked at F.W. Woolworth’s for the three years Jack was gone to Italy, France, England, Germany and Africa. Although she got letters every couple weeks, it was a very stressful time, when he couldn’t even tell her where he was.

 After Jack returned, they lived in Miles City, Kinsey and later moved to Martin City, and the mountains.  Jack worked for F K & L Sawmill, the U.S. Forest Service and logging with his son John, who loved the mountains, hunting, snowmobiling and fishing.  The older son, Jim returned to the plains, prairie and ranching.  Maxine used her great cooking skills and cooked at local cafes like the Deer Lick, which still operates.  Later she began her 25 year career working at U.S. Post Offices in Martin City, Columbia Falls, West Glacier and Hungry Horse.  She cherished visiting with patrons everyday as well as keeping up with longtime friends, neighbors and family from all over.  Their home had lots of company, card playing, wonderful food and visiting.  Family was vital to Maxine.  She kept up with her siblings, their families, plus her own sons and families.  This grew to also include six grandkids and 15 great-grandkids.  Hobbies included:  beautiful flower beds, gardens, canning, bird watching and sometimes waiting for spring to melt feet of snow and checking with Jim on crocuses and sweet peas.

Special thanks to Cottonwood Care and Friendship Villa for the past four years for excellent care.  Also, thanks to Holy Rosary Hospital, nurses and Dr. Tun for these last couple of days.  All is greatly appreciated.

Maxine is survived by a son Jim (Marilyn) May of Ismay; daughter-in-law Jody (Jimmy) Lester of Martin City; one sister Ona Lee Willson of Casper, Wyoming; six grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and many dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jack, son John, infant daughter Judy Ann, and brothers, Jimmy Griffin and Buford Griffin.

 A viewing was held on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020 at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City.  A private family service was held on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020 at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City.  A video of the service will be available on Stevenson’s website. Interment will be held at a later date in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Columbia Falls following a memorial service in Coram at Canyon Community Church. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting:

Should friends desire, memorials may be made to Canyon Community Church, PO Box 130144, 185 Coram School Lane, Coram, MT 59913 or a charity of one’s choice.