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Maxine Crouch

October 5, 1926 — September 24, 2022

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     Maxine Crouch age 95 of Ansley, NE passed away September 24, 2022, at the Brookestone View in Broken Bow.

     Funeral Services will be Friday, September 30, 2022, at 10:30 am at Govier Brothers Chapel in Broken Bow with Pastor Mel Shepherd officiating. Burial will be in the Ansley Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Ansley Fire and Rescue or the Ansley Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2022, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm with family greeting 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.govierbrothers.com.

     Evelyn Maxine (Coffman) Crouch, known as “Maxine,” was born October 5, 1926, on her parent’s farm 7 miles SSW of Berwyn, NE to Oran “Ora” and Maggie (Clingerman) Coffman. Maxine’s siblings and their spouses were Claire (Helen), Lloyd (Lucy), Mae (Hubert), Chet (Dorothy), Omar (Geneva and Jean), Rex (Frances), Dale (Cleo), and Orel (Mary).

     Maxine attended the Happy Hollow country school south of Berwyn through part of 6th grade. Maxine was so excited to receive her first school reading book, her teacher later remarked that she even took her book with her to recess for most of her first year. The hot, dry, and dusty years of the “Dirty Thirties” led to crop failures and resulted in the family moving to a farm near State Center in Hardin County, IA in 1938.  Once there, Maxine was amazed to once again see green fields and trees. Maxine completed her 6th, 7th and part of her 8th grade year at the Pleasant Dale country school, where she passed her 8th grade exams and was awarded her 8th grade diploma.

     In 1940, the family bought and moved to a farm in Lucas County, IA. As Maxine described it, their Lucas County neighbors welcomed them warmly and were friendly like their Nebraska neighbors had been. “It felt like home,” Maxine recalled. Maxine completed eighth grade at Arnold Grade School and then attended Norwood High School through her junior year. She then moved to Chariton and attended Chariton High School for part of the year before the family moved back to the farm due her father’s ill health. While completing all of the daily farm chores every morning and afternoon, Maxine returned to Norwood High School each day to complete her senior year and graduate in 1944. When Maxine’s father passed away on September 8, 1946, Maxine, her mother, and youngest brother Orel moved back to Nebraska to Ansley on Christmas Day 1946.

     Doing farm chores and assisting others who needed help began early in Maxine’s life. With siblings living nearby, Maxine, beginning at a young age, many times left school for periods of time often when a new baby was born to help with chores, household duties, and to take care of her nieces and nephews. But the latter was never work to Maxine. The joyful memories of taking care of her little nieces and nephews were treasured and recounted throughout Maxine’s life.

     Maxine met her future husband Harry Benjamin Crouch through her brother-in-law Hubert and his brother Guy. Maxine began dating Harry in July of 1948. Harry knew he really liked Maxine when she threw a blue plum at him after something he said to her. On May 3, 1949, Maxine and Harry married at the Custer County Courthouse. After living in Berwyn, the couple then lived on a farm northeast of Mason City where they were living when their son Ben was born on July 26, 1950. They later moved to Ansley where they were living when their son Bob was born in December 26, 1953. Maxine, Harry, and their two sons moved into what would be the family home for the next 68 years in the spring of 1954. The neighborhood soon filled with children and neighbors who would remain friends for decades and decades to come. When living at the family home, Maxine and Harry has two more sons, Larry born June 12, 1958, and Jim born April 29, 1964.  Being a farm girl at heart, Maxine’s sons grew up with a pony, and for several years sheep, which were all named after relatives. Maxine, Harry, and their sons always grew gardens and picked fruit. From late spring to autumn, Maxine’s kitchen had the wonderful aromas of foods being preserved.

     Just as Maxine took care of nieces, nephews, and others starting when she was very young, she was always ready throughout her life to assist family and friends who were ill or just needed help. There was never any hesitation to lend a hand, because she believed family helps family, friends help friends, and whenever someone needed help and you could help, that is what you do. Maxine always put others before herself.

     Maxine felt she had the finest husband in the world, Harry, she felt blessed to have had four sons, she adored and was delighted with her two grandsons Eric and Brian, she loved her grandparents, parents, her siblings, and their spouses, and she proclaimed to all that she had the finest nieces and nephews ever, and that included their spouses. To Maxine, when you joined the family, you are family.

     Maxine also loved her home. It was there she felt happy and secure. She could look out her east windows and see the countryside, and out her west windows at the homes of friends and neighbors she enjoyed for decades. She was determined that she would live in their home as long as possible, and she did.

     Maxine is survived by sons Bob (Brenda) of Ansley, Larry (Lori) of Lincoln, and Jim of Broken Bow, grandsons Eric Crouch and Brian Crouch, brother-in-law Merle “Bud” (Georgene) Crouch of Grand Island, and many nieces and nephews, and their spouses and grandchildren in the Crouch, Coffman, and Rookstool families.

     Maxine was preceded in death by her parents, husband Harry, son Ben, and her siblings and their spouses.

     The family expresses deep gratitude to all of Maxine’s family and friends who cared for and supported her in so many ways for so many years. Heartfelt thanks are also extended to the wonderful people associated with both Brookestone View nursing facility and AseraCare Hospice who took such good care of Maxine.

 


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