Maxine Joyce Peter, 89, of Ellinwood passed away on November 4, 2022, at Bethany Home in Lindsborg, Kansas.
Mom was born in Ellinwood, Kansas on March 28, 1933, to Arden and Darlene Crossley. She attended Ellinwood Grade School and Ellinwood High School graduating in 1951. She met her future husband (our father), Duane Peter, in high school. It wasn’t until after high school that they began to date, and he became the love of her life. She graduated with a diploma in business from the Adela Hale School in Hutchinson in 1952. Later, she graduated from Barton County Community College with an associate degree in business. Education was always important to mom, and she encouraged that to us. She stressed education all throughout our lives, so we considered it a given that we follow her marching orders. Of the four of us, there are six bachelor’s degrees, and two master’s degrees. We have a clinical laboratory scientist, two music educators, and a CPA.
We grew up in a typical household back in the late 50s through the 80s. We knew our parents loved us very much. They wanted us to be happy and grow up to be good people and good citizens. We were nestled living close to lots of cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. We loved growing up in Ellinwood and that was the world to us.
Throughout mom’s life, she held several jobs. Mom went to work for the electrical cooperative in Great Bend after graduation from school and continued to work there until her second child, Nancy, was born in 1960. Later in life, mom did secretarial work for Thompson Construction and Barton County Community College. She also enjoyed selling Avon and Mary Kay for many years. Her most important job though, was raising her four children. Dad was often in Tribune farming while Maxine had to hold down the fort in Ellinwood. Her children were her life. She attended everything they were in. She was always incredibly supportive of us, even when we got older, and then her grandchildren. She drove all over the state to watch her children perform, Lori and Nancy’s students’ performances, or watching Don and Craig run-in races. She even often participated in the races by running herself. While her body allowed it, she continued driving across the state for her grandchildren’s birthdays and other activities. When her life crippling disease slowed her down, she was only a block from where two of her grandchildren in Lindsborg attended school, so she was still able to catch their concerts and tennis matches.
While we were younger, she volunteered to help with Sunday school, Brownies, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts. Mom loved to stay active in every way. She was an exercise enthusiast; and was often spotted walking or jogging in the community. She and Dad enjoyed playing in Bridge Club together, but she was also very involved in her women’s Bridge Club, Tri-Circle, Unit, and the Red Hat Club. She was a founding member of the Wheat Bowl, served on the Kansas Tourism Committee, was a former President of the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce, and past Grand Marshal of the After Harvest Festival Parade. She traveled the state promoting Ellinwood and the surrounding area at festivals, including the Kansas State Fair. She was involved with Ellinwood Area Enterprises and tourism projects, such as the Barton County Centennial Parade and the Ellinwood Gateway to Cheyenne Bottoms sign on the west side of town. She also served in an official capacity with the Barton County Democratic Party. She was dedicated to her family and the Ellinwood community.
Mom was preceded in death by her parents, Arden and Darlene Crossley; her brother, Gaylen Crossley; and her husband, our father, Duane Peter. She is survived by her four children; Don Peter (Carol Steele) of Leawood, Kansas; Nancy Green of Scott City, Kansas; Craig Peter of Prairie Village, Kansas and Lori (Sean) Nelson of Lindsborg, Kansas. She is also survived by her five grandchildren: Rachel (Dustin) Cooke, Christopher (Brittany) Green, Mattie Peter, and Per and Torsten Nelson. She is also survived by two great grandchildren, Ariana and Emerson Cooke, and one more on the way with Christopher and Brittany Green.
Memorial service will take place 11:00 am, Jan. 7th, 2023 at Immanuel Uniter Church of Christ in Ellinwood. Memorials are suggested to the Ellinwood Public School and Library Foundation or Bethany Home in Lindsborg, KS in care of Minnis Chapel, PO Box 246, Ellinwood, KS 67526.