Dianne Mae (Kenney) Maxwell

WINTHROP – Dianne Mae (Kenney) Maxwell passed away in her home on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. She was born on March 18, 1930, an unusually warm day, in Farmington, the daughter of Weldon Robertson Kenney and Marion Beatrice (Wiley) Kenney.

The first 11 years of her life were spent in Moscow, Maine where her father worked for Great Northern Paper Company and her mother taught grades one through eight in a one-room schoolhouse. In 1941, the family moved to Portland and Dianne’s parents worked in one of the two shipyards on the harbor which were building vessels during World War II. She attended Jackson Grammar School and, in 1947, graduated from Portland High School.

During high school and the year following graduation, Dianne worked as a sales associate at Porteous, Mitchell and Braun, a department store then in downtown Portland. In 1948, she entered Westbrook Junior College, graduating in the spring of 1950. After completing aquatic training, she became the waterfront director at Camp Hitinowa, in Litchfield, a Camp Fire Girls camp she attended annually since moving to Portland as her parents wanted her out of the city in the summer during war time. At Hitinowa, she formed friendships which lasted for the remainder of her life.

Through her college friend, Ann, she became acquainted with Ann’s older brother, Robert W. Maxwell, and on April 24, 1952, Bob and Di married at the State Street Congregational Church in Portland. They settled in Winthrop and created and seemingly effortlessly executed an idyllic family life for their two sons, Alfred (Chum) and David. Dianne immersed herself in the community: social service organizations; president of the American Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary; numerous community clubs; and the Winthrop Congregational Church as a congregant, Sunday school teacher, and choir member. For 39 years, she served as the Chair of the Supervisory Committee of the Winthrop Area Federal Credit Union.

During these busy years, Dianne was a frequent substitute teacher in area schools while simultaneously continuing her education at the University of Maine from which she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education in 1971. Later that year, she became a member of the faculty at Winthrop Junior High School as the 8th grade Language Arts teacher. During her later teaching years, she was the Winthrop Middle School teacher for education of the gifted in language, literature, civics, and history until her retirement in 1994. She was a gifted and beloved teacher and mentor to thousands of young minds throughout her lifetime.

In retirement, Dianne continued to be active in so many ways. She did private tutoring for a number of students. She was a founding member, director, and secretary of the Winthrop Education Corporation, a not-for-profit organization created to raise and provide funds for the needs of the Winthrop school system not supported by local or state funding. She was a director of the Mariner’s Boat House Board in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. where she spent time each winter and she was the secretary/treasurer of the Carry Ponds Association in western Maine where the cherished family cottage is located.

While an avid reader, lover of crossword puzzles, accomplished knitter and needlepointer, Di was always ready for a game of bridge. She played in several groups through the decades. Many thanks to Marl, Ginny Rae, Jane Wing, Jeannine, Pat, Addie and others for those wonderful times. Thanks, also, to Jane Elliott, April and others for the Augusta Country Club years.

Whether in Winthrop, on the treasured pond in remote western Maine, or on the Gulf shore beach, Dianne created a warm and welcoming home to all.

Dianne was predeceased by her husband, Robert in 1990; her son, Alfred, in 2010; her father and mother in 1956 and 1985 respectively; her sister-in-law Ann in 2011; and her dear friend Marion Healey in 2013. She is survived by her son, David and his partner John Simpson of Winthrop, her daughter-in-law Janet of Bridgton; dear friends Jan White of Scarborough and Marlene Douglas of Winthrop, and Marion’s four daughters (Valerie, Jan, Jill, and Susan) and their families. She was especially pleased to have reacquainted and spent happy times with her cousin Kenney Bassett and his wife, Claire Lavoie, through his assembly of a comprehensive Kenney family genealogy.

Having no grandchildren of her own, Dianne always appreciated Marion and Marlene sharing theirs with her.

Di’s final weeks at home were made comfortable through the efforts and talents of MaineGeneral HomeCare and Hospice. The family is indebted to Jean Greene Jennings and her colleagues, as well as independent home aides Betty and Michelle. David and John are forever grateful for the outpouring of support from so many friends.

The current health climate precludes a gathering at this time. The family looks forward to a better 2021 when this can occur.

Arrangements entrusted to Roberts Funeral Home, 62 Bowdoin St. Winthrop, Maine. Condolences, memories ad photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com

Those wishing to make contributions in Dianne’s name could choose the: Winthrop Congregational Church Deacons’ Fund for Community Care

10 Bowdoin St.

Winthrop, ME 04364 or:

MaineGeneral HomeCare and Hospice

21 Enterprise Dr.

Augusta, ME 04330 or:

your own particular charity

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