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Maxine J. O’Brien passed away on October 20, 2020, at Logan Health Center with her family at her bedside. She was 87 years old. She was born on Flag Day, June 14, 1935, in Hinsdale Montana the second daughter of Bob and Alice McElvain. She attended both grade school and high school in Hinsdale. In high school she participated in a variety of school activities. She played both basketball and volleyball. She was a member of the 4-H Club and high school band. During her senior year she played the leading role in her senior class play. She graduated from high school in May of 1953 as salutatorian of her graduating class. In the fall of 1953, she enrolled at MSU majoring in elementary education she was a member of the A O π Sorority where she met many lifelong friends. In September 1956 she married Ken O'Brien, her high school sweetheart. They were married for 66 years. In the fall of 1956, she transferred to the University of Montana where her husband was attending Law School. She graduated in the spring of 1957 with a degree in elementary education. Upon graduation she accepted a position as a 4th grade teacher in the Missoula school system. She taught for two years while her husband completed Law School. When her husband completed Law School he entered the Air Force and was stationed at Naha Air Force Base on Okinawa. She accompanied her husband to Okinawa where they were stationed for a period of 30 months while her husband completed his Tour of Duty. Their first son Jeff was born on Okinawa in October of 1960. The family relocated from Okinawa in February of 1962 and moved to Helena, Montana where Ken worked as a legal assistant in the governor's office. In the spring of 1963 Ken accepted a position in the law firm of Rognlien and Hash, and the family moved to Kalispell. In November of 1965 they welcomed their second son Mitch into the family. Maxine possessed a deep faith and love of the Lord. She was a lifetime member of the Methodist Church. She taught Sunday School in Hinsdale while attending High School. Upon her arrival in Kalispell, she immediately became immersed in the activities of the Epworth United Methodist Church. At one time or another she served on every church board or committee. She was also a youth leader. In addition, she served the church at the conference and jurisdictional level. She continued her involvement in the church until she passed away. She loved her church family She enjoyed camping with her family. For many years her family and members of the Epworth family camped at Holland Lake over the Labor Day weekend. She enjoyed traveling. Her adventures took her to England, Scotland, Wales, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada and Mexico. She also traveled extensively in the U.S. visiting every state but one. Many of her trips were with other members of her Epworth family. One of her most memorable trips was a tour of the Hawaiian Islands with three other church couples. She was an active member of the local P.E.O. chapter. Maxine was one of the most loving, kind, and generous individuals whoever graced the face of the earth. She was always one of the first to offer assistance in time of need and solace in times of grief. It is difficult to find words to describe her as a person, and those who knew her personally will understand. She was simply one of the very best. She had two primary goals in life, one was to make her family happy and the other he was to serve her Lord. She succeeded triumphantly at both. It was appropriate that she was born on Flag Day because she had a deep love for her country and those who defended its freedom held a special place in her heart She was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Alice McElvain, a brother bud, and two sisters Marlys and Sharon. Maxine is survived by her husband of 66 years, Ken, sons Jeff and Mitch, daughter-in-law Mollie and granddaughters, Catherine, Abigail and her husband Stellan. She will be missed by all of those who knew her. Her granddaughter Catherine summed it up best by saying “She was the glue that kept this family bonded together. She was taken far too soon from cancer, but she lived her 87 years to the fullest. She was the greatest wife, mother, and Grandma that anyone would have been lucky to know. If you were lucky to know her you were truly blessed beyond words. No one will ever replace this hole in my heart because you're never leaving it. See you later alligator, I will love you forever"
Services for Maxine will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, October 29, 2022, at Epworth United Methodist Church in Kalispell. A reception will follow in VanDeMark Hall. The family requests those attending wear some form of red, white or blue in her honor.