Jennie B. Maxwell, 86, of Monticello passed away at 6:25 p.m., July 8, 2021 at the Piatt County Nursing Home, Monticello.
Born February 15, 1935, Jennie was the last of ten children born to Frank and Katherine (Francis) McPheeters and lived in both Monticello and Decatur as a child. She attended Stephen Decatur High School and met her husband in Decatur after he returned from his service in WWII. She was married to John W. (Bill) Maxwell on February 15, 1953, and they moved to Monticello to work at Cable and raise their family. After Bill’s death, she moved to her ‘castle’—her cherished little blue house on the corner.
Jennie is survived by one brother, Sam McPheeters, and three of her children: John (Jamie) Maxwell; Glenna (David) Murphy; Billie (Jim) Mitchell; a daughter-in-law Patricia (David) Maxwell; grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her husband Bill and her son David Maxwell proceeded her in death.
Our mother loved family, gardening, and music. She grew a big garden well into her later years and loved to try new and different kinds of vegetables like purple green beans. For years she enjoyed the senior sing along at the Hayes Center in Champaign, IL and knew all the lyrics to many old songs. One of the many sacrifices she made for her family was to apply for and secure a job as a forklift driver at Kraft Foods, becoming the first female to do so at the Champaign plant. She was proud of her 30 years at Kraft and enjoyed meeting former co-workers for coffee at Urbana Gardens restaurant. Mom enjoyed hearing from family and friends and could tell many stories from the olden days. She was a self -described “Taffies Rat”, when the restaurant existed, and enjoyed meeting her best friend of many years, Wanda, for lunch or coffee. Mom was honest to the bone (even when it wasn’t at all convenient), a hard worker, and frugal like many that came from a scrappy childhood.
Graveside services will be held on Monday, July 26, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., at the Monticello Township Cemetery, Monticello.
Memorials can be made to the David Maxwell Memorial Scholarship at Parkland College Foundation.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.mackey-wrightfuneralhome.com.