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Obituary: Goedde, Maxine A.

GOEDDE, Maxine A.

(Age 84) Maxine Goedde loved the Palouse.

Her great grandfather, Jacob Kambitsch, established their family farm near Genesee in 1872, and Maxine called it God’s country.

When her children suggested that life in her later years might be easier somewhere else, she would frown, eyes flashing, and squash those ideas in a hurry.

She lived here most of her life, passing away in her Uniontown home on November 7, 2013 at the age of 84.

While growing up on the farm, Maxine attended school in Genesee, graduating in 1947.

Her parents thought it prudent to send her to Holy Names Academy in Spokane, Washington, where she might benefit from the influence of the nuns.

Maxine, a strong willed young woman who loved to argue, found her counterpart in Sister Raphael.

They had many late-into-the-night debates, and Maxine carried those lessons with her when she left Holy Names.

As Maxine described it, she “had difficulty adjusting to the rigid campus schedule.”

Adventure beckoned, and Maxine enrolled in a six-month dental nursing program in San Francisco.

While there, she discovered a vibrant jazz club scene, and her favorite performer was Billy Eckstine.

Although the city offered exciting attractions, Maxine missed the Palouse, and she returned home, marrying Dick Goedde of Uniontown in 1951.

After renting a small upstairs apartment for six years, Maxine and Dick built their own home in Uniontown and lived there for 56 years.

Maxine adored her four children.

Politically liberal and fiscally frugal, she raised her children to respect the equality of all people and to buy everything on sale.

While instilling these values, Maxine also created a beautiful yard, sewed many of the family’s clothes, and steamed up the kitchen with all her canning.

As the backyard trees she and Dick had planted grew, so did the population of birds.

Maxine’s several bird feeders and birdhouses attracted many feathered friends that Maxine loved to watch from her kitchen windows.

Community events and volunteering also became an important part of Maxine’s life in Uniontown.

She worked at every sausage dinner and bazaar at the community building, and she attended meetings of the St. Boniface Alter Society and the American Legion Auxiliary.

She was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Farmers’ State Bank, and the meetings gave her an opportunity for a change of scenery.

Her children, though, were Maxine’s life work.

“Would you believe,” she would say, “three in diapers at the same time and then three in college.”

With a busy life, Maxine still found time to read several newspapers cover to cover each day, and her family knew not to move them until they were in the recycle pile.

Maxine kept a scissors by her chair to clip articles for her scrapbooks and articles to send to her children and friends.

In her later years, Maxine took an increasing interest in the family farm.

She followed the rise and fall of the price of wheat, and she enjoyed the challenge of figuring out the best time to sell.

Her daily habit of reading newspapers helped her calculate the influence of world events on the price of wheat.

When Maxine learned of the Idaho Century Farm program, she gathered all the data necessary to document that the Kambitsch farm had been in her family for over 100 years.

She was very proud to receive the designation.

Maxine is survived by her three children: Gayle Goedde and her husband John French of Douglas, Alaska; Gerri Goedde and her husband Jeff Billett of Seattle, and Guy Goedde of Uniontown.

Maxine was preceded in death by her husband, Dick Goedde and her son, Gregg Goedde.

Her grandchildren are Mikaela Rodriguez of Burlington, Vermont; Marita Rodriguez of Seattle, and Milena Billett of Seattle.

Maxine’s surviving siblings are Orrin Kambitsch (Mary) of Plummer and LaVonne Richardson of Lewiston.

Graveside funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Uniontown, Washington.

Memorial donations in Maxine’s honor are suggested to Whitman County Fire District #14’s Uniontown-Colton EMT fund, Gentiva Hospice Care, or to the charity of choice.

KIMBALL FUNERAL HOME of PULLMAN has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.

Online condolences may be left at


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