Eula Maxine Branton was born on a farm near Lone Jack, Missouri, on August 19, 1925, the youngest of three daughters to Harriet Katherine (George) and Clyde Brown. She would go on to live nearly all of her 94 years in and around Lone Jack, dying of natural causes on June 30, 2020, in Lee’s Summit, MO. She graduated high school in Lone Jack, as did both of her sisters, both of her daughters, and three of her grandchildren. Maxine was many things: devout Christian, speed limit follower, mischievous-by-nature, sweets connoisseur, gracious volunteer, loyal sister, beloved mother, and doting grandmother, known as “Grandma Maxine” to more than just those who shared a bloodline.
Maxine married the love of her life, Norman H. Branton, on September 25, 1946, in Kansas City, KS, when he returned from his military service in the U.S. Army during World War II. After a few years near Garnet and Wichita, Kansas, they moved to Kansas City, MO, before eventually returning to the Lone Jack area with their three children. Maxine worked 30-years as a telecommunications product supplier at Western Electric in Lee’s Summit. Working outside of the home did not impede her baking skills, as she was a renowned baker of pies and cookies and could often be found in her kitchen making desserts for friends, family, or community events.
Everyone who knew Maxine could tell you she had a heart for service. She spent 30-years volunteering in the Infant Hearing Program at Truman Medical Center Lakewood, and in 2012 received the Pioneers of AT&T Service Award in recognition of over 18,000 hours. She served as the secretary and treasurer of the family cemetery in Oak Grove, MO, the T.H. Brown Cemetery, for over 30-years. She volunteered regularly at the Lone Jack schools and was a vocal supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act which ultimately provided special education services in public schools. Most Wednesday afternoons you could find Maxine at one of her most cherished spots–volunteering at the Lone Jack Civil War Museum.
One cannot think of Maxine without picturing her church home at New Liberty Baptist Church near Oak Grove. Many of her childhood memories included stories of strength and hope as the congregation supported each other during the Great Depression. Her faith in the Lord and devotion to the church were taught to her by her parents. In fact, the kitchen in the church basement was once named after her mother, Katie’s Corner. Maxine served over 45 years as the Church Clerk and often described the church as “a beacon on a hill.” She served on the board of the Blue River Association of the Missouri Baptist Convention for the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, her earthly body will visit the church one last time as family and friends celebrate her life.
Maxine’s husband preceded her in death as well as her parents, siblings Anna Marie Betts (John) and Melonise Feese (W.D.), son J.C., and countless nieces and nephews.
Maxine will be remembered fondly by her daughters and their families. Daughters Mary Katherine Wolfington (Kerry) of Lawrence, KS, and Betty Jo Williams (Dennis) of Kingsville, MO; grandchildren and great grandchildren Jeffrey Wolfington (Amber) and children Nona, Max, and Marcella of Lansing, KS; Kathryn Harth (Cory) of Manhattan, KS; Melanie Wolfington (Danny Rosales) and daughters Ruby and Violet of Raymore, MO; Rachelle Williams of Kansas City, MO; Ben Williams of Manhattan, KS; and Michelle Volkart (Collin) and son Victor of Kansas City, MO. Cousin Diane (Bert) Adams of Madison, WI.
There will be a viewing on Monday, July 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Langsford Funeral Home, 115 S.W. 3rd Street, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063. The family will receive friends during a drive thru visitation on Monday evening from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the parking lot of New Liberty Baptist Church, 32310 E. Colbern, Oak Grove. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 7 at New Liberty Baptist Church, with graveside services to follow at 11 a.m. at T.H. Brown Cemetery, 6701 S. Stillhouse Road, Oak Grove.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to New Liberty Baptist Church or the Lone Jack Civil War Museum in care of Langsford Funeral Home