Maxine V. Brown
February 10, 1921-January 8, 2020
Maxine Brown died January 8, 2020 at Prosser Memorial Health one month before her 99th birthday. Born in Skedee, Pawnee County, Oklahoma to Sam and Trudy (Stecker) Vance. Maxine was the second of seven children: Amogene, Darlene, Bill, Marcy, Charlotte, and Charmie. Maxine would tell stories about hiding in the basement during tornados, and the notorious feud between her parent’s families: The Vances and The Steckers. She had wonderful memories of growing up with her grandparents, and Aunt Bessie, who help provide for the family during the Dustbowl years in Oklahoma.
When Maxine was 14 years old, the family headed West. Her Dad worked as necessary during the exhaustive drive to earn gas money, and to pay bridge tolls. Arriving in Nampa, Idaho, the family could not believe the prosperity of Idaho, and abundance of produce. Maxine graduated from high school in Nampa at age 15, while working for her board and room at State Representative James Agenbroad’s home. Living and working with the Agenbroad family greatly impacted her life in many ways; she learned cooking, baking, canning, and sewing. Most notably, she met Truman Brown as she held the door open the day he moved into the Agenbroad’s boarding house. Truman and Maxine married on December 8, 1938 in Nampa.
During their time in Nampa, Truman and Maxine owned a service station, and then a row-crop farm. Their three oldest sons: Vernon, Dick, and Howard were born in Nampa.
In 1950 Truman and Maxine moved to Prosser, Washington, after purchasing an Ok Tire franchise—now Brown’s Tire Company. Their daughter Bonnie and son Mack were born after moving to Washington. Maxine became an active member of the Prosser community, joining the United Methodist Church, Eastern Star—serving as Worth Matron, Rebekah’s, 4-H, boat club, and was a founding member of the Goofer Hoofer Square Dance Club. The family enjoyed heading to the mountains after work on Saturdays in their motorhome and boat.
After daughter Bonnie returned from WSU, Maxine and Bonnie opened “Bonnie’s Stich N’ Shoppe” a fabric and notions store on what is now Wine County Road. Maxine used her business acumen, and skillful sewing knowledge; she made sewing in a zipper, matching patterns, and button –hole –making look like easy work, during the approximately 20 years the store was open.
During their Golden Years, Maxine and Truman enjoyed motor homing, gambling, and tracking the activities of their grandchildren living in Prosser: Elisa, Darrel, Leslie, Sammy (Vance), and Andrew.
In her 98 years of life, our Grandmother seemingly knew how to do everything, because she had done it: Milk cows, raise chickens, butcher chickens, cook the best friend chicken; make the best German Chocolate Cake, Peach Cobbler; sew anything, preserve/can all foods, keep a perfect house, and carpentry. She believed her greatest success in life to be the accomplishments of her children. A favorite quote, “Do all the good you can, while you can. You come this way but once.”
Maxine is survived by her children: Vernon Brown (Jane), Mack Brown (Gail), and Bonnie Brown Glasscock (Joe) all of Prosser; Richard Brown (Sherry) of Woodland, Washington, and Howard Brown (Jan) of Mount Vernon, Washington; and her sister Charmie Wieland of Tukwila, Washington.
Maxine was preceded in death by her husband of 81 years, Truman Brown, infant daughter Linda Brown, grandson Glenn Brown, parents Sam Vance and Trudy Vance, brother Bill Vance, sisters Marcy Weymouth, Amogene Schmidt, Darlene Koch, and Charlotte Brown.
By Maxine’s request, there will be no Memorial Service. In her memory, please consider making donations to these organizations that were integral to Maxine during the end of her life: Prosser United Methodist Church, Meals on Wheels—Prosser Kitchen, and the Prosser Memorial Foundation. You may leave a message for the family at www.Prosserfuneralhome.com