Maxine Guidry Woolner
Maxine Guidry Woolner, age 85, passed away peacefully and in comfort in her apartment at the Clare Bridge Community in Troutdale, Ore., Sept. 6 2009. She died from complications of renal failure. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange, with burial at Evergreen Cemetery. Visitation will be preceding the funeral at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. A gathering after the services will be held at 1809 W. Hart Avenue, Orange.
Maxine was the daughter of Joseph Villeré Guidry and Rosa (neé Hollier) Guidry. She grew up in Orange. Maxine came from a large family. She had two brothers and seven sisters. From early childhood she had a keen interest in drama and theater, and was particularly proud of her participation in the Bengal Guards Drum and Bugle Corps. She was also an avid reader and enjoyed, as she called it, ‘the life of the mind.’ She devoured books and yearned to travel and experience the world.
Maxine attended college at the University of Chicago, studying at the Goodman Theater. She worked as a secretary for what she later learned was the Manhattan Project. During the war she also traveled to California and worked in a defense plant.
She met a handsome young sailor, a World War II veteran, named Bruce Edwin Woolner, and fell in love with him. They married on Dec. 14, 1946 in Orange. She would support him as he attended college and then law school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. After practicing law for a brief period, the couple moved to Washington, D.C., where Bruce joined the U.S. State Department and became a diplomat. Maxine got to fulfill a wish for travel and excitement by being the wife of a diplomat, living for a year in Israel, then for two years, in Cyprus. When they returned to the United States, they left government service. Bruce worked at a variety of jobs before he found his career, and Maxine helped to support the family by working, mostly at automobile dealerships as a title clerk. Bruce began work as an executive with Government Employees Insurance Company, and Maxine began her career as the wife of a business executive. Together they lived in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Honolulu, Hawaii, San Francisco and Long Beach, Calif., before retiring in Orange.
In 1973, they did something completely unexpected. They quit work and began a trip around the world, mostly by taking passenger berths on cargo ships. For a year and a half, they visited North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the islands of the Pacific.
Maxine is survived by her two sons, Marshall Villeré Woolner and his wife Sharon Ann of Gresham, Ore., Bruce Eric Woolner and his wife Rhodora, of Riverdale Md. She has seven grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters, Irma Hardwick, of Sugar Land, Bonnie Rach, of Hemphill and Shirleen Daniel, of Brenham.
She was predeceased by her husband, Bruce Edwin Woolner on Dec.13 2000; four sisters and both brothers.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Orange Public Library.