March 3, 1938 – March 17, 2020
Maxine Patrica Williams, (nee Mason) 82, of Alert Bay, British Columbia, passed away peacefully on March 17, 2020.
She was born to parents Ernest and Margaret Mason, on March 3, 1938 in Lashburn, Saskatchewan and grew up in Marsden, Saskatchewan.
She completed school at The Convent of the Child Jesus in North Battleford, Saskatchewan and graduated in 1956.
Maxine and husband Robert were married on July 15, 1956 in Battleford, Saskatchewan. They had the first of their nine children (Katrina) in North Battleford, Sask., later moving to Kitimat, BC where they had their second (Bryon) and third (Clayton), finally settling in Alert Bay, BC where the other six (oldest to youngest: Allan, Duncan, Edwin, Fenton, Krista and Glynn) were born.
Maxine spent the first 26 years at home raising her family while Husband Robert worked multiple jobs to support their large family.
In 1982, she became a councillor in Alert bay and went on to serve for a total of 18 years, spending 25 years involved in municipal politics. During her many years serving on council for the Village of Alert Bay, she worked tirelessly on whatever portfolio was handed to her. Her most successful and favorite one was tourism which was given to her for many years by the then mayor Gilbert Popovich. Maxine was deeply connected to and a passionate promoter of Alert Bay and was instrumental in the creation of (Gator Gardens), Alert Bay Ecological Park as well as the Alert Bay Campground. In 1995, Maxine was honored with a life membership to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities for making a significant contribution to local government in British Columbia. She was on the board of directors for BC Ferries in the mid 1990’s. Maxine was also involved with the BC and National New Democratic Parties in addition to regularly travelling to remote communities for Stats Canada Census. She spent many years as a volunteer for the Ladies Auxiliary, Royal Canadian Legion.
Maxine travelled throughout Vancouver Island as well-known clairvoyant Madame Xena doing readings as well as radio shows. She started a fast food restaurant, Choosey Choices which later moved and became a restaurant and vacation rental, The Old Customs House that she operated for many years. She never lost her passion or commitment to the Village of Alert Bay and could often be found speaking enthusiastically with visitors at the Customs House in her later years. She could often be found there playing her piano, sharing wine, song, and many tales. After the restaurant was closed, she retired and continued to operate the vacation rental for the remainder of her lifetime.
Maxine was a volunteer, an ambassador, a risk taker, and an innovator who always made time for people and fun. She was an accomplished piano player and enjoyed playing whenever she could. She was full of life and loved to have a good time, hosting many parties at home over the years. She could be described as “the life of the party”. She loved Irish music and was well known for her ability to dance the jig. In her later years, she loved getting together with her family and friends to tell stories, sing, and dance.
She leaves behind many nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren of whom she was very proud of.
Maxine is survived by Sons: Bryon (Linda), Clayton (Barb), Allan (Susan), Duncan (Josie), Fenton (Sandra), and Glynn. Daughters: Katrina (Bruno), and Krista. Grandchildren Kristyn Huber and Branden Wesa, as well as Great Grandchildren Jaydon, Leah, (Kristyn) and Michael, Mathew (Branden).
She was preceded in death by Son Edwin and Husband Robert, both in 2018, Mother Margaret Grunewald, Father Ernest Mason, and stepfather Henry Grunewald.
The family has postponed a celebration of life to a future date to be announced (due to the Covid 19 virus pandemic).
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