Overton Funeral Home
501 W Ashland Avenue
Indianola, IA 50125
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Maxine Keyes Kimer

1919 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Maxine Keyes Kimer Obituary


Maxine Kimer's well-lived life ended on December 2, 2013, with her death at age 94 following a brief illness.

Maxine was born to Stanley J. and Mabel Thornsberry Keyes in Eldon, Missouri on March 29, 1919. When she and her sister Pauline were quite young the family moved to a farm near Woodward, Iowa where Maxine graduated third in her class from Woodward High School in 1935, having skipped ahead at least one class along the way. With a scholarship in hand Maxine enthusiastically entered Simpson College in Indianola. At Simpson she was a member of Delta Delta Delta and was, according to a friend, popular, active, and a good student, graduating in 1940. Simpson College remained an important part of her life as she was active in alumni affairs, from time to time worked in the Registrar's Office and at other positions, and was active in Simpson Guild and Tri Delta alumni affairs.

It was at Simpson that Maxine met Lew Kimer who she would marry on June 6, 1941, following a stint as a high school teacher and girls' basketball coach. Maxine and Lew made Indianola their life-long home and enjoyed a lifetime of good friends, some going back to their college days. Maxine was the proud mother of two sons, Thomas Lee, born in December 1945 and James Lewis in June 1949.

Maxine was active in a number of clubs and organizations including PEO Chapter BP since 1943, Clio Club, Simpson Guild, Planned Parenthood, and even an investment club after moving to Wesley Village. Throughout her life she was an avid and accomplished bridge player playing regularly with several groups including, most prominently, her Friday bridge group consisting of 8 ladies who met for bridge for over 60 years.

Throughout her entire adult life Maxine silently and courageously faced rheumatoid arthritis and the constant pain that accompanies it but never allowed it to control or define her life. Nor was she derailed by the tragic losses she withstood with the accidental death of her son Jim in 1969, the too early death of Lew in 1981, and the death of beloved granddaughter Amanda in 1996.

Maxine was a model of grace and elegance. She was a voracious reader and enjoyed auditing classes at Simpson post-graduation and beyond. She volunteered at cultural events at the Des Moines Civic Center, and enjoyed traveling to many countries on trips sponsored by Simpson and other organizations. She enjoyed her many dear friends of all ages, always engaging them in energetic and current conversation and always interested in what they were thinking and doing.

Maxine is survived by her son Tom and daughter-in-law Barbara Kimer of Minneapolis; grandchildren Kathryn (Lawrence) Simon of Stroudsburg, PA and James (Colleen) Kimer of Washington DC; and great grandchildren Sarah Amanda Simon and Benjamin Teller Simon. She was preceded in death by son, James Lewis Kimer; husband, Lewis S. Kimer; granddaughter Amanda Lee Kimer; and sister, Pauline Primus.

A memorial service will be held at Overton Funeral Home in Indianola on Saturday December 14, 2013 at 11:30am Memorials in lieu of flowers may be directed to the Lewis S. and Maxine K. Kimer Scholarship at Simpson College or to The Village in Indianola. Online condolences may be made at


Published in Des Moines Register on Dec. 8, 2013
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