Cecil Aubrey Maxwell was born in Cardington, Ohio, in the home where he lived nearly all his life, on March 6, 1923, to Paul Burr Maxwell and Ada Belle Farley Maxwell. His sister was GaNell Maxwell Ullom Durfey. Cecil graduated from Cardington High School in 1941 and attended Ohio State University.
Cecil worked for his family's milk processing business Riverside Dairy Farms from the time he was 13 years old, later including delivery of school milk when he met the teacher of Home Economics at Cardington School, and on June 8, 1947 Cecil married Kathryn Pearl at the Warrensburg United Methodist Church.
They set up their new home on Chesterville Rd. in Cardington, with their already established family, including Cecil's son James Leslie, whose mother and Cecil's first wife Kathleen had died when Jim was only a few months old. To their family they added a pair of twin girls, Janice Eileen and Janet Elaine, and a third daughter Jeanne Emily.
In 1951, when the health of Cecil's father was failing, Cecil and Kathryn bought Riverside Dairy on a long-term contract that guaranteed income to his parents as long as either of them lived. They traded houses, moving from their house on Chesterville Road to Riverside Dairy on East Main Street in Cardington. Cecil and Kathryn managed the Riverside milk and ice cream business from 1953 until 1994 when they sold the ice cream business.
In 1954, Cecil's parents returned from a weekend at Lakeside, and announced that they had bought a house. Two years later they moved to Lakeside and established a guesthouse called Maxwell's Hospitality House. After Paul's death in 1967, Cecil and Kathryn bought out his sister GaNell's interest in the home and continued to operate the Hospitality House. Today Maxwell's Hospitality House is owned and managed by daughter Jeanne Maxwell Vaughan.
Cecil was a very active layman in the Cardington United Methodist Church where he served at local, District, Jurisdictional and General Church levels, was a long-term member of the church choir and Adult Sunday School teacher. He was Disaster Coordinator for the East-Ohio Conference, and was active on many Mission Committees. His church-related travels were extensive, including to many areas of the US as well as abroad. A major area of interest was Rural Leadership Development and assessing the quality of programs sponsored by the church. For example, he and Kathryn traveled to Zimbabwe to visit several Mission Stations after which he shared his observations with church members throughout Ohio.
Cecil joined the Cardington Rotary club in 1946, and was an active participant. He was club secretary for 11 years, served in nearly all other offices, was made a Paul Harris Fellow, a prestigious Rotary honor, and served as District Governor for the 4,300 members of District 660.
Cecil was a member of the Cardington Village Council for 10 years, and became Mayor from 1978 to 1982. During 1981 Cardington was devastated by a tornado and Cecil worked very effectively to lead response teams to coordinate the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, local, state and federal agency representatives to restore order and develop a plan for the town's future. He served on the Village Council again in 1993.
Cecil served on many committees and Boards including the Area Agency on Aging, which named he and Kathryn as Outstanding Seniors, the Morrow County C. I. C., the Delaware-Morrow Mental Health Board, the 4-County PIC Executive Committee, the nine-county Board of the Council on Aging and on Community Improvement and Planning. A favorite volunteer activity involved listening to Cardington second grade students read, which he and Kathryn did for nearly 14 years.
Cecil and Kathryn traveled extensively including trips to Hong Kong, Singapore and Egypt to visit son Jim and daughter-in-law Pam when they were living there, and for an extended trip to the Holy Land.
Cecil passed away on February 17, 2014. He leaves a son, James Leslie (Pam) of Green Valley, Arizona; 2 daughters, Janice Haynes (TG) Delaware, Ohio; and Jeanne Vaughan of Avon, Ohio; 5 grandchildren - Jeff Haynes and Jennifer Haynes Zimmer, Jackie Wuertz Fairchild, Robert and Michael Vaughan, six great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Wife Kathryn died in January 2010 and daughter Janet Elaine in February 2011.
Arrangements are being handled by the Gompf Funeral Home of Cardington, Ohio. Friends may visit the family at the Cardington United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall between 2:00 and 4:00 PM and 6:00 and 8:00 PM on Saturday February 22. Services will be held at the Methodist Church at 2:00 PM on Sunday February 23rd.
In lieu of flowers, friends may donate to the Memorial Committee of the First United Methodist Church of Cardington, 300 South Marion Street, Cardington, OH 43315 or to Memorial Gifts to the Lakeside Fund in honor of Cecil Maxwell, Lakeside Chautauqua, 236 Walnut Ave. Lakeside OH, 43440.