Donna Earleen Holden Maxfield, 78, of Marion, MA, and Louisville, CO, passed away on February 4 at Landmark Memory Care in Louisville surrounded by family and following a brave struggle with dementia. Donna was born on November 13, 1941, in Acushnet, MA, to the late Earl L. and Dorothy R. (Gill) Holden. Raised in New Bedford and then Fairhaven, MA, she graduated from Fairhaven High School in 1960. After graduating from Westfield College, she married Carl Bayley Maxfield of Fairhaven and began a long and devoted teaching career, mainly at the Beecher Road Elementary School in Woodbridge, CT. She earned a master's degree in history from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and became a life-long fan of the UConn Huskies women's basketball team. She took a year's sabbatical to teach in Japan, and later traveled to South Korea and China. Moving to Marion, MA, in 2003 to help care for her parents, she began a second classroom career at New Bedford High School, where she taught American history for over ten years. In Marion, Donna served on the board of the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society, celebrating the area's unique American-Japanese friendship. She was also an active member of the First Congregational Church, baking loaves of banana bread for its annual summer festival. She had a keen interest in Supreme Court Historical Society functions in Washington, D.C., where she observed the court and met Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. Donna is survived by her son, Eric Holden Maxfield, former daughter-in law Mary Maxfield, and grandchildren Holden and Eliza Maxfield, all of Louisville, CO; her sister Joyce and brother-in-law Chuck Francis of East Bridgewater, MA, and her sister Pamela Craig of Islamorada, FL; companion Tom Brannan of Washington, D.C.; and many wonderful cousins. A memorial service will be held in Marion in the spring. Donations in her honor can be made to the First Congregational Church of Marion, MA, 28 Front Street, Marion, MA, 02738, or the Sippican Historical Society of Marion, 141 Front Street, Marion, MA 02738.
Published in Colorado Hometown Weekly on Feb. 19, 2020.