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Richard Noel Maxwell

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MAXWELL Richard Noel Maxwell, age 69, died peacefully on April 28, 2011, at Riverside Methodist Hospital surrounded by the love of family and friends. Dick was born on February 27, 1942, in Steubenville, Ohio. Predeceased by his mother Virginia Runyeon Maxwell, and father John Donald Maxwell. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Kathryn Reeder Maxwell; stepson, Matthew Michael Edler; mother-in-law, Margaret Page Reeder; dear cousin, Linda (Charles) Maxwell Yund; special friends and caregivers including, Karen Lanning and Cherry Vail; and many cousins. Dick graduated from North High School in 1960, attended school at OSU and went into the Marine Corps reserves. After completing boot camp, he returned and played football in the OSU intramural fraternity league for the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. In the early evening of November 18, 1963, he saw a chance to score a touchdown and went diving into the end zone. He received a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed from the neck down. Woody Hayes saw a paragraph about the accident in the student paper and went to the hospital to see him. After visiting him several times, Woody said "He's a fabulous youngster. If we win the Michigan game, I'm going to give him the game ball." On November 30, 1963 OSU beat Michigan 14-10 and Dick became the proud owner of the signed football. Dick received his rehabilitation from a wonderful staff at Dodd Hall and continued his college education receiving his bachelor degree in business in 1969. After graduation, he served as Patient Services Coordinator at Dodd Hall. In 1971 he was honored as one of the Columbus Citizen-Journal "Top Ten Men of the Year". In 1972, Dick began work as administrator in the OSU Office for Disability Services where he worked with students, who had physical disabilities and served on campus committees creating awareness and providing knowledge of disability issues. He was most proud of being able to give tools and knowledge to students with disabilities so they could become their own self-advocate. Since he had to be met by high school friends and fraternity brothers to be carried up steps and assisted to classes during his OSU college career, spearheading awareness and the campaign for campus accessibility was a huge task that he and others with the campus planning commission accomplished. He served as clinical faculty in the OSU Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department and provided workshops and lectures not only to students studying physical medicine, but architectural students. He was appointed in 1974 to the Ohio Governor's Commission on Employment of the Handicap. He served in multiple community venues: Consumer Advisory Council for the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, State Library Advisory Committee for Outreach Services, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, the Housing Advisory Committee for the Metropolitan Human Services Commission, the Access Advisory Committee for the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Central Ohio Rehabilitation Association, Ohio Wheelchair Athletic Association, Ohio Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities and the University District Organization. He was one of the founders, served as vice president and Board of Trustees members for Creative Living, a unique nonprofit organization encouraging independent living for adults with severe physical disabilities. In 1985, he was given the OSU Affirmative Action Award for his contribution to disability awareness and campus accessibility. After 27 years, Dick retired from OSU and was deeply honored by the students, who selected him to the Sphinx Honorary and the Golden Key Society. He was very active in his retirement years, maintaining the important friendships that had given him the courage and confidence to make the most of his life, taking care of family, and studying World War II history. We want to thank all his friends from North High School, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, The Ohio State University, and Creative Living for loving and honoring him. Dick will be sadly missed by his loving wife, family and friends. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at SCHOEDINGER MIDTOWN CHAPEL, 229 E. State St. where the family will receive friends from 1:00pm until time of service. The family suggests that donations be made to Creative Living, 150 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from May 1 to May 2, 2011
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