Maxine Randall (1920 - 2015)

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Maxine Sower Stephens Randall
3/12/1920 - 7/31/2015
Maxine Sower Stephens Randall passed away on July 31, 2015 in Boise. She will be greatly missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.
Maxine Sower was born March 12, 1920 in Caldwell, Idaho, the only daughter of Clare Sower and Elva Tarr Sower. She grew up in Nampa with four brothers. McCall always had a special place in Maxine's heart because of time spent there with her family and friends. Her father was a mail clerk on the Nampa-McCall train for 25 years, and summers were spent at the rustic cabin on the shore of Payette Lake. In 1939, Clare's untimely death at age 49 left Elva with 3 children in college and 2 young sons at home. Elva later built a new cabin at the same site in McCall, giving enjoyment to five generations of family and countless friends. Maxine was chosen by her peers at Nampa High School and then by a state committee as the senior excelling in citizenship, dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism, who would best represent Idaho as the Good Citizen Pilgrim for the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) in Washington, D.C. Maxine and other D.A.R. Pilgrims had tea in the White House with Eleanor Roosevelt, and at an Easter Sunday service they sat in the row behind President Roosevelt and his family. Maxine once recalled with a grin, "That was pretty heady stuff." She was then elected national president of the Pilgrims of the American Revolution by 49 girls representing the 48 states and the District of Columbia. Maxine graduated from Nampa High School in 1938 and continued to be actively involved in all of the Nampa High School reunions. She attended the College of Idaho for two years before entering nurses training at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, but she was unable to fulfill her dream of becoming an R.N. due to a medical problem. She returned to the College of Idaho until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which stirred her to join the Navy. Maxine married Austin Randall in 1942 and they both enlisted in the service in 1943. She served for three years as a WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during World War II. She was an instructor with the Link Trainer, a simulated flight device resembling a snub-nosed plane. The pilots pulled the hood over their heads so they saw only the instrument panel, and she taught them how to rely on these instruments when flying. Maxine oversaw 20 female trainers and gained the respect of the men she worked with. "Most pilots just hated instrument training" she said, "but it saved their lives. Once women got in there and showed them we could help, they loved us. That was our main purpose, to be able to replace a man who wanted to go overseas." Maxine and Austin Randall were divorced in 1945, and she was honorably discharged in 1946. Maxine always said: "I was proud to be a part of the service, and when I hear the bands play, I'm almost ready to reenlist." She returned to the College of Idaho in 1946 and, with the help of the G.I. Bill, graduated in June 1947. Max was active in many campus organizations and received the Elks Honor Award as the Outstanding Senior Woman Graduate. Maxine married Kenneth Stephens in 1947 and they moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1955. She worked for 21 years for Sandia National Laboratories as a Personnel Representative and Supervisor. She took graduate classes at the University of New Mexico and was active in a Sweet Adelines Chorus and barbershop quartets. Maxine took early retirement from Sandia in 1976 and returned to Idaho to be with family and friends. Maxine and Kenneth were divorced in 1976. She remarried Austin Randall in 1978 and they divorced in 1982. Maxine was active with the Presbyterian church as an ordained elder and deacon, served on the Pastoral Care Team and sang in the choir. She was active in P.E.O. (philanthropic educational organization) providing educational loans to women, the Albertson College of Idaho Half Century Society and National Alumni Association. At age 70, Maxine took a competitive state exam and became a consultant for the Idaho Industrial Commission and also worked for the State Insurance Fund and the First Presbyterian Church. In 1999 she accepted an Alumni Heritage Award on behalf of the 29 Sower family members who attended Albertson College of Idaho. In 2003, Maxine was honored by the Women's Center of Boise State University as a "Woman Making History" in Idaho and was featured in the Idaho Statesman. Selection was on the basis of "ordinary women living extraordinary lives." She was interviewed and recorded in 2004 by the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa, which displays a Link Trainer, and Maxine volunteered in their student program, "Bridging the Generations." She was passionate all her life about helping friends and family, even though facing her own health crises as a cancer survivor and the second Idaho recipient of a bovine heart valve in 2011. At age 92, Max played fantasy football and often won; she could quote sports trivia with the best of men. She always had a zest for life, a positive attitude, a love of good humor and fun, and tremendous gratitude. She enthusiastically approached each new day with her motto: "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Maxine was preceded in death by her parents Clare Sower & Elva Sower Weible; her brothers Reed Sower, Bob Sower, Stan Sower and Dr. Norman Sower; sister-in-law Alice Sower; and her stepson Mike Randall. Maxine was also preceded in death by her life-long friend Margaret Jane (Peggy) Faylor and special friends Eloise Anderson, Frances Dixon, and Mary Yager.
Maxine is survived by sisters-in-law: Myrna Sower Caron, Maude Sower, Peggy Sower, Judy Sower, Cynthia Randall, Dorothy Stephens Day and many dear nieces and nephews. Maxine had no children of her own and she treasured her role as "Aunt Max." Maxine is also survived by stepdaughter-in-law Lynne Randall, her children and grandchild; stepdaughter Susan Randall Marler; and a cousin Burke Sower. Maxine always called her beloved Steve Dixon "my son." Maxine adored her dear friend Eleanor "Mitch" Hayman and their daily contact, as well as Delight Brislain.
The family extends special gratitude to Dr. William Bollinger for his very personal and compassionate care of Maxine over many years. Thank you also to St. Alphonsus Hospital staff, the wonderful Palliative Care Team, and the devoted St. Alphonsus Hospice Team.
Maxine's memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 950 W. State St., Boise, Idaho on August 22, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at Canyon Hill Cemetery, Caldwell, Idaho at 2:00 p.m. on August 22, 2015.
Memorials may be made to Albertson College of Idaho, 2112 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell, Idaho 83605 or Boise First Presbyterian Church, 950 W. State St., Boise, ID 83702. Services are under the direction and care of Alsip and Persons Funeral Chapel, 466-3545.

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Alsip & Persons Funeral Chapel
404 Tenth Avenue South
Nampa, ID 83651
(208) 466-3545
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Aug. 9, 2015
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