McNair Maxwell was born in Fayetteville, NC to John Duncan Currie and Mary Pate Currie. She went to St Mary's High School and then Sweet Briar- where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a major in history. She later earned her Master's in history at UCLA. She was a lifelong "A" student and went on to become a beloved educator- teaching high school Latin for over 20 years. As a young woman, she never thought she'd leave North Carolina, but her plans were interrupted when she was set up with Lt. Robert Maxwell, who was stationed at Fort Bragg with the MI detachment of the 82nd Airborne). They married in 1966 and immediately set out for Bob's hometown of Redondo Beach, California. She gave birth to Ashley in 1971 and Reynolds in 1973, and although she was an active and wonderful mother, she had to be really busy, highly productive, and socially engaged in order to be truly happy. So when she discovered teaching Latin in the early 1980s (at Miraleste H.S., Palos Verdes H.S., and Peninsula H.S.), she had found her calling. Latin is a demanding subject which drew some of the school's brightest students, but it also had the unexpected component of statewide competition- which McNair loved. In order to keep the subject more engaging and fun, each High School has a Latin Club, and these clubs engage each other in fierce academic and athletic competitions. McNair was the fearless Captain of a program that became a California state juggernaut. She was the John Wooden of Latin- winning 13 California state convention titles at Peninsula High School. She was a legend! McNair was well known to wear her Latin Club T-shirts backwards (paired with a multi-colored wind suit) in order to show off the shirt and convince every student she met to study Latin. McNair just had to be engaged with others at all times. She cherished her family, her friends, and her social clubs. After retiring from teaching, she found a new stride with her women's groups and charity work. She was an active member of St. Peter's by the Sea Presbyterian Church and founded or was involved with multiple women's groups there. She was a natural leader, and loved to organize charity events and women's retreats. McNair was also passionate about her beloved Sweet Briar College and St. Mary's High School- she lived for these reunions and seeing the many life-long friends she'd made there. McNair never lost her Southern accent and it would still turn heads in California 50 years after she arrived. Though she grew to love California and her many friends there, she always dreamed of returning home to North Carolina. She and Bob moved back in the fall of 2019, and she rests in peace there now. McNair was an amazing mom, a loving wife, and a friend to all who knew her. She will be missed incredibly. "Inis vitae sed non amoris!" Services entrusted to Sullivan's Highland Funeral Service & Crematory, of Fayetteville, NC.
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Published by Palos Verdes Peninsula News on Jul. 18, 2021.