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Maxine M. Burch was born on a farm in Madison County Iowa on May 24 1924 the daughter of Harry E. and Stella M. Burch. She attended Hooten one-room country school and in the 6th grade transferred to the Winterset public schools. She was active in church, 4-H, conservation, and music activities. During her junior year in high school she was president of the Madison County 4-H clubs and was awarded trips to the National Club Congress and National Leadership Conference. Mrs. Edith Barker and Miss Isabel Crowe were Iowa's state leaders at that time. Maxine was the president of the Girl Reserve Club, which was the only high school-wide girls' organization. This was during her senior year in high school and she was named one of the two outstanding female students in her class in 1942.
Maxine attended Iowa State University for two years and then dropped out of the Home Economics College for the 1944-1945 year to support the World War II efforts with the Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. She returned to Iowa State in 1945 to pursue her studies in Foods and Nutrition with a major in Institutional Management with graduation in June 1947. During these two years, she was the assistant cook at the college hospital, was active in radio programming at WOI, was on the YWCA cabinet, and sang in the college chorus and the Church choir. It was during 1946-47 that she learned to fly the single engine piston airplane which taught her a real appreciation of well cared for equipment at all times.
Maxine did her graduate dietetic internship in Management at Women's Education and Industrial Union (Simmons College) in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon completion, she accepted a position at Harvard University, first working at the Graduate Medical School for one year and for two years at the Graduate Business School. She returned to Iowa and in the fall of 1951 she joined Morningside College (Sioux City) and was there until 1953. While at Morningside she did campus food service and headed the Department of Home Economics.
Upon her resignation she went to Graduate Seminary and completed two years of Graduate Theology and was ordained in January 1955 with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In June 1965, she sailed for India and for three years managed a village boarding school in Central India for 80 girls 6-13 years of age who were sighted and non-sighted. There were also 10 boys under her care. Maxine also commuted four hours by bus one day a week to teach nutrition in a school of nursing.
In 1958 she moved to Ludhiana, Punjab, a city of nearly a million people where the Christian Medical College was located. Through the building process of a 525-bed hospital, she designed and oversaw the building of kitchens which still operate 35 years later with a 725 bed capacity. Indian administrators at Baroda University requested Maxine specifically to come to their University under the Iowa State/Ford Foundation Program to develop a MS degree dietetic program, and this was done in 1968 and 1969.
Maxine took study leave from Ludhiana and graduated with an MS degree in Nutrition at the University Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1961-62. Dr. Margaret Ohlson was the supervisor.
Maxine has carried leadership roles in her church by serving on local to international committees and boards. She has maintained a consultants working relationship with hospitals, patients, nurses, and dietetic associates. She served on committees and was vice president and then president of the Nebraska State Home Economics Association. She has also served in several positions for the Nebraska Dietetic Association. Maxine has served on medical faculties in India and the USA from 1958 to 1992.
Upon returning to the USA in 1970, she joined Creighton University School of Medicine and remained there until July 1992, except for the years of 1978 to 1985 when she ran a successful private practice of professional dietetic patient care in Omaha, Nebraska.
Maxine has a long service record with ZONTA INTERNATIONAL and served as an officer locally and regionally. She has worked with CARE AHA and the American Cancer Society, which is a special interest. Maxine has enjoyed working with the Iowa State Alumni Association, serving eight (8) years on the board and president one year. She became a life member of the Board of Governors of ISU in 1980 and continues to serve in this area. She was one of 25 who shared in the dream and reality of GATEWAY CENTER at the ISU South Campus. The Center for Women's Study of Politics is her most recent joy. As her life is an expression of the joy of serving and giving, she is especially supportive of women in places of political leadership where they can bring about much change for good in the world today.