Maxine M. Dickens

Honored by:Mary Dickens Johnson, John Dickens, and Bruce Dickens
Brick location:K:3  map

Our mother, formerly Maxine Kinsinger, an Iowa native of a farming family from Bloomfield, Iowa, spent most of her life in Farson, Iowa, near Ottumwa. Her mother had immigrated from Germany when she, Margaret Domer, was five. Her father was also half German. Maxine attended Ottumwa High School and went on to study at Ottumwa Heights College with a double major in mathematics and home economics. She was on full scholarship and worked three jobs to support herself in college. She worked in the college library to pay for her books, she worked at the house where she lived in town as a housekeeper, and she worked at the five-and-dime store on Saturdays for spending money. She went to college during the depression; despite of all her responsibilities outside the classroom, she did her homework so well that she earned the Phi Theta Kappa distinction. After completing her associate degree, she went on to study at St. Benedictine College in Kansas on a partial scholarship, but could only complete one year due to financial difficulties in the family. She returned home to teach school in a one-room schoolhouse near home. She had three brothers, Sam (deceased), an electrician at John Deere in Ottumwa; Harold (deceased), a farmer in Hedrick, Iowa; and Elmer, a farmer near Fremont, Iowa. Many of the children in the extended family attended Iowa State besides all of Maxine’s five children, David Milton, Rex Malachi, John, Bruce Michael, and Mary Margaret.