DELRAY BEACH, FLA. – A private family memorial will be held at a later date for Maxine Alice (Dwiggins) Neff, 94, who passed away Jan. 19, 2012.
Maxine was born March 1, 1917, in Denver, Colorado to William Addison and Mary (McMillan) Dwiggins.
Because Maxine’s father was a federal meat inspector, the family moved a lot and so as a youth, Maxine lived, and attended school, in Denver, Topeka, Detroit, Wheeling, West Virginia and Chicago.
She also spent summers in Arthur, Nebraska, and Denver and Topeka, where she visited her grandparents and extended family.
Maxine had many interesting family stories. Her grandfather, Cyrus Dwiggins, fought for the Union in the Civil War and participated in Sherman’s March to the Sea. Ironically, when he came home, he married Alice Jones Campbell, the widow of a Confederate.
As a young girl, Maxine’s grandmother, Alice, was held-up by the famous western outlaw, Jesse James.
Her grandmother, Mary (Sebille) McMillan came from France and in America married Maxine’s grandfather, John Boone McMillan, a circuit rider.
Together the family traveled and moved throughout the western states, finally settling in the Sandhills of Nebraska.
After Maxine’s graduation from Lakeshore High School in Chicago, the Dwiggins family moved to Columbus, Ohio where in 1939 Maxine (Dwiggie) received a B.S. in Education from the Ohio State University.
She taught business education in Adena, Ohio, before marrying Robert Neff on Dec. 21, 1940, in Toronto, Ohio. They made their home in Columbus, while Bob traveled for Sheaffer Pen Co.
In 1941, Robert was commissioned in the U.S. Navy and Naval duty took them to Norfolk, Va., where Maxine worked as a clerk-typist for the government and as a volunteer making battle dressings. By the end of the war, they had been transferred to Sampson Naval Base and were living in Geneva, N.Y.
At the end of World War II, Bob and Maxine made Canfield, Ohio (Mahoning County) their permanent residence until the early 1980s when they became Florida residents and made their home at Sea Fields Club in Delray Beach.
Canfield continued to be their summer home.
Maxine and her husband developed land in Ohio and Florida and formed the Neff Land Company and four other land development corporations. Maxine served as Vice-President and Secretary to these corporations for many years.
Among Bob and Maxine’s many gifts to the community, were the donation of the Eagle Cabin at Camp Stambaugh for the Boy Scouts, the purchase of the building and grounds for the War Vet Museum, and funding of various Ohio State Markers and Village Green Park projects.
Maxine was a Delta Zeta alumna and a member of Sleepy Hollow and Periwinkle Garden Clubs.
She was a former Girl Scout Leader and a Braille translator. She also belonged to the Salem Golf Club, Gyros and the Canfield United Methodist Church.
Her hobbies included gardening, sewing, needlework, reading and crosswords.
Maxine loved to travel. In March of 1958, she had her first flying experience, and wore a big button that said, “Who, Me Fly?” In a letter she wrote, “So in one day, 13 hours, we were able to travel over 2,500 miles and our actual traveling hours were only eight. Isn’t that remarkable?” Since then Maxine has been able to visit all of the seven continents but Antarctica.
She enjoyed life to the fullest and always looked forward to more.
She was the beloved wife of Robert Neff for 70 years before he died in July of 2011.
She will be lovingly remembered by three daughters, Jennifer Neff of Canfield, Ohio, Holly (Gordon) Broom of Edwardsville, Ill., and Candace Neff of Lantana, Florida.
An infant son preceded her in death.
She also leaves seven treasured grandchildren, Mary Alexis (Hank) Mathews of Louisville, Ky., George (Chandler) Fiffick of Chicago, Max (Amy) Fiffick of Kernersville, N.C., Ben (Amy) Broom of Fortville, Ind., Becky Broom of Delray Beach, Joe (Jessica) Broom of Frisco, Colo., and Anastasia Neff of Lantana.
Her nine great-grandchildren will miss her greatly. They are Aaron, Joan and Adam Mathews, George Fiffick, Sam and Isabella Fiffick and Grace, Max and Claire Broom.
Her sister, Geraldine Olive (Ross) Kitchen of Darien, Conn., was also born on March 1, four years earlier than Maxine.
Geraldine passed away in 2006, leaving one daughter, Marta Kitchen Schieffer of Connecticut.
Maxine is also survived by her sister-in-law, Gwen (Richard) Neff of Jackson, Ohio. She leaves a large extended family and many friends. Her nephew, Bruce (Clara) Neff resides in Canfield, OH.
Respecting the wishes of the deceased, in lieu of flowers, the family suggests it would be an honor to have contributions made to the charity of your choice.
The Wasko Funeral Home in Campbell is making arrangements