Elaine Arison Maxwell died peacefully in her sleep on December 18, 2019 and is home for Christmas, worshipping at the feet of Jesus.
Elaine was the seventh of Esther Elisabeth Gustafson and Charles John Arison’s eight children. She was born June 10, 1929 in Sycamore, Illinois. Elaine grew up in Sycamore, working at the family farm equipment store during her high school years. She attended Northern Illinois University for a year and then transferred to Wheaton College, where she graduated in 1951 before returning home to Sycamore to teach for a year and prepare to get married.
Elaine married James Howard Maxwell on April 10, 1952. The couple spent a year working in Fairmont, WV before moving to Philadelphia, where Jim attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and Elaine taught school and typed doctoral dissertations. Their oldest daughter, Judith (Judi), was born in Philadelphia. Jim served during the Korean War and the family moved to Colorado Springs for his tour of duty at the Air Force Academy. Their second daughter, Kathryn (Kate), was born while they were at the Academy.
The Maxwell family moved to Rochester, Minnesota for Jim to complete his residency at the Mayo Clinic, while Elaine again taught school. One of her most difficult experiences was losing her third child, a son named John Joseph, two days after his birth at the Mayo Clinic.
After Jim completed his residency, the Maxwells moved back to Colorado Springs, where Jim began practicing obstetrics and gynecology. During the early days of the practice, Elaine served as the receptionist in the office. With the birth of their third daughter, Elisabeth (Lisa), Elaine stayed at home to care for her family.
Elaine was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. She could often be found listening to sermons while ironing, singing hymns while doing other chores, or praying as she walked around the house. A true prayer warrior, Elaine prayed faithfully for her family, friends, missionaries, pastors, and many others. She was also a gracious hostess and gifted Bible teacher. Jim and Elaine were members of several home Bible studies, one of which met for over 30 years.
Following Jim’s retirement from medical practice, Elaine and Jim went to Honduras for three years as cross-cultural missionaries. Jim died shortly after they returned to their beautiful home in Colorado Springs, where Elaine never tired of the beautiful views of Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods. In her later years, Elaine was able to complete her travels to all 50 states by visiting Alaska and Maine and to all seven continents by traveling to Antarctica.
Elaine is survived by her older sister, Irene King, her sister-in-law, Shirley Arison, three daughters: Judith Greig, Kathryn (Alan) Mackey, and Elisabeth (Philip) Ryken, and nine grandchildren: Nathan Greig, Christopher Greig, Kevin Mackey, Brian Mackey, Joshua (Anna) Ryken, Kirsten (Ty) Collins, Jack Ryken, Kathryn Ryken, and Karoline Ryken.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm, Sunday, December 29, 2019 at the Kissing Camels Golf Club, 4500 Kissing Camels Drive, Colorado Springs.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the J. Maxwell Scholarship Fund at Wheaton College, 501 College Avenue, Wheaton IL 60187 (https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1156/donate/donate.aspx?sid=1156&gid=1&pgid=1068&cid=2247&dids=161&bledit=1).