Wells, Maxine Elizabeth, age 87 – Truro, passed away suddenly of heart failure on March 9, 2020 in Colchester East Hants Health Centre, Truro. Born in Londonderry, she was the elder daughter of incredibly caring parents, the late Clara (Milne) and Lester Bond.
The year was 1936. The outlook for the feverishly ill four year old was bleak. She was losing her battle to her ruptured appendix. Her doctor knew that unless he operated, the child would have no future, but as her scarring would reveal there were risks. For seventeen days her mother remained next to her daughter’s bed in the hospital. Educated in Truro, Maxine had a very strong work ethic. Like so many young girls growing up in the 1940’s she began working one of the counters at the “five and ten cent store.” Eventually, when she heard of her impending promotion, she realized that a sea of change in her life was necessary. This led to a search for a more challenging situation in Halifax. The initiative was quickly rewarded with an offer from Canadian General Electric. In 1958, Maxine met Bruce and encouraged him to enroll at Dal. In 1961, they were married. Upon his graduation the couple moved to southern Ontario, settling in Burlington. It was just beginning its role as one of Toronto’s bedroom communities. Scanning the jobs section of the newspapers of such a large city was daunting. Maxine shrugged off one interviewer’s advice that she did not have sufficient glamour for Bloor Street. She turned instead to her skill set knowing that it is discipline not desire that determines one’s destiny. During the next ten years, Maxine worked in Toronto as Assistant to the Corporate Secretary of Royal Insurance. This experience made her an attractive target for legal firms. When the couple moved to Ottawa in 1973, the job she had been waiting for came calling – corporate law clerk with a local law practice. Following those 28 years in Ontario they retired in Truro to assist in the care of Maxine’s mother.
Maxine stood a lot taller than her five foot one. She had an abiding interest in renovating her houses and devoted many hours to planning improvements. In one instance she had a cupboard built to fit an existing complex space in the kitchen. The carpenters, after attempting to complete the installation, insisted that it would not fit. She explained that the key was in handling the cupboard in a specific sequence. When it worked perfectly, they enjoyed asking if she would be available to help in some of their other tricky jobs. That was entirely in keeping with her studied approach to problems. A few years earlier when she decided to have an addition built, there was a difference of opinion with the contractor about the low-slope roof. After a lengthy and at times, apparently animated discussion, they were finally able to resolve the matter. This led to Maxine’s favourite commendation, grudgingly given by that contractor when he acknowledged that, “You know a lot for a woman.” From that point onward she found this retort a useful tool and would wield it to great advantage. While luck may have dealt the cards, Max could recognize a good hand and she was well equipped to play it effectively.
Just to tie a bow on her final work experience, the law firm’s executive partner, as he presented Maxine with a water-colour of an owl (wisdom) upon her retirement, remarked that, “it was a pleasure to have had an employee who was both nice and smart.” For those who knew her well, she will be remembered as a generous friend who consistently put their concerns above her own. As for the cancer that impacted her life, it was Maxine’s quiet unceasing effort that proved to be its most determined opponent. To many, our best friend’s passing has changed us. Planes without wings.
Maxine was a member of Rideau Park United Church, Ottawa and First United Church, Truro and for several years was a volunteer at Cedarstone Enhanced Care where she made many friends among the staff and residents. Besides Bruce, she is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Heather and Peter Jollymore, Saint John and their sons, Craig (Andrea), David (Marie-Eve Breton), Bruce, (Elizabeth Guptill) and by several cousins across the province.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Colchester Community Funeral Home, 512 Willow St., Truro. There will be no visitation by request. A family graveside service will be held at a later date in Bible Hill Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting ww.ColchesterCommunity.com