Leota Maxine Umphenour, 93, of Twin Falls, Idaho passed away September 21, 2019. She was born June 12, 1926 in Gooding, Idaho, the third child of eight, born to Star and Sibyl Umphenour and the oldest of four daughters.
Being raised on several farms north of Gooding, as the eldest daughter, Maxine had many duties in helping keep house and assisting with domestic responsibilities. All her primary and secondary schooling took place at the public schools in town, and most of her social interactions were participating with her family in their regular attendance at the First Assembly of God Church and the activities sponsored by that organization. In those early days, she enjoyed canning and gardening with her mother, playing outdoor games with her siblings and neighbors, and ice skating/taffy-pulling parties at “Aunt” Lilly’s home to the west of Gooding. She had a good sense of humor and her brothers fondly referred to her as “Tootsie”.
After graduating from Gooding High School in 1945, Maxine moved to the San Francisco Bay area to attend Glad Tidings Bible College, where she spent the next three years, graduating with a Bible degree in 1948. The year following was spent living in Nebraska with her brother, Russell, and his family; she worked for a local newspaper there and assisted with Russell’s pastorate. She returned to Gooding around 1950, and in 1952 began work with the Greenawalt’s Furniture Store as their bookkeeper and remained in that position until 1959. It was at that time that she accepted a position as bookkeeper for Bethany Bible College (formerly Glad Tidings Bible College) where it was then located in Scotts Valley, California. While there, Maxine was very active operating as the Treasurer/Social Coordinator for the San Jose Christian Singles group from Bethel Church until 1991. Beginning in 1984, she also filled that same role for the Santa Cruz Singles Christian group until 2003. Another joy for her was functioning as a song leader at several churches during these years.
After 32 years of service, she retired from her vocation of bookkeeper at Bethany College in the year of 1991. During these active years, Maxine visited Munich, Germany, at the time of the 1972 Olympic Games, went on other trips to Knotts Berry Farms and Disneyland, as well as to many retreats in the Santa Cruz mountain area. She also made several trips back to Gooding for visiting her parents, siblings, and many nieces and nephews, who remember her well for her good-naturedness and excellent, homemade caramels and other candies. She took on the role of being the primary caretaker of her mother, Sibyl Umphenour, from 1988 until Sibyl’s death in 1993.
In her later life, Maxine moved back to Idaho, to the city of Twin Falls, in the early spring of 2003. She was immediately, intricately involved in assisting the coordination of activities of the First Assembly of God Church’s Senior group (later known as Full Life Family Church). She continued in that capacity up until 2016. Along with those Seniors, she made many trips to Missoula, Montana, to see the Passion Play. Another area of her concern and weekly engagements was the visitation to the local nursing homes for services and reaching out in friendship, as well as making many visits to others while they were staying at local hospitals. She hardly ever missed the ongoing Umphenour Family Reunions, which took place from 1975 until the present. And her 90th birthday, in 2016, was celebrated by 35 – 40 friends who surprised her with a dinner at the Golden Corral restaurant.
Maxine felt that she had a blessed life, being in good health (apart from one, 3-month stint in the hospital in California for a broken leg, as a result of a toboggan accident). She held a firm reputation with all who knew her as being a diligent, detailed coordinator and community contributor. She most of all enjoyed her life-long friendships and all her relationships with her large extended family. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
Maxine was preceded in death by her parents, Miloe Star Umphenour and Sibyl Mae Umphenour; three brothers, Harvey, Russell, and Merlyn Umphenour; and two sisters, Shirley Shown and Mary Slagel. She is survived by her sister, Cleo Slagel; brother, Glen Umphenour; as well as her large extended family.
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