Mike Bushfield, Eureka, MT, is the winner!
Maxine Johnstun is the answer for Clearwater History Trivia #568, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country. Watch each day for another clue.
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Monday: Born in Oregon
Tuesday: Was involved in drama and chorus during college
Maxine Johnstun was born Dec. 20, 1921 in Rainier, OR, to Freeman and Ethel Hirtzel and was christened Margaret Maxine. She was always called by her middle name, until her grandchildren came along and she became affectionally known as 'Granny' by many.
While attending college at Oregon College of Education, she was involved in drama and chorus and was named 'Outstanding Senior Woman'.
She married Jess Johnstun Dec. 17, 1941 and graduated the next spring before returning to Rainier to teach fourth and seventh grades while he was stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. She taught until they started a family after his return from the war.
In the summer of 1958, the family, which now included five children, moved to Weippe and purchased the Ehlinger sawmill and house. They quickly became involved with their new community, especially school activities. She always considered herself an advocate for the schools and community. She was instrumental in getting the Weippe Gorilla mascot back where she felt it belonged-on the Weippe water tower.
She contributed to the Clearwater Tribune for about 10 years and donated her earnings to community schools and activities, most notably the band at Timberline.
One of Maxine's greatest joys was participating in the annual Weippe Rodeo Parade. She had entered many floats featuring grandchildren and was thrilled and honored to be the Grand Marshall in 1991.
When her health declined, she moved off the hill and into assisted living at Brookside Landing and then Clearwater Health and Rehab.
She passed away May 31, 2013. Jess and their oldest son, Jess Johnstun, Jr. had preceded her in death.
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