Monday, June 21, 2021

Maxine Sophia Congleton, 100

| June 3, 2021 1:00 AM

Maxine Sophia Congleton passed away on Friday, May 21, 2021, naturally caused by being six months past her 100th birthday. Born in Antigo, Wisconsin, on October 27, 1920, Maxine was the second of five children born to Clarence and Mayme Freiburger.

She married the love of her life, George Lee Congleton Jr., on January 16, 1939. Son George Lee III and daughter Mary Gail were born in Wisconsin and several years later, after they moved to Cleveland, the family was completed with the birth of son Keith Michael.

In 1952, the family moved to San Pedro, California. There Maxine went to work as a civilian cost accountant for the U.S. Army at Fort MacArthur. But, although she liked her work and was noted as being excellent in her performance, her family was her primary focus.

Retiring young, Maxine and “Lee” moved to Arizona. They soon found the desert heat was unbearable in the summer and trips north to find good fishing holes landed them one summer in North Idaho where they discovered the trophy fishery of Lake Pend Oreille. Soon they found themselves in Hope more months than in the Southwest and eventually Hope became home.

Here, Maxine and Lee became active in the Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club serving on the board of directors and organizing the annual club picnic, the Pin Auction and other fundraising events. Maxine was the “sergeant” in charge of making sure club members knew what was expected of them.

She was also a charter member of the board of directors for the Ellisport Bay Sewer District, and served many years in that capacity helping to oversee the sewer installation in Hope and East Hope.

Maxine will be remembered as a phenomenal cook. Her recipes are being followed by many who have known her over the years. Her children and grandchildren will always remember the salmon balls made from the smoked kokanee she and Lee pulled out of the lake.

When Lee died in 2013, just three months short of their 75th wedding anniversary, Maxine decided to sell their house and move to an assisted living facility. There, she treated the other residents with homemade peach cobbler and other delicacies she whipped up in her tiny kitchen.

In the last few years, Maxine lost her hearing and most of her eyesight which was a blow to the avid reader that she was. She moved to The Bridge where the staff treated her with care, competency and humor. During the pandemic, bingo in the hall was a saving grace for the boredom of isolation.

Maxine is survived by her three children, George (Pat) of Sagle; Gail Graham (John) of St. George, Utah, and Keith (Kathy Hubbard) of Sandpoint; her eight grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

A mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Joseph’s Church on Friday, July 30, at 11 a.m. The family is grateful to the staff at The Bridge and Bonner General Health Community Hospice for making Maxine comfortable in her last days, and to Coffelt Funeral Service for handling arrangements.

Family and friends are invited to sign Maxine’s online guest book at

Arrangements are under the care of Coffelt Funeral Service.