Cover photo for Maxine Lubell Barkan's Obituary
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1919 Maxine 2023

Maxine Lubell Barkan

March 26, 1919 — July 18, 2023

Cedar Park, Texas

Maxine Lubell Barkan died peacefully July 18, 2023 in Cedar Park, Texas. She was born March 26, 1919 in Toledo, Ohio to Sam and Bess Lubell, the first of four children. In September 1942, she married Mark Barkan, a recent immigrant from Russia via France, whom she met when he purchased a camera at the photography studio where she was employed.  At the time of their marriage, he was stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama; Maxine was able to join him at State-side posts until he shipped overseas. She reluctantly returned to Toledo to wait for his return from India and China two years later. The reunion was short-lived, as the Army deployed him to Berlin for a year. Discharged in 1946, Maxine and Mark began their post-war lives in New York.

When the saved Army pay ran out, Mark accepted a job with Trans World Airlines, assigned to Paris, France. Daughter Katherine was born there in 1947. They returned to Toledo a few months later, where daughter Frances joined them in 1949. In 1956, they moved to Houston, Texas, following a few interim years in Columbus, Ohio.

As she raised her daughters and worked part time, Maxine completed her Bachelor's degree at the University of Houston. Simultaneously, she was actively involved in the League of Women's Voters and the First Unitarian Church of Houston.  Shortly after the girls left home, Mark's employer transferred them to Irving, Texas for a two-year assignment. She took advantage of the opportunity to earn her Master's degree in Special Education at Texas Woman's University.  After their return to Houston, Maxine taught special education in Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District and served as an Educational Diagnostician until her retirement in 1984. She and Mark moved to Austin that year.

Once settled, Maxine went into high gear. Continuing her involvement with the League of Women Voters, she also served on the City of Austin Art Commission, Austin Convention and Visitors' Bureau Advisory Board, chaired the Board of Trustees at First Unitarian-Universalist Church of Austin, and served on the Capital City Village board. She took up quilting (by hand), made friends by the dozen, sang in the church choir, regularly attended concerts and operas, and took memoir writing classes. After Mark's death in 2010, she was able to continue living on her own until a few months past her 100th birthday.

Maxine was a doer, joiner, a volunteer, a leader. She loved being in charge, chairing any group, singing, drinking Merlot, eating chocolate, sewing, reading (especially mysteries), knitting and cooking. When asked what she did to live so long, her stock answer was "putting one foot in front of the other". She did her homework and she spoke her mind.

Maxine is survived by daughter Katherine von Wupperfeld (Mike) of Austin, son-in-law Carl Applebaum and wife Mara of Seattle, sister Dolores Mitchell of Watertown, MA, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her husband Mark, daughter Frances, siblings Peggy Lubell (Charley), Don Lubell (Lois) and brother-in-law Marvin Mitchell.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Maxine and Mark Barkan Scholarship Fund, c/o Austin Community Foundation, 4315 Guadalupe, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78751.

A family graveside service will be held at Fort Sam Houston Military Cemetery in the fall, when her ashes will be interred with Mark's.

For a physically small woman, she left a huge footprint. Her legacy will endure.

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