MAXINE DOROTHY WERNER (nee CLEMENT)

Maxine Dorothy (née Clement) Werner started her adventurous life on December 29, 1930, at the family homestead at Four Pines in North Branch, Ontario. Born to Albert and Estha Clement, she grew up with her siblings Don, Max, and Marj. Her earliest adventures included attempting to fly off ever-larger structures on the family farm and riding in her father’s barn-cleaning apparatus to the manure pile. An agile thinker, she could recite the alphabet backwards—one of many tasks the schoolmaster assigned to keep her busy when she had advanced too far beyond her peers in the one-room schoolhouse.

After completing high school in Fort Frances, Ont., Maxine graduated from North Bay Teachers’ College, her tuition paid thanks to black market beaver pelts trapped by her brothers. With teaching license in hand, Maxine and her friend Betty decided they would teach their way around the world. Betty fell in love in British Columbia and never left. Maxine continued the adventure alone and traveled to Australia by ship via the Fiji Islands. That Christmas, she recorded herself singing “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and got so homesick she made up her mind that she needed to go home.

Once back in Fort Frances, Maxine lived with Don and his wife Eunice, who became a lifelong sister of the heart. Max introduced her to Horst Werner, a member of his boxing club. In spite of occasional sartorial missteps on Horst’s part, her brothers mercilessly pranking him, and the conundrum of choosing between Horst and another beau (that her father pointed out would not require English lessons), Maxine decided that life with Horst could be her next adventure, if she met his family first.

When Horst moved across the border to the U.S. and was quickly drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean war, Maxine followed him to Germany, where he was sent to serve. There, she got to know his family, they married, and she again made her mind up that she would return home, this time to welcome their first daughter, Kelly. When Horst returned, they made their home in International Falls eventually welcoming another daughter, Erica, and son, Willi.

Maxine was the North Star around which her immediate, extended family and friends revolved. She was a great, supportive mother, an avid curler, a crack shot, a wonderful seamstress, and a creative hostess. After teaching in Fort Frances for many years, Maxine became a financial case worker for Koochiching County, Minnesota. Once she retired, she enjoyed having her grandchildren come for summer visits on Rainy Lake. After losing Horst in 1996, Maxine started wintering in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where she was finally able to fly, parasailing over the ocean.

Maxine is survived by many who loved her: her children Kelly and Erica (Martin), Bloomington, Minn., and Willi (Jennifer) of Duluth, Minn.; her grandchildren Mitchell Werner, Liesl Werner Thomas (Micah), Nicholas Lorsbach (Kathryn), Kaitlyn Lorsbach (Austin), Ashley Werner, Kara Werner (Jordan), and Austen Werner; great-grandchildren Mathais and Johann; and beloved extended family in Canada, Germany, and the U.S.

Maxine died on November 29, 2021, and was predeceased by her beloved Horst and all of her siblings and their spouses; Don (Eunice), Max (Louise) and Marj (John).

A private celebration of Maxine’s life will be held at a later date. Memories can be shared at https://cremationsocietyofmn.com.

If you wish to honor Maxine’s memory, please support the Community Cancer Walk Gas Card Program (Rainy Lake Medical Center, Attn: Chemotherapy Department, 1400 Hwy 71, Int’l Falls, Minn. 56649) or American Cancer Society donate3.cancer.org.