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Maxine Rozeboom

Maxine Louise Mitchell Rozeboom died at age 91 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, after a brief illness.

Maxine was born on April 3, 1931, in Iowa City, IA. After a one-week stay at the Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home in Davenport, IA, she was adopted by her parents, Orpha Allender Mitchell and Harry Mitchell, and brought home to Ottumwa, IA. After her father died in 1939, the family was forced into poverty and had to live with relatives, first in Burlington, IA, and then back in Ottumwa. Maxine’s mother made education a priority, making sure that Maxine graduated from Ottumwa High School in 1948, and then supporting her in obtaining her AA degree in music from Ottumwa Heights College, and then her RN degree from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing (where she met her future sister-in-law, Virginia Munson Rozeboom). Maxine worked in Chicago, IL for a year before returning to Iowa to marry her high school sweetheart, Earl Rozeboom, in 1954. The couple moved to Iowa City where Maxine worked at the University of Iowa Hospital while Earl attended medical school. His family practice medical internship brought the couple to Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, where Maxine also worked.

The next several decades were spent in Winterset, Iowa, where they raised their children (and several dogs and cats). In 1970, Maxine went back to school to earn her BA in vocal performance from Simpson College. She continued to work part-time at the Madison County Hospital and did volunteer work for the National Organization for Women, the Iowa Arthritis Foundation, Planned Parenthood, the West Central Mental Health Center, and the local blood bank. She was elected to the Winterset school board and served on the Madison County Compensation Board. Her vocal talents were always appreciated around town, especially at St. Paul Lutheran Church and the annual Covered Bridge Festival. She also sang with the Des Moines Choral Society and was in the chorus for the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 1984 performance of “Aida.”

She made the commute to Des Moines for many community theater rehearsals and performances during the 70’s-90’s. Her favorite roles were Golde in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Abigail Adams in “1776,” Sister Berte in “The Sound of Music” (twice!), Eulalie Shinn in “The Music Man” (twice!), and Yente in another “Fiddler on the Roof.”

In 1993, Maxine and Earl retired to West Des Moines where they sang with the choir at St. Mark Lutheran Church. Health problems began to take their toll, but Maxine found joy spending time with her grandchildren, scrapbooking, reading, volunteering as a docent at the Des Moines Art Center, and attending the symphony and theater. After Earl’s death (and 57 years of marriage) in 2011, Maxine moved to Calvin Community in Des Moines. She was able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with all of her children six days before her death. Her kind hands, loving heart, generous spirit, soulful voice, and hearty laugh will be sorely missed.

Maxine was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Earl Rozeboom; parents, Orpha and Harry Mitchell; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dr. William and Virginia Rozeboom; and brother-in-law, Dr. Paul Rozeboom. She is survived by her daughter, Kay Rozeboom (Steve Kuske) of Des Moines; son, Dr. Paul Rozeboom (Julie) of Waukee; daughter, Anne Rozeboom (John Morrow) of Des Moines; grandsons Andrew and Jonathan Rozeboom of Waukee; grandson Sean Morrow of Ames; and sister-in-law Janice George Rozeboom of Mankato, MN.

The family thanks the nurses and staff of Calvin Community for their kindness and spectacular care during Maxine’s last years. Maxine would be honored by memorial contributions to Calvin Community and Planned Parenthood of North Central States. A private family gathering is planned for a later date.


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