Mary Jean (Kolker) Maxwell passed away at the age of 92 on September 1, 2021. Mary was born in Indianapolis on September 7, 1928, to the late Frederick and Dorothy Kolker. She attended St. Patrick Grade School and graduated from St. Agnes High School in 1946. Mary received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Butler University in 1950. Upon graduation, she convinced the head of St. Vincent Hospital to hire her as St. Vincent’s first social worker employee.
Several years later, Mary joined the Young Catholic Adult Club. At club events, she met Michael P. Maxwell, who had returned to his hometown of Indianapolis following graduation from the University of Detroit and a stint in the U.S. Air Force. They dated and their friendship grew until one evening Mike found himself asking for her hand. She never did say “Yes” until several months later after she had set a wedding date and arrived at the altar.
On June 18, 1960, Mary married Mr. Maxwell at St. Patrick Catholic Church and continued to work at St. Vincent until the day she learned from doctors that the baby she was carrying was actually twins due to be born in two days, on April fool’s day. Mary became a housewife and mother from that day on.
Mary raised four boys, setting up a swimming classes and art classes while helping them learn the value of money. As her children wanted or needed help Mary was there to transport them, prepare a special meal, or sew on Boy Scout merit badges. She encouraged high standards for her family, and three sons became Eagle Scouts. Her four children collectively earned fourteen college degrees.
Mary read books and magazines for relaxation, mostly history. She also liked to arrange flowers, a skill she learned at the florist shop where she worked during high school and college.
Mary is survived by her husband Michael “Mike” Maxwell, twins Michael P. Maxwell Jr. (Sarah Fowler) and John F. Maxwell (DeAnne), and Andrew J. Maxwell (Patricia Clark), and Christopher D. Maxwell (Sheila). Seven grandchildren: Caroline Lee, Michael Maxwell III, Kit Maxwell, Sarah Maxwell, Daniel Maxwell, Nicole Maxwell, Andrea Maxwell, and one great-grand child Kinley Maxwell also survive Mary.
Friends may gather to celebrate Mary’s life on Friday, September 3, 2021, from 4-8 p.m. at St. Jude Catholic Church, 5353 McFarland Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46227, and again on Saturday September 4, 2021, from 9-10 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St Jude Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to St Jude Parish are suggested. O’Riley Funeral Home is serving the family. For on-line condolences please visit www.OrileyFuneralHome.com.