Maxine Nellie Hands

29 July, 194326 October, 2021

Maxine Hands passed away on Tuesday, October 26 at Mission Hospital after six months of declining health.

Maxine was born during World War II in Tonbridge, a small market town thirty miles south of London. Tonbridge experienced heavy German bombing during the war. Her father Fred was a Royal Airforce navigator during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Her parents Fred and Ellen cherished their only child and noticed at an early age Maxine’s math acuity. She kept score in her head for the adults playing darts at family gatherings. At age eleven Maxine was awarded a scholarship to attend Tonbridge Girl’s Grammar School. She went on to attain a math degree at the Royal Holloway University in London. Her cousin, Maurice, nicknamed Maxine “ com” due to her success in the computer technology industry.

Maxine met her husband, Barry, at the university. Early in their marriage they went West to the United States to seek their fortune. After successful careers in Ohio, they moved to California. Maxine and her husband both good cooks were hosts for many dinners at their homes including their famous Boxing Day parties.

Maxine was recruited by Data General as a project design and implementation manager. She was proud to become an American citizen. After the death of her husband Barry, Max joined the Peace Corps at the age of 61. She was assigned to Belize, previously the British Colony, British Honduras. In Belize Maxine worked for a nonprofit government agency setting up their computer software for the blind. She met Dolores Godfrey who was also working for a nonprofit bringing health services to the children living in remote villages.

With Dolores and Maxine’s common interest in improving services for children, they formed a lasting friendship. After three years in Belize, Maxine returned to the United States and continued as volunteer head of the Friends of the Mission Viejo Library Amazon project and was active in recruiting Peace Corps members as part of the Returning Peace Corps organization. Dolores left Belize for the United States after three years of caring for her mother. Dolores’ daughter Gigi Godfrey and her son Glen Godfrey and his family became Maxine’s new family.

Maxine is survived by her cousin Maurice Gilham, Tonbridge, United Kingdom & Valerie McBride of Australia.

For those interested in donating in Maxine’s memory, her favorite nonprofits are: National Public Radio, the Peace Corps and the Friends of the Mission Viejo Library


  • Celebration of Life

    Tuesday, 7 December , 2021

  • Reception & Sharing

    Tuesday, 7 December , 2021


Maxine Nellie Hands

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Glynis Maschotta née Powell

29 October 2021

Dear Maxine, all though miles have kept us all apart as we all have lived our separate lives, you have often been spoken of. We have had great joy over the years chatting together and remembering passed events . You kept in contact as did others over seas, thank you for keeping the family link alive. Today we remember you with love and affection and join your loved ones and friends in celebration of a life well lived. May we meet again your Australian family Valerie, Glynis, Wendy, Lyn and Tracey xxxxx