M. Maxine Garner

March 15, 1919March 8, 2013

Maxine Garner died Friday March 8, 2013. She was born March 15, 1919, in Alamance County to Maize Kimrey Garner and Robert M. Garner. She grew up in Liberty, to which she retired in 1984. In national directories she is listed as Mildred Maxine.

At the Woman’s College of U. N. C. where she graduated in 1939, she edited the student newspaper and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After short terms teaching English and journalism in Roanoke Rapids and as assistant editor of the Biblical Recorder in Raleigh, she returned to the Woman’s College as Director of Religious Activities.

For study at Union Theological Seminary in New York and at Columbia University, she was awarded the M. A. degree in 1946. In 1950-52 she was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, earning the PhD degree. She spent a year 1956-57 at Union Seminary as the American woman representative in an international program. She taught for six years at Meredith College in Raleigh and was a deacon at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. For seven summers Maxine represented North Carolina’s Baptist colleges at the Caswell Assembly near Southport.

In 1957 she began a twenty-six year term teaching in the department of religion at Sweet Briar College in Virginia becoming the Rollins professor of religion. The graduating class of 1983 made her an honorary member of their class. She was speaker at the opening convocation in 1983.

While at Sweet Briar, Maxine spent 1962-63 in India. She returned for a summer at Benares Hindu University on the Ganges in 1977. She took part in a number of seminars at various American universities and in the study of religious life traveling widely in Europe and Asia.

An active Republican, Maxine spoke at a Lincoln Day dinner for the Randolph County party. She spoke frequently at churches in the Liberty area and was for some years teacher of a men’s class at Liberty’s First Baptist Church. Early in her retirement the Liberty Rotary Club made her an honorary member, and she was Grand Marshal of the town’s holiday parade.

Maxine was pre-deceased by her parents and brother, Robert M. Garner, Jr. She is survived by brother, Jack K. of Liberty, nephew Robert M. III and Sandra and grandniece Kimberly of Greensboro. The family wishes to thank helpers and other friends who have generously cheered their years. They request no food or flowers at this time. A family graveside service will be held at Liberty’s Fairview cemetery, assisted by Liberty’s Loflin Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Liberty’s Public Library or to Liberty’s First Baptist Church, P. O. Box 815, Liberty, N.C. 27298 or to Hospice of Randolph County P.O. Box 9 Asheboro, N.C. 27204


M. Maxine Garner

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Judy McMillan Duncan

March 10, 2013

Jack and family,
I have such fond memories of your entire family and especially of Maxine. She would sometimes come by the house when I happened to be in town and I always enjoyed seeing her. We had a great neighborhood on E. Highfill when we were young and kept those friendships over the years.

Susan Huffman

March 10, 2013

I was honored to have had Miss Garner as a professor at Sweet Briar College. She was a wonderful educator and mentor to me. In her classes she made religion so relevant to the world that we lived in both then and now. I have often thought of her with many fond memories of those college days. In 1983 when I graduated I was surprised to be given the first Maxine Garner Award for Religious Studies. I was honored because of how much I admired her and what she stood for in my life. I hope that you will be given peace in the life that she lived and how much she touched the lives of so many.
Susan H. Huffman
Sweet Briar College
Class of 1983

Linda McManus

March 9, 2013

Jack, The McManus Family has such sweet memories of Maxine. Mac so enjoyed Maxine teaching his Sunday School Class for so many years. We all enjoyed it when Maxine would speak at Church, FBC, or teach a class or just share the teachings of the Bible with us. There is a Great Celebration in Heaven today with Maxine's arrival and she is celebrating that God has taken her today. God Bless you and the Family. Tommy & Linda McManus