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1930 Maxine Bixler 2024

Maxine Bixler

March 20, 1930 — May 23, 2024

New Cumberland, PA

Maxine Bixler, 94, of New Cumberland, passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2024, while at Silver Spring Personal Care Home, Mechanicsburg. She was the daughter of the late John and Ellen (Gault) Gross, born on March 20, 1930, in Harrisburg, PA.

A 1948 graduate of the former New Cumberland High School, she would go on to earn a degree in Library Science from Millersville University. She spent her career as a librarian, working at the former Lemoyne Middle School until her retirement in 1993.

Maxine’s life motto was, “Look up NOT Down.” This statement of optimism and hope was born from surviving and thriving from early life tragedies, a strong and cherished relationship with her mother, and her steadfast faith in the power of God’s love and guidance. From her mother’s example, she honored her faith by starting and ending each day with inspirational and insightful devotionals and scriptures.

Maxine was baptized at Baughman United Methodist Church. Her faith grew and strengthened through her attendance in childhood Sunday School, youth group, adult Sunday School, and years of active participation with the United Methodist Women. One of her happiest Baughman memories was marrying Ron on a cold, rainy November day in 1955.

She lived her faith every day and in so doing she strengthened her attitude of optimism. She was a “doer” rather than a “joiner.” She found great purpose in serving others.

As a member of the United Methodist Women, she volunteered (for years) as an officer, while also giving her time at the food pantry and Neighborhood Center in Harrisburg, and baking pies for the Apple Pie Festival. In her 70s and 80s, she led Sunday Morning devotionals. Maxine’s ability to weave together scriptures and stories was a treasured experience for those in her Sunday School class.

Some may say her love language was baking…cookies to be specific. Even in her 93rd year, she was baking 12-19 different kinds of Christmas cookies. Most of the cookies were arranged on trays to give away to friends and neighbors. She baked ALL the time.   For six years and 24 productions, Maxine baked cookies for theatre fundraisers and Janet’s students. These last couple of years, about once a month, she baked cookies and breads for her PT doctors and therapists at Madden and Gilbert Physical Therapy. She baked for (too many to count) election day bake sales and funeral luncheons. And of course, she would bake according to who loved what!

Maxine’s greatest passion was books: reading them, sharing them, and selling them! Following her college graduation from Millersville with a degree in library science, she was hired by the Central Dauphin School District to “build” the high school’s first library. While home with her small children, she volunteered to help “build” the first library at Hillside Elementary School in New Cumberland. Her favorite career post was at Lemoyne Middle School. She was not your traditional librarian. She loved hosting book chats and book parties for the students, creating student-designed and personalized book displays, and fostering a library space that was welcoming to all, with music on the stereo and a jigsaw puzzle on the table.

For 19 years, Maxine has been a fixture at the New Cumberland Library’s Foundation House. She rarely (if ever) missed the monthly 1st and 3rd Saturday sale and weekly Wednesday work day. When she joined in 1995, she quickly helped turn the hodge-podge bookhouse into a veritable bookstore! When she started organizing and selling used books to support the work of the New Cumberland Library, they were pulling in about $300 a month. By the time of Maxine’s final sale on April 6, 2024, EACH sale averaged $1,000.  Book sales were still only twice a month, and prices ranged from 25 cents to $3. Maxine would be the first to tell you: she did not do it alone. Over the years, she was grateful to work with a core team of volunteers whose passion for books and the library equaled that of her own.

Overall, Maxine lived to serve. She found joy in doing for others, giving to others, being available to others, helping others, and making sure the other person’s needs were met before those of her own.

Surviving Maxine are her children, William E. “Bill” Bixler (Sharon) of Mechanicsburg, John E. Bixler of New Cumberland, and Janet L. Bixler, also of New Cumberland; and two grandchildren, Tyler and Ryan Bixler. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Ronald L. “Ron” Bixler (dcd. 2015).

A memorial service will be held at 10AM on Friday, June 7, 2024, at Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, New Cumberland. Immediately following, light refreshments and a time to visit with family will take place at the Foundation House at the New Cumberland Public Library. Committal will be private and held at the convenience of the family in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Mechanicsburg.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in Maxine’s name to the Friends of the New Cumberland Library. Checks may be made out to “Friends of the New Cumberland Library” and mailed to 1 Benjamin Plaza, New Cumberland, PA 17070. Feel free to contact them with any questions at newcumberlandfriends@gmail.com. Online donations may also be made here

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, June 7, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services

1303 Bridge Street, New Cumberland, PA 17070

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