Maxine (Booker) Butts was born on December 20th, 1930, in a farmhouse south of Farragut, Iowa. She was the fifth child of seven born to Edward and Ethel (Melear) Booker.
When Maxine was three years old, the Booker family moved to Blandville, Tennessee, and ten years later, when Maxine was 13, the family moved back to Farragut. During Maxine's high school years, she worked the summer months in Shenandoah at Linwood Poultry House processing chickens.
In June 1947, Maxine married Jerry Butts. Maxine and Jerry had three daughters; Linda, Barbara, and Geraldine. They lived south of Farragut with Jerry's dad on the Butts home place. In 1948, Jerry and Maxine moved to Bern, Kansas, so they could work and learn the Angus cattle breeding business. In 1950, they returned to the Butts’ home place to start their own Angus herd.
Jerry and Maxine continued to farm over the years, and Maxine worked alongside Jerry operating tractors, combines, and any piece of machinery they owned. She was also a busy mom, caring for her children and managing their household. Maxine also worked seasonal jobs in the greenhouses at Mount Arbor Nursery in Shenandoah.
In 1961, Maxine bought the café in Farragut and named it Maxine's Café. She owned and operated the café for ten years. After selling it, she went to work for Eaton Corp. in Shenandoah, where she worked for 18 years with two layoffs. During the first layoff, Maxine worked during the day at the Zesto ice cream shop in Shenandoah and evenings as a bartender at the Elks Club. During the second layoff, Maxine and her daughter Barb opened the Kountry Kitchen in Shenandoah. Maxine got called back to Eaton's, where she worked until she retired in 1998.
Her retirement days didn't last long. The next spring, she and Jerry had a bet going. She was too old to get another job - no one would hire her, Jerry said. So, the bet was on, and Maxine wasn't about to lose this one. She went to town to get groceries one Saturday, and on her way home, she stopped at Earl May's distribution building. She told them about her experience and history from working at Mount Arbor Nursery. The manager on duty hired her on the spot. Maxine worked seasonal for five years, and more importantly, she won bragging rights and reminded Jerry of this for years.
Finally, at age 76, Maxine retired from outside employment. Maxine loved taking care of her cats during her retirement, having coffee in town with her friends, and working crossword puzzles. Maxine was known for baking her famous cinnamon rolls for family and friends and was undoubtedly one of the best cooks in Iowa. Extremely witty and smart, Maxine had one-line sayings that you’d never heard before and would have you doubled-over with laughter. You never knew where or when you would get an earful of such hilarious commentary from Maxine.
At age 89, Maxine gave up driving, so in 2019 she moved to Shenandoah and became a resident at Windsor Manor. She enjoyed living at Windsor Manor because many of her Farragut and Riverton friends were also residents. She enjoyed time reminiscing about the good ole days with her friends, and her daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren would visit regularly.
With her daughter, Barb, and granddaughter Jill, at her bedside, Maxine died peacefully in her sleep on the evening of March 8, 2021.
Preceding Maxine in death were her husband, Jerry Butts; parents, Ethel & Edward Booker; sister, Edna Patterson; sister, Stella Almarode; brother, Carl Booker; sister, Thelma Herron; brother, Donald Booker; and brother, James Booker. She is survived by her three daughters, Linda George and husband Larry of Shenandoah, IA; Barb Foote and husband Brian of Essex, IA and Geri Ruch of St. Joseph, MO; eight grandchildren, Tammy, Chris, Renee, Gina, Jill, Daniel, Amy and Mike; many great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews; other relatives and friends.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Maxine (Booker) Butts, please visit our floral store.
Farragut Fire & Rescue
503 Hartford Ave, Farragut IA 51639
Riverton Fire and Rescue
807 Summer Ave, Riverton IA 51650