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Maxine Jean Gerber was born on November 5, 1931, on a farm outside of Benton Ridge, Ohio (near Findlay). She was 91 years old when she died on October 22, 2023. She was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, David B. Gerber in 2020, by her parents, Hallie and Ethel Riegle, her son-in-law, Stephen Thompson, and all nine of her siblings: Richard, Doris (Alge), Norman (or "Dean"), Betty (Bowers), Olive (died as an infant), Shirley (Hendricks), Don, William, and Jane (Borkosky).
Maxine and David lived outside of Washington Court House on a small, 16-acre farm for 46 years, prior to moving to Columbus for health reasons. She loved being outdoors, and her favorite "chair" was the seat of her John Deere X530 2-cylinder, 25 HP mower. At the farm, she did it all: mowing, gardening, cooking, canning fruits and vegetables, sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, refinishing furniture, painting, and sealing the driveway. She was very proud of the farm, and each year she would find a slightly better way to scrape and paint hundreds of feet of white board fence to keep it looking nice. (She eventually found that a 3-inch paint roller did the best job.) Like her mother, Ethel, Maxine was always eager to lend a hand on any fun or unpleasant task. Need help on fielding baseball grounders? She would help with that, too. An American flag was always proudly hung from their front porch.
She was a graduate of Liberty Township School (now Liberty-Benton) in 1949. While her high school degree was her formal education, she could provide PhD-level instruction in common sense. She would provide this instruction as needed. There were also lessons taught in frugality. She never said "yes" when asked if she would like cheese on that. In fact, just thinking about saying "yes" would qualify a daughter or son for another beneficial lesson in common sense.
Her first job was in Findlay, working at the Findlay Electric Company. She left her job to raise her children, and then she returned to work at Holly Farms Grain Elevator in Bloomingburg and to Fayette County Employment Services to earn money to help put her children through college at Ohio State.
In addition to living on the farm, David and Maxine lived outside of Findlay and in Ottawa, OH. They also lived in Texas and New Jersey when David was in the Army.
Still surviving are her children: Diane Thompson (fiancé, Donald Knebel) of Indianapolis, David "Scott" Gerber (wife, Kathy), and her grandchildren, Kyle (fiancé, Jingning Ao) of Gaithersburg, MD, and Lauren (husband, Guy Dille) of Cincinnati.
She and David traveled extensively. Early on as a family, they tent-camped throughout the contiguous 48 states, visiting all but North Dakota. These vacations came to an abrupt end when it became necessary to raise farm animals (especially hogs) to supplement the family income. After the farm animals, they later traveled throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Turkey, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Croatia.
She was especially proud of, and she loved all of the time that she spent with her grandchildren. She also loved going to their various sports and band activities. At the end of practically any activity, there was ice cream. She was also very pleased to be able to attend Lauren's wedding to Guy, which was just 15 days before she passed.
Being from Findlay also meant that Wilson Hamburgers and Dietsch Brothers Ice Cream were a regular stop on almost any trip to visit relatives. But again, no cheese on that burger.
Board games were a tradition at all family gatherings, and they still are. Bountiful dessert options were also always the norm at all Riegle reunions.
She was fun to be around, and she always kept her sense of humor. She flashed a nice smile to Kathy and Scott when they told her that they were bringing over City Barbeque later that day for supper. She passed away a few hours later in her sleep.
David and Maxine have resided at The Forum for the past eight years. We would like to thank them for their care and support of our mother and father.
Arrangements will be under the direction of the Kirkpatrick-Behnke Funeral Home in Findlay, OH., and she will be buried at the Benton Ridge Cemetery. Friends and family are welcome to attend visitation on Tuesday, October 31. The visitation will begin at 10:00am and the service at 10:30.
In lieu of flowers, please consider giving in Maxine and David's memory to the Gerber Family Fund in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the Ohio State University.
Gerber Family Fund - College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State Univ