Maxine Otis

Maxine Watson Otis, 98, of Hobson, passed away on Sept. 27 in Lewistown.

Maxine was born Gertrude Maxine Watson on Oct. 29, 1917 to Vernon and Edna Watson in her grandparent’s home near Hobson. Maxine attended school in Hobson and graduated in 1936 as valedictorian of her class. She was an active 4-H member and attended Montana State College (now MSU) on a 4-H scholarship. She graduated in 1940 with a degree in Home Economics and was a member of Phi Upsilon Omicron, the Home Economics honorary.

Maxine’s first teaching job was in Musselshell, where she taught home economics and commercial subjects. She moved to Iowa State University where she earned a master’s degree in home management and went on to be head of the Home Management Department at Macalester College in Minnesota.

Her next position was as a County Extension Agent in Shasta County (Redding), Calif. While in Redding, she met and married Clayton Otis. Following a family wedding trip in Montana, Clayton fell in love with Maxine’s native Montana and they moved to Great Falls, where they established Cascade Sheet Metal. Maxine worked as a substitute teacher and taught adult sewing classes while raising her four children and keeping books for Cascade Sheet Metal. She became the Home Service Advisor for the Great Falls Gas Company, which included cooking demonstrations in homes, schools and a local television program. Her recipe cards were sought after in the Great Falls community.

She served as a 4-H Leader, Cub Scout Den Mother, PTA president, Russell Home Demonstration Club president, American Women in Radio and TV, and was a member of First Presbyterian Church.

Retirement in 1976 brought a return to Maxine’s home community in Hobson where she was active in the Women’s Club and Senior Center. She served as Worthy Matron of Vesper Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, and was the long-time secretary of the chapter. She was an active member of the Hobson Methodist Church.

Maxine Otis was preceded in death by her husband, Clayton, in 1988. She is survived by four children: Elaine Gingery (Marshall) of Helena; Larry Otis (Jenny) of Great Falls; Don Otis of Hobson; and Max Otis of Belgrade. Grandchildren are Christine Payne (Jay) of Midlothian, Va.; Marsha Demaree (Roger) of Sykesville, Md.; Keith Gingery (Lisa) of Jackson, Wyo.; Terry Otis, Great Falls; Mike Otis, Great Falls; Kaycee Shiskowsky (Jason) of Lakewood, Colo.; Max Otis, Missoula; and Josh Otis (Amy), Kalispell.  There are 12 great-grandchildren.

A time of viewing will be held at the Creel Funeral Home Chapel in Lewistown on Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 3 to 7 p.m. and one hour before the service at the church. Funeral Services will be at the Hobson Methodist Church, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 11 a.m. with interment to follow at the Philbrook Cemetery. Donations in honor of Maxine can be made to the Hobson Methodist Church.

Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Maxine’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com.

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