Victoria Ann Maxwell
02/05/1942 – 11/08/2021
SALEM – The first thing Victoria Ann Maxwell would like to tell everyone is that she did not die, but simply returned to her original form in spirit.
Victoria was born on February 5, 1942 in Newark, NJ, and grew up in the affluent suburbs of Summit, NJ. Frank DePaul, Ms. Maxwell’s father, was a safety engineer at Exxon Mobil Corporation, while Victoria’s mother, Eleanor Liberty DePaul, was an office worker for Ciba Geigy Corporation.
Victoria Ann has already passed away from her parents and brother Frank DePaul. Under the pretext of the suburbs, Ms. Maxwell learned to love horses through riding and show jumping, a hobby she enjoyed for most of her life. After graduating from Greenbriar College in West Virginia, Victoria married her high school mistress and moved to Rochester, NY to work as a purchasing agent for a publicly traded company.
After her first marriage, Lady Victoria moved to Del Ray Beach, FL to live with her grandmother Liberty. She spent her 20s in Florida as an evening waitress and daytime beach-goer, often describing them as her best years. While in Florida, Grandma Vickie (GV) was falsely accused of a traffic accident by a prominent government official, which made her so angry that she hired the county’s best law firm and won her lawsuit, which earned a sizeable payout, the GV for the purchase an inboard-outboard marine boat. Her boat was incredibly fun and allowed her to dive deep in the Atlantic and the occasional UFO sightings. Her years in Florida even included interacting with an officially human-looking alien carrying a black briefcase at a Florida airport.
As Ms. Maxwell neared the end of her third decade, her parents moved to Hebron, NY because her father loved Saratoga Horse Racing and wanted to retire alongside the horse racing phenomenon. While visiting her parents in Hebron, her hairdresser found her a dairy farmer named Dayton Maxwell, and three weeks later, in the fall of 1971, she married him. Dayton came with 100 dairy cows and a wild bunch of five children from a previous marriage: David, Darlene, Donna, Douglas, and Dorenda. The couple added two more kids to that crazy mix: Dayton and Deanne. After eight years of farm life and a reintroduction to the waitress at the original Wallie’s of Greenwich, NY, the adventurous Victoria moved to the town of Salem with her daughter Deanne while always providing good food and a safe overnight stay for her farm son Dayton.
Vickie enjoyed living in Salem and became a town fixture, making her way through walks around Blind Buck, various streets around town, and the school’s sports track, often with her Labradors (Maggie, Emmie and Max) and friend Margie and daughter Deanne to keep physically fit. Grandmother Victoria supported her household for 35 years after moving to Salem and working at Ed Levin Jeweler’s in Cambridge, NY and a variety of restaurants in Salem and Cambridge and Eagle Bridge: The Town House, The Old Cambridge Hotel, The Central House, Steininger’s, and The Eagle Bridge Inn.
Victoria’s wonderful contribution to society was her ability to make people happy by serving them fine food from these eateries. The lady had a great knack for helping the wounded with kind words and good food, and often invited such characters to Thanksgiving dinner. Vickie regularly commented on her utter lack of sense of direction, and concluded how glad she was that everything she needed was on New York State Route 22.
On her free time, she enjoyed walking her friend Gail in Shaftsbury, VT, and her friends and family in Merck Forest, Vermont. To understand the secrets of the world, Ms. Victoria traveled with friends and family to the great pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge in England and Bermuda, and many other destinations that include cruises on ocean-going ships. She especially loved cruising with her dear friend Marge Leibert. When Deanne and Dayton traveled and attended college, Victoria was always a willing and supportive travel companion and confidante who never stopped talking about big and beautiful homes and their presumably wealthy homeowners. On more than one occasion, the former farmer celebrated with students at SUNY Cobleskill College, leaving them wide-eyed with her ability to “keep up”. After such interactions, she was a very talkative passenger on the trips back to Salem.
Throughout her life, Lady Victoria enjoyed her friendships with Jean, Betty and Janice and their time together laughing, eating good food, consuming adult drinks and catching up on the neighborhood gossip. She loved visiting her friend Gail in Shaftsbury to climb steep hills, often with Kasey Morrison, whom she believed was a second daughter. After their vigorous stroll, Vickie and Kasey would enjoy hours of socializing in Bennington. Her valued friendships also included Caroline Eddy, her roommate and lifelong friend, whom she visited frequently in South Carolina. Not to be forgotten are the special ladies of the Cambridge Two Top Crew: Gail, Kerry and the now deceased Angie, who made Lady Victoria look beautiful week after week.
Early in the remaining 15 years of her earthly abode, Lady Victoria met a prominent district attorney whom she referred to as her knight in shining armor, which led to her third attempt at marriage. After six years she found herself a single lady in Salem again and occasionally pointed out that she was not very good at marriage. As she finished her years in Salem, Grandma Victoria enjoyed serving the community at the Court House Thrift Store and meeting her grandchildren on the sidewalk in front of Salem Central School to stroll around town combined with eating sweet treats . She really loved working in her flower garden behind her apartment on Main Street and hitting the greens on the golf course. A fixture in Salem, Ms. Maxwell offered dog-sitting services and elderly care observations, and was a regular at the Salem Tavern for hamburgers and cheese nachos with her favorite gin and tonic. Victoria even survived cancer in 2008!
When health problems struck the Grand Lady of Salem in 2017, she relied on her friends and family for support. One of those friends was Victoria’s schoolmate, John, from Texas. Vickie was a freshman in high school when she met John, then a high school graduate. John and Salem’s Lady met regularly for excursions to Lake George and Syracuse for the remainder of their years, and for a few months over the past three years in Texas, where winters are usually warmer and more forgiving than winters in the northeast. John and Vickie traveled to Frankfurt, Germany and drove on the Rhine. John, such a dear and loving lifelong friend of Victoria Ann Maxwell.
In her final days, as the disease gradually eroded her physical body, Ms. Victoria was cared for by Laurie, Tarra, Sarah and Barbie. These ladies are true angels doing God’s work of end-of-life provision, which is one of the vastly understated and unannounced needs of humanity. In her altered state of physical and mental decline, Vickie reported that her brother Frank would soon be arriving to pick her up, as well as a large black raven that was occasionally only seen by her in the tree outside her living room window. Just before sunrise on the morning of November 8th, 2021 and in typical Lady Victoria style when no one was looking, the Salem lamp took a last breath before leaving its broken physical body and returning to its perfect spiritual form as if itself a caterpillar turned into a butterfly. After her final words with her daughter Deanne, she will see us in her next life.
Victoria Ann Maxwell leaves behind her daughter Deanne Maxwell and Deanne’s husband Matthew Noonan both from Ithaca, NY and their eight-year-old twin sons Milo and Theo as well as son Dayton Maxwell and his wife Amy Maxwell and their children Anna, 14, Molly (11) and Nolan, 8 ), all residing in the town of Jackson near Cambridge, NY. Since Victoria’s dairy farm, David, Darlene, Douglas and Dorenda are still on the planet earth while Donna passed away in November 2019.
A celebration of Victoria’s life will be held at the McClellan-Gariepy Funeral Home, 19 East Broadway, Salem on November 18, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 1:00 p.m. at The Hebron United Presbyterian Church in West Hebron concludes with an afternoon and evening with good food and drinks in the American Legion in Cambridge from 4:00 p.m.
Victoria’s family asked those who would like to attend the American Legion dinner to bring a dish. For those interested in making financial contributions, please donate on Victoria’s behalf to The Community Hospice of Saratoga County, 179 Lawrence Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, (518) 581-0800.
Most of all, you should smile when you think of Victoria’s great 79 year old adventure, and if you tend to enjoy a gin and tonic in memory of Victoria Ann Maxwell.
To offer their condolences to the family, please visit www.gariepyfuneralhomes.com.
Published by Post-Star on November 14, 2021.