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On Saturday, May 5, in her home at the Converse Home, Maxine Crenshaw Brown of Burlington, and formerly of Houston, completed her journey among us, at age 100. One hundred years ago, on February 26, 1918, a girl, known by most people as Mackie, was born to Reine and Jeff Crenshaw in Leakey, Texas, and the world has been a better place ever since. Her father died that same year of influenza, which took so many across the world, so Mackie, her mother, and her brother Owen moved a couple of miles away to the hamlet of Rio Frio, to live with her mother's parents. Mackie spent her childhood in that rural community, moving back to Leakey when she was 13 and enjoying the first place they'd lived in with a bathroom and running water. Electricity came still later. Mackie remembered good times during her school years: parties, wiener roasts, and picnics, playing guard on the basketball team, and several boyfriends. She was valedictorian of the Leakey High School class of 1935, and won two college scholarships, but unfortunately the times dictated that she find work instead, so she moved to Houston in August of 1935, where she worked first at the Texas Company, later known as Texaco, and then at Gulf Oil. Eventually Mackie met Felix Brown, who also worked at the Texas Company, and in 1944 they were married. She was a kind stepmother to Felix's son Jim, and took wonderful care of her only child Michael. Mackie went back to work in 1949, and worked full time until the 1970's, when Felix's declining health meant that she retired and became his primary caregiver. Mackie was an open, unbiased person. Known to dig in her heels when something seemed wrong, she nonetheless was able to look at both sides of just about anything. Somewhat late in life she became active in the governance of her church, and also quite the activist—she was the first leader of a care team formed by the church to minister directly with victims of AIDS—something not altogether popular at the time. And she was absolutely thrilled when an African-American man named Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. After living 75 years in Houston, Mackie came to live closer to her son and his family in January of 2011, and we thank the good folks at the Converse Home of Burlington for their loving care of Mackie. Mackie was a devoted and involved grandmother, weaving her life into the lives of granddaughter Amy and grandson Gabe, sharing their occasional setbacks and rejoicing with them in all of their triumphs in life. She had just started to get to know her lively first great-grandson Etan before she passed away. She leaves behind her son Michael Brown and his wife Amity Baker, of Burlington; granddaughter Amy Brown, her husband Joe Wolf, and great-grandson Etan Brown-Wolf, of San Francisco; grandson Gabe Strader-Brown, of Brooklyn NY; and stepson James Brown of Pampa, Texas. Maxine Brown—Mackie—has left us all a legacy of generosity, hospitality, compassion, kindness, and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, and we have all become better people because of her gift of herself to us. She will be missed beyond measure. She will be interred privately at Lakeview Cemetery in Burlington, and a service of celebration and remembrance of her life will be held this summer.

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