Leona Pauline "Lee" Desch Maxfield passed away peacefully on Jan. 5, 2013, at her home with her children by her side in Grand Junction, Colo.
She was born March 23, 1925, in Topeka, Kan. Her family moved to California toward the end of World War II, where she met and married Navy Lt. Cmdr. Russell J. Maxfield, M.D., in Mare Island on Feb. 3, 1946. They settled in Garden City for 36 years.
They became good friends with Truman Capote when he was writing his book, "In Cold Blood." He made many visits to Garden City during this time. Lee and Russ attended the Black and White Ball in New York City, and her picture was featured in Vogue Magazine dancing at the ball. Truman loved her German chocolate cake, which she made and sent to him every year at Christmas time.
They retired to Kissing Camels Estates in Colorado Springs, Colo., for 24 wonderful years, then relocated to Grand Junction in 2006. Lee took great pleasure in sharing her cooking talents by entertaining many friends and family through the years.
Aside from raising her children, Lee was a Cub Scout den mother, director of the Altar Guild at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, served with the bloodmobile, was a member of the Salmagundi Study Club, was a past president and 50-year member of Chapter X P.E.O., brought logopedics to Garden City, worked with the St. Catherine's Women's Auxiliary and was charter president of the Southwest Women's Auxiliary Medical Society. She was involved in the Kansas Cowbells and was one of the founders of the Beef Empire Days.
Lee was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years and a son. She is survived by her 96-year-old sister, Marcella Winderlin; two sons, Larry and wife Sheri, and Jim and wife Deb; a daughter, Barbara Schaak; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be sent to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, 3090 N. 12th St., Unit B, Grand Junction, CO 81506 or to a charity of the donor's choice.
A private family service will take place.