James Maxfield

1936 - 2013


Walla Walla β€” James Frederick Maxfield, 76, died March 13, 2013, at Washington Odd Fellows Home.

He was born Dec. 25, 1936, in Omaha, Neb., to James P. and Helen Anderson Maxfield. His father died in 1950 when Jim was just a child. In 1955, he graduated from Omaha Central High School.

On Aug. 23, 1958, he and Kay Lewis were married. He graduated magna cum laude from Knox College, Galesburg, Ill., in 1959, and received a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1967. After finishing his graduate class work and returning to Knox College to teach for two years, he and his family moved to Walla Walla in 1966. He taught English literature and creative writing and started the film teaching program at Whitman College. He retired from teaching in 1997, when the symptoms of his multiple sclerosis, diagnosed in 1977, became exacerbated.

A lifetime love of literature, music, particularly jazz, and film was shared with and passed down to his three children, wife and sister. During his teaching career of more than 35 years, he published many articles on literature and film in academic journals, as well as a book, β€œThe Fatal Woman: Sources of Male Anxiety in American Film Noir, 1941-1991.”

He is survived by his wife, Kay, of 54 years; sons, James Sherwin, Dayton, and Thomas Christopher, Edmonds, Wash.; and daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Nicholas Starin; and granddaughters, Sabina and Veejaya Starin, all of Portland; and sister, Anne Wilkinson, Sarasota, Fla. His parents; and sister, Sarah, preceded him in death.

At his request, there will be no service. Memorial contributions may be made to The Rising Sun Clubhouse through Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362.

Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at www.mountainview-colonialdewitt.com.


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