May 1, 1926 - December 19, 2020
Maxine Kasza was born May 1, 1926, at Lamar to Ora and Sophronia (Bloyd) Davidson and passed away December 19, 2020, at her home in Lamar with her family by her side at the age of 94.
After her father died when Maxine was four years old, her mother moved from the farm to Lamar. Maxine attended the First Baptist Church while a youth in Lamar and she never wanted to miss Sunday School. One Sunday when Willow Creek was up and flowing across the road, they took off their shoes and socks and waded across. Her mother did not have a car as they were very poor.
Her mother married a railroader five years after her father died. Maxine attended South Central and Lincoln Schools in Lamar thru fourth grade. She attended numerous schools in Pierceville, Lakin and Holcomb, Kansas, as well as Lamar and McClave High Schools. She changed schools 10 times.
Her stepfather had an important job on the railroad extra gang, and when her parents were out on the extra gang, Maxine boarded with various families. On the weekends she would ride the passenger train to wherever they were working, the train would stop and let her off. When it was time to go back, her stepfather would go out with a lantern and flag the train down. She would get on and go back to school.
At Pierceville she boarded with the school teacher, who taught her and two other girls to play the guitar and harmonica. They would perform at various events, playing their instruments and singing. She wondered as she grew older what they must have sounded like.
Maxine had beautiful handwriting even as a youngster. When Maxine was 80 and visiting her fourth-grade teacher in the nursing home, her teacher remembered what beautiful handwriting she had when she taught her.
At county contests in Garden City, Maxine won the spelling contest twice and several reading contests. The highlights of her years at Pieceville were the yearly track meet in Garden City. Pierceville was a little two room school and there was no competing with other schools before the county track meet. They practiced running on the road, and the fathers dug up a space for them to practice jumping. They also practiced throwing the ball. Maxine won numerous blue ribbons in running and jumping, but never in throwing the ball. Getting ready to go to Garden City, have fun, and eat at a cafe was a big treat in those days.
Maxine was a generous person. Her sisters liked to tell when she was young, her parents bought her a new coat. She had a friend whose coat was shabby and tattered, so she gave her new coat to her friend, and she continued to wear her old coat.
After moving to Prowers County when she senior, Maxine attended McClave High School. Here she met Willard Kasza when they were placed together as the only two seniors in the American History class. They soon began dating and were married October 29, 1944. They had five children, Larry, Linda, Joe, Janice and Bruce.
Following their marriage, Willard and Maxine moved to the Kasza family farm. Maxine was an excellent homemaker, cook and seamstress, making all of her daughter's clothes as well as her own. Willard and his brother, Eugene, purchased Kasza Brothers in 1950 and, after his brother move to Missouri, Maxine worked full time at the family business. She continued to work there until the age of 84 when they sold the business in 2010 after 60 years.
Maxine was a devoted wife and mother. She attended all of her children's events and most of her grandchildren's activities. Placing a high value on education, she was proud to say she had attended all of her children and grandchildren's high school and college graduations. Her family was very important to her. Maxine and Willard celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary October 29, 2010.
In 1989, she started taking oil painting lessons and won Grand Champion on a landscape painting at the Prowers County Fair. She also enjoyed scrapbooking and made family heritage albums for each of her children and grandchildren. Each Christmas, she has made some sort of homemade gift for each of them.
After moving to McClave she joined the McClave Methodist Church and was very active with the United Methodist Women's group as well as other activities of the church. After taking two busloads of McClave people to the Nicky Cruz Crusade, she organized the McClave Nondenominational Christian youth group known as "the Seekers." She continued to work with this group for many years until Willard had heart problems and open heart surgery when she had to devote all of her time to the business. In later years, she became active in assisting the children at the elementary M&M Christian youth group.
She was a strong supporter of the McClave community, overseeing the maintenance of the park for many years, and always being involved with activities at the school, as well as the church.
She was close to her sisters and their families who lived in Kentucky and Pueblo, although it wasn't possible to see them often. Her husband's family also became her family ,and she and Willard were very close to his brother, Eugene, and his family. They spent many hours together visiting, their children playing together, and celebrating birthdays and such.
One Bloyd-Davidson Reunion that Maxine hosted that all her family and extended family will never forget was the reunion of the Baked Salad. Maxine had prepared an extra-large pan of scalloped potatoes and one of frog eye salad. Since she needed large pans, she put them in identical aluminum pans. When it was time to put the potatoes in the oven she mistakenly put in the salad. At lunch time she pulled the pan out of the oven and to her horror, she saw she had cooked the salad and the potatoes were still in the refrigerator. All the women pitched in and cooked the potatoes in the microwave, frying pan and any way they could. Lunch was a little late. Everyone had a big laugh over it and to this day, they still chuckle when the Baked Salad reunion is mentioned.
Maxine is preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Willard Kasza; parents, Ora and Phrona Davidson; stepfather, Earl Wyrick; grandson, Daniel Kasza; sisters, Margaret Pollard and Ethel Greco; and her sisters-in-law, Faye Kasza and Ruth Mahaloscki.
Maxine is survived by her sons, Larry Kasza of Ft. Morgan, Linda (Tom) Wilson of Madison, Kansas, Joe (Kaye) Kasza of McClave, Janice (Bob) England of Lamar, and Bruce (Linda) Kasza of Colorado Springs; daughter-in-law, Cindy Kasza of Lamar; and sister-in-law, Joan Kasza of Dallas Center, Iowa. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Brent (Marty), Clint (Natalee), Jason (Janna), Paul (Heather), Susan, David and Nick Kasza; Toni (Phil) Higdon, Tina (Keith) Williams; Brian England; and Janae (Cody) Dodsworth, great-grandchildren Christian and Hannah Brooks; Mattie, Emma, Andrew, Lily, Alyssa, Caleb, Nadia and Naomi Kasza, Austin, Willow and Shaylee Dodsworth; and Kansas Williams; and great-great grandchild Paxton Brooks. as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other family members and friends.
A private family celebration of life for Maxine Kasza will be held at the McClave United Methodist Church with Pastor Travis Walker officiating. Interment will follow at the McClave Cemetery.
Viewing for Maxine will be held Tuesday, December 22, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the Peacock Family Chapel.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army in Lamar either direct or in care of the funeral home office.
Services are under the direction of the Peacock Family.