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Maxine M. (Dreke) Matthei

October 8, 1931 ~ September 21, 2019 (age 87)


Maxine passed peacefully at Aurora Zilber Family Hospice on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin at the age of 87. Her children and her grandchildren were able to comfort her in her final days.

Maxine was born October 8th, 1931 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin,  to Walter Dreke, a tavern owner from Eau Claire and Myra Hafemann, a newly registered nurse from Colby, WI. Maxine spent her early years on the dairy farm with her grandparents, Hugo and Martha Hafemann, and then in the latter 1930s returning to live with her mother in Milwaukee, WI to complete her education where she graduated from South Division High School in 1949.

While attending the University of Wisconsin, she met Bill Matthei, a football player with good looks and dark wavy hair who was going places in life. Maxine announced to her mother and her girlfriends within 10 days of meeting Bill that this is the man she would marry. Maxine and Bill wed September 1st, 1951 at Ascension Lutheran Church in Milwaukee and had their reception at the Eagles Ballroom.  Over the next 30 years, they lived in wonderful communities including; Madison, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, and Crystal Lake.  Her husband Bill passed in 2005 and in 2008 she moved to Carmel, California, to be with her daughter Kim and family, and continued to split her time between Carmel and Milwaukee. Maxine was staying with daughter Kristine and Stacey in Milwaukee until transitioning to hospice.

 Maxine was always active as president of Good Samaritan Ministry and 15 year member of the Children's Home and Aid Society of Illinois.  She was a founding member of the Lakeside Festival Gala which created a 4th of July festival and helped define the quality of life in Crystal Lake. She gave love and purpose to the myriad of people and animals that arrived on her doorstep.

Maxine travelled extensively throughout the US, Caribbean and Europe and often took the family on business trips with Bill.  Maxine loved to cook and entertain friends and was known for throwing summer gourmet backyard parties under the stars framed by splashing fountains, lily pools, and twinkling lights.

Maxine is survived by four children, William (Ann Marie), James (Mary), Kimberly (Chandler), and Kristine (Stacey);  grandchildren, John, Will, Madison, Cole, Chase, and Killian, and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, and son, John Carl.

Funeral services will be private. Maxine will be buried at the family plot at Forest Hills Cemetery in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and son, overlooking the University of Wisconsin and beautiful Lake Mendota.

Maxine was a most wonderful partner and wife to Bill. She loved and nourished her children. She will be missed by all who knew her.  Mom you were Angel to all, always putting others first

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