2019-02-09 / Obituaries

Maxine J. Shear

Maxine J. Shear, 102, a long-time resident of Coudersport, passed away Feb. 1, 2019, at UPMC Cole, Coudersport. She was born on Nov. 8, 1916 in Buffalo, N.Y., the daughter of Laurent D. and Marie G. (Kohler) Johnston. She was the wife of Thomas R. Shear II, who died in January 1987.

Maxine was a 1934 graduate of Coudersport High School and attended Albright- Knox Art School in Buffalo. She was a homemaker, an artist, and a community activist.

She was a very active member of the First Presbyterian Church, Coudersport, where she served as an elder and was one of the first female deacons. She was a member of the Eulalia Chapter No. 148 Order of the Eastern Star, Potter County Historical Society, Coudersport Golf Club and was a former member of the Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Recreation Board.

Maxine was an active member of the New Century Club and designed 24 Christmas ornaments depicting local landmarks as a yearly fundraiser. Maxine spent many years participating in local theater groups, painting scenery and portraying characters, such as Mammy Yokum and Marlene Dietrich.

She also served as a volunteer for Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, where she started the original hospital gift shop and volunteered at Long-Term Care. In addition, Maxine managed the Coudersport Ice Mine Gift Shop for several years when her husband’s family owned it.

One of Maxine’s longest-lasting legacies is the Coudersport Town Pool. She was the driving force behind the fundraising efforts to build the original pool in the late 1950s. She prided herself on taking the inaugural swim in the pool when it was opened in 1959, and she managed it for many years.

As part of her work as an artist, Maxine created more than 650 pen and ink drawings of local buildings and private homes in the area. At age 98, she published the book “Churches of Potter County” with drawings of all of the churches in the county.

Maxine was known for her great sense of humor. She was always forthright and honest, but never hurtful. She offered encouragement to many and was an inspiration to all who knew her.

She is survived by a daughter, Laurie (Randi Lawrence) Shear of Coudersport; a son, William (Noelle) Shear of Farmville, Va.; a daughter-in-law, Mary Sue (Ben) Henszey of Beaver Cove, Maine; five grandchildren, Thomas R. (Megan) Shear IV, Kate (Jeff Nunemaker) Hoover, Justin Shear, Katie (Andy) Meeker and Emma Wright; five great-grandchildren, a niece and three nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and a son, Thomas R. Shear III.

In keeping with Maxine’s wishes there will be no visitation. A memorial service will be held at a later date at the First Presbyterian Church, Coudersport, with burial in Eulalia Cemetery, Coudersport.

Family members suggest that memorials be made to: First Presbyterian Church, 402 N. Main St.; Coudersport Public Library, 502 Park Ave.; or Potter County Artisan Center, 227 N. Main St., all at Coudersport PA 16915.

To share memories of Maxine or to sign her online guestbook, please visit thomasfickinger.com.

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