December 10, 1943 ~ January 4, 2017
~ Columbia River High School Athletic Hall of Fame ~
Ed Maxwell died quietly at home on Jan. 4, 2017, after fighting cancer fiercely, with courage, and without complaint. He was born Dec. 10, 1943 to Willard and Doris Maxwell, and was the oldest of what would become a family of 6 children. Ed grew up on Vashon Island, and attended the local schools there, where he excelled as a student and as an athlete. And where, in the sixth grade, he met a red-headed girl named Marcy, who in 1965 would become his wife.
Ed and Marcy both attended Central Washington University. After graduating in 1967, they moved to Vancouver, WA to begin their long teaching careers in the Vancouver School District.
After teaching four years at Lewis Junior High, Ed was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for graduate study at Oregon State University. He earned his Master of Science degree in biology there in 1971. He returned to Lewis, and a year later, became a teacher and coach at Columbia River High School.
Ed had a remarkable ability to connect with young people. During his 24 years at Columbia River, he touched the lives of hundreds of teenagers as their biology teacher or coach. Many of them stayed in touch through the years, and often shared what an impact his mentoring had on their lives.
He coached football at River for over 20 years, and was head coach from 1985 to 1994. He also coached girls softball there for 16 years.
Ed was instrumental in establishing girls fast-pitch softball at Columbia River, and he coached those teams with passion and dedication. He even spent hours on his tractor making sure the fields met his standards for play. His teams won state titles in 1992, 1996 and 1997. He always said that credit for that success belonged to the team, not to him.
He spent several summers helping to coach VGSA fast-pitch teams, and in recent years volunteered as an assistant coach at Skyview High School. He was inducted into the Washington State Softball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012.
Although he officially retired in 1997, Ed soon returned to teaching. He accepted the invitation to become education coordinator at Columbia Springs Environmental Center, and spent 4 years there sharing his love of science with young students.
Somehow, through the years, Ed found time to build three houses, remodel two, and become skilled in all aspects of home construction. In 2011, he and Marcy moved into the home he'd carefully designed and built for their retirement years.
He served 5 years on the advisory committee for the Clark County Vocational Skills Center, and was a member of the IQ Credit Union board of directors from 2005 until the fall of 2016.
Ed is survived by his wife, Marcy; his daughter, Lisa Andres (Joe) and grandson, Calvin; his daughter, Lori Maxwell and granddaughter, Madisyn Jane; his brother, Bill Maxwell (Debra); and his sisters, Jeanne and Becky (Dale).
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters, Suzanne and Kathy.
On Feb. 3, 2017, at Columbia River, Ed's dedication to coaching will be honored again when he will be inducted into the Columbia River High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
All who knew, loved, and admired Ed, are invited to a celebration of his life: Feb. 4, 2017, at 2:00p.m., Columbia River High School.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to a scholarship fund supporting the Hall of Fame. For further info, email Michelle Buss: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ed's family give special thanks to the Kaiser Hospice care team for their compassion and support.
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits.
To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Columbian on Jan. 20, 2017.