Robert G. Maxwell
Bob Maxwell passed away Feb. 3, 2019, in Helena, Mont.
Bob was born in Roundup, Mont., on May 23, 1928, to Paul and Joy Maxwell. He was the youngest of four children. They lived on the homestead in Roundup until Bob was 10, when they moved to Fairfield, Mont. As a farm boy he was able to build or fix almost anything, and he was not one to sit around. He woke early and was always puttering on some project.
In 1956 he married Ardis Brown. Ardis had a daughter from her first marriage, Jo Ann, and together Bob and Ardis had two more daughters: Betty and Brenda.
Bob was a self-starter who had more than one side-business most of his life. After working at the Air Force base in Great Falls, Mont., painting planes, he became a piano salesman. Next, he worked for Self Service Furniture in Billings, Mont., and eventually became a sales representative for several furniture manufacturers. The nomad life of traveling his vast territory suited his personality. He loved people and would find something to talk about with anyone he met, becoming friends with his customers and the owners of the hotels he stayed at. He could tell you where the best cinnamon rolls could be found in any of the four states he traveled!
In addition to these jobs, he also owned The Fun Shop in Billings. Bob belonged to a magic club and sold magic tricks and costumes at this little store. He and his dad built the games for carnivals and ran them for the schools and churches that needed fundraisers. He built concession stand trailers, and with the family helping him, spent summers at Montana Indian pow-wows and gatherings, selling snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs and cotton candy. Bob was always a kid at heart. Often he would play with the toys he bought his grandchildren before wrapping them up and he loved dressing up in his Santa suit for the neighbor kids.
In 1974 Bob had the opportunity to expand his furniture territory to Idaho and Eastern Washington, and the family moved from Billings to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He was too busy to continue with his concession stand and finally had to settle for just one job! In 1992 Brenda became his partner, and together they managed his territory until 2000, when he retired. Coeur d’Alene meant new fishing holes and lake fishing instead of streams, so he soon bought a boat. Whenever he could find a couple hours on a sunny afternoon, he would take everyone out fishing or water skiing. Bob and Ardis eventually bought a cabin at Cave Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene, where they could fish all summer. Ardis passed away in the fall of 1993.
In 1995 Bob and Marilyn Hudson began going together and over the years, they traveled to many fun places. One of his favorites was a monthlong cruise to South America. They bought a home in Surprise, Ariz., in 2001 and enjoyed 15 warm winters there before moving back to Helena in 2016.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Charles Reuben Maxwell, his sisters Betty Maxwell and Clara Dell Autry, his niece Debbie, his grandson Tim Daem and his wife Ardis. He is survived by his longtime companion Marilyn Hudson, his daughters Jo Ann Freischlag, Betty Bisom (Paul), Brenda Maxwell-Bumann (Robert), his grandchildren Justin Friedly (Kristen), Jarret Friedly (Danielle), Greg Daem (Alison), Stephen Daem, Shayla Daschele (Ryan), James Bisom (Nicole), Alyssa Schenk (Beau), and Alexandra Maxwell-Bumann, 7 great-grandchildren, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Services will be in Coeur d’Alene this summer.