On Tuesday, June 3, 1919, Raymond and Mary Nora Locke House celebrated the birth of a daughter they named Maxine. She was born in Princeton, Arkansas, a small yet friendly community made up of mostly “kinfolk”; where everybody knew everybody.
Being raised in a large family of eleven in those days, education became secondary; while surviving was primary. She refused to pick cotton, so like others, she had to help her mother with her siblings. She was an impeccable housekeeper and mastered babysitting. Maxine was ingenious.
She believed the Lord had blessed her with a beautiful voice and she expressed that gift at Eastern Star Baptist Church where she was a faithful member of the choir.
In raising her sibling’s cooking became second nature. She was a soul food “boiling pots” cooking type of woman. She had her sense of style and fashion savvy. She prided herself on being fashionably late and her favorite color was red. When “Maxine” walked in, everyone knew it.
It was during this time that she developed a hankering for big city life and relocated from Arkansas to the “Gateway to the West”, St. Louis, Missouri. While she enjoyed St. Louis, life presented other opportunities. On January 27, 1951, she married Theodore Albert and they were married for 40 years until his death on March 4, 1991. In 1980, she opened a Family Day Care Home in St. Louis and retired from the St. Louis Public School District, she later retired from the Arkadelphia Senior Adult Center.
Eventually, she came full circle and relocated back home to Gurdon where she was a full-time, hands-on grandmother and great-grandmother. “Roxie” as she was known to many possessed an infectious smile that would chase the chill from any room. Her greatest joy was being around family; laughing and reminiscing. She would spend hours watching wrestling and her favorite series “Special Victims Units”. As she aged, she never lost her memory or sense of humor above all things she did miss being able to drive her car. She loved birds, dogs, and cats, and too often her home was the home of every stray cat in Gurdon.
Having been the oldest member of her family, her home was a treasure chest full of old photos, family heirlooms, “whatnots”, but most of all it was the place to learn of the family history. Those she touched and those who knew her witnessed her untiring love for God. She was a believer in “treating others, as you would have them to treat you”.
On Monday, January 3, 2022, at the blessed age of 102, she passed into the Lord’s embrace. Those waiting to meet her in the presence of the Lord are her parents; her husband, Theodore Albert; her children, Theodore Michael House, Marilyn Deavens, Diane Albert, Percy Harris, and Robert Lee Harris; siblings, Bertha M. Anderson, Lille B. Anderson, Annie B. House, Ernestine Anderson, Hoza House, Clarence House, Felix House, Jessie W. David House, and Otis House.
She leaves an abundance of love and memories to her children, Elma Jean Sturgis of Kansas City, MO, Jacqueline Cunningham, Mary Ann Albert (Thomas Gulley) and Tyrone Albert all of Gurdon, AR; her brother, Roosevelt (Wilma F. ) House of Gurdon, AR; 18 grandchildren, Larry Harris, Marie Harris, Shawn Burke, Peter Burke, April Burke, Ladarius Burke, Jeanene Albert Sherrod, Lionel Albert, Raymond Cunningham, Damon Albert, Deonco (Crystal) Houston, Natalie (Raymond) Hill, Markita Brewer (Apollo D.), Camron (Tiara) Kennedy, Treviel Threadgill, Briauna Burke, Myriah Albert and Damond Threadgill; 11 great-grandchildren, Ebony Clemons, Nicole Cunningham, Apollo Blake, B.J. Brewer, III, Car’niece Albert, Sania Brewer, Tameria Kennedy, Marquan Lionel Albert, Tamia Kennedy, Makenzie Albert and Tierra Kennedy; 8 great-great grandchildren, Mikel Monroe, Heaven Clemons, Dae’Jon Clemons, Dominic Johnson, Dream Johnson, Ex’Zayver Johnson, Willow Blake, and Apollo Blake, Jr., and 1 great-great-great grandchild, Halo Miller. She also leaves several nieces, nephews, other relatives, and the Eastern Star Baptist Church family.
Public visitation will be Wednesday, January 12, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m.
The Centennial Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, January 13, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at Eastern Star Baptist Church with Rev. Rufus Hatley, the eulogist and Rev. Marshall Allen, officiating. Interment will be at Rose Hedge Cemetery. Bearers of the casket will be Damon Albert, Lionel Albert, Quincy Dickens, Jeremy Williams, Chris Williams, DeAndre Williams, Damond Threadgill, and Raymond Welch. Honorary pallbearers will be Raymond Cunningham, Deonco Houston, Camron Kennedy, Apollo M. Blake, B. J. Brewer and Mikel Monroe.