Robert Lynn Maxwell, beloved husband and father, peacefully passed from this world to the next on Monday, July 25, 2011. He is survived by his adoring wife of more than 52 years, Eileen Deen, three children, sons Michael Deen and his wife, Shelly, Spanish Fort, AL; Robert Lynn, II, and his partner, Jason, Pittsburgh, PA; and daughter Jacqueline Eileen, Hays, as well as two grandsons, Michael Griffin and Robert Graem. Other survivors include his sister, Madeline (Bill) Orth, and brother, Lee, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and countless friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Jim.
Bob was born March 15, 1930, in Scott City, KS, to Walter E. and Pauline (Green) Maxwell, graduated from Hays High School in 1948, and proudly served his country as a U.S. Army soldier in the Korean War from 1951 to 1953, when he was honorably discharged.
He returned to Hays and began a career in law enforcement, serving as a Hays City Police Patrolman from May 1953 to August 1955, Ellis County Sheriff from August 1955 to January 1957, Ellis County Undersheriff from February 1957 to January 1960, and Chief of Police from January 1960 to September 1965. Bob also had the honor of attending the FBI National Academy from August to November 1961.
Following a life-long dream, he pursued higher education and earned his bachelors and masters degrees from Fort Hays Kansas State College, whereupon he was hired as the Dean of Students at Fort Hays in 1966. He continued in a number of administrative and teaching roles, which culminated in a position as an assistant professor in the English Department until his retirement in 1995.
Upon retirement, being Bob, he simply couldn’t actually retire. He drove a school bus route for USD 489, was a docent at Sternberg Natural History Museum, presented programs on local folklore legends and folk music, as well as being a major participant in Memorial Day celebrations and Christmas programs at the Ellis County Historical Society.
Bob was a member of the American Legion, the VFW, was a cantor at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for over 30 years, and most recently a member of the Comeau Catholic Campus Center.
Bob loved the German history and heritage of Ellis County, and was known as the lone “English-Volga-German” – especially during local Oktoberfest celebrations where he sang ‘the old songs’ with the best of them. He was the local expert on the story of Miss Polly and the Lonely Grave, a legend he continued to recount to individuals and classrooms throughout his lifetime. In July of 2004, he was given the All-American Citizen Award of Hays, an honor that made him and his family so proud.
Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m., Friday, July 29, 2011, at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hays. Burial will military honors by the Hays VFW and American Legion will be in the St. Joseph Cemetery. Friends may call at the Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 20th and Pine, on Thursday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. and on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. A parish vigil service will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Disabled/Homeless Veterans or Ellis County Humane Society of the High Plains, in care of the funeral home. Condolences to the family at www.haysmemorial.com