Obituary of Maxine Smith

Maxine Louise (Lockwood) Kinney Smith, 96, of Fort Scott, Kansas, passed away August 27, 2021, at Country Place Senior Living in Fort Scott. She was born September 18, 1924, in Bourbon County, Kansas, to George and Mildred Lockwood of Godfrey, Kansas. Maxine and Harley P. Kinney, Jr., were married on June 8, 1946. Maxine and Harley lived and raised a family in Fort Scott until Harley’s untimely death on September 29, 1974. During their years together, Maxine and Harley enjoyed many activities, including extended family gatherings and cookouts, camping trips, square dancing, bowling, and long road-trip vacations. They were active members of the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Scott.

On April 30, 1990, Maxine married an old high school friend, Charles Smith. Maxine and Charlie spent many happy years together, enjoying their retirement years in Fort Scott and taking occasional sightseeing tours. Charlie passed away in September 2020.

Maxine loved to tell the story of her lifelong dream of being a schoolteacher. She often related how, as a small child, she would line up chairs in the farmhouse where she was raised, put dolls in the chairs and pretend to teach a class. Being a schoolteacher was her passion. She taught for 36 years and was very proud of her career.

Maxine graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1941. She continued her education at Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg (today’s Pittsburg State University). In 1942, at the age of only 17 and without a college degree, she began her first teaching job in a one-room schoolhouse, Star School in rural Bourbon County, where her duties included building the fire in the wood stove to heat the building, preparing lunches, sweeping the floors and teaching the students from first through eighth grades. From 1944 through 1947 she taught at Godfrey School. In 1946, after completing two years of the “College Course,” Maxine was awarded a “Life Certificate to Teach in the Public Schools of Kansas” by The Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg.

After Harley returned from service in World War II, Maxine and Harley were married and lived briefly in the Kansas City area, where Maxine worked for Hall Brothers and at the Hercules Army Ammunition Plant. During their time in the Kansas City area, their daughter Judy was born in 1949. The couple returned to Fort Scott in 1952. Their second child, Doug, was born in Fort Scott in 1953.

After returning to Fort Scott, Maxine resumed her teaching career, once again teaching at Star School and then at Hiattville School. In 1960 she began a long career in the Fort Scott school system, beginning as a sixth-grade teacher at Eugene Ware Elementary School. In 1961, after many years of summer and night classes, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Kansas State College of Pittsburg. She continued her education, and in 1966 received her Master of Science degree. From 1961 through 1983 she taught ninth grade English at Fort Scott Junior High. When the Fort Scott schools realigned into a middle school system in 1983, Maxine moved to Fort Scott High School, where she continued to teach English until her retirement in June 1987.

Maxine and Charlie were active in Fort Scott community affairs throughout their retirement years. They were faithful and active members of the First Presbyterian Church, where Maxine served in many different roles over the years. Maxine loved spending time with her grandchildren and entertaining them in her home.

Survivors include her daughter Judy Hunter and husband Bill, son Doug Kinney and wife Lynn, grandson Scott Hunter and wife Kendra, granddaughter Erin Stroble and husband Kyle, granddaughter Shawn Kinney, great-grandsons Max Hunter and Matthew Stroble, great-granddaughters Mary Grace Hunter, Ryleigh Kinney-Hall and Josie Kinney, Maxine’s brother Murray Lockwood and wife Norma, five nieces and nephews, stepchildren David Smith, Dennis Smith and wife Carol and family, and Sandra Bowzer and husband Greg and family. Maxine was preceded in death by her first husband Harley Kinney, her second husband Charles Smith, parents George and Mildred Lockwood, sister Carol Thompson, sister Dorothy Lockwood and in-laws Harley and Kate Kinney, Ruth Kinney Hamm Creighton and Harold Thompson.

Funeral services will be held at Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 West Wall Street, Fort Scott, Kansas, on Saturday, September 4, 2021, beginning at 12:00 PM. There will be a private burial service for family at a later date. Maxine will be interred with Harley Kinney in Fort Scott National Cemetery. The family suggests memorial donations to the First Presbyterian Church, 308 S. Crawford Street, Fort Scott, KS., 66701. Contributions may also be left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, P.O. Box 309, Fort Scott, Kansas, 66701. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at konantz-cheney.com.

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