90TH BIRTHDAY : Maxine Isom

By Baker City Herald February 10, 2010 11:19 am

Maxine Isom of Oxbow will celebrate her 90th birthday on Feb. 15, 2010.

Maxine was born in Hurricane, Utah, and then moved at age 7 to a farm in Oakland Valley, Idaho, with her parents and three sisters. She remembers coming home excited from her first day of school in Idaho telling her mother that she had been assigned a desk “all to herself.” This thrilled Maxine because in Utah she had to share a desk with another student. Maxine’s family prospered on the farm, and three brothers were added.

As a young woman and a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps, Maxine received assignments that stationed her in Iowa and Washington, D.C. She attended Quartermaster school and spent significant time in the WAAC teaching army orientation and other classes to women recruits. She served her country for three years, two months and one day.

During a seven-month tour in Washington, D.C., she once met and talked to President Truman while out for a Sunday morning walk.

Maxine remembers her time in the WAAC fondly and has stayed in contact with her close service comrades through the years.

Maxine lived in Portland and worked at Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. and at Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone for 35 years before taking early retirement. She has been a resident of Oxbow for 28 years. She and her sister, Rilla, avidly gardened together for many years. Today, her hobbies include reading and watching wildlife.