Maxine Marie Hess Foster Hackleman
June 4, 1927 – Dec. 3, 2022
TORRINGTON – Maxine Marie Hess Foster Hackleman took her final trip on Dec. 3, 2022, when she joined her Savior and her family who proceeded her in death. Maxine lived a fine long life to the age of 95 ½ years.
Twin daughters were born to Raymond and Elsie Hess on June 4, 1927, in Chadron, Nebraska. The twins were something of celebrities in the area, as it was hard to save both twins in those times. To add to the story, the hospital burned right after they were born, and they were carried from the burning hospital in a cardboard box! The local paper stated that “the twins would have a thrilling story to tell someday of being carried from a burning hospital at four days old.” Those twins were Maxine and Pauline Hess.
From this amazing beginning, the girls lived the usual life on a ranch near Marsland, Nebraska. With their mother leading the way, the twins began singing publicly at age 9, and later the Hess family had a family band which played at many community functions. Maxine and Pauline also performed alone and on several records featuring songs that they had written.
Maxine graduated from Sioux County High School, earned the required teaching credits from Chadron State Teachers College, and went on to teach elementary age children for 5 years. At that time, WWII was going on. A local young man returned from WWII and was invited to dinner at the Hess home; and that was the beginning of the Howard Foster and Maxine Hess story, as the two were married on Oct. 12, 1948.
The couple started living in Nebraksa where Howard worked on ranches but moved to Wyoming in 1950. They moved to Lusk, in 1953. Their three children, Veda, Bryan and Claudia, were born there.
Maxine started her “Accordion – Guitar Studio” and operated the studio throughout her life until the last 5 years of her life. She taught generations of people in Wyoming and Nebraska, probably in the thousands over the years. She also put on many Programs with her students, as well as played and sang in many venues. She was well known for her piano playing and singing the old cowboy songs.
They lived in Lusk for 13 years, then moved back to Nebraska where they stayed for three years. At that time, they moved back to Wyoming to Torrington, where Howard was in sales, and Maxine had her studio. They purchased a small farm south of Torrington and raised sheep.
At that time, they were both very active at Bethel Baptist Church, and were youth leaders.
They decided to purchase an upholstery business and moved it west of town on Highway 26. Maxine was an excellent seamstress, and her abilities made the business one of the best in the area. Howard was very good at refinishing furniture.
Howard suffered a heart attack and passed away Oct. 13, 1977 - 29 years to the day the Howard and Maxine story ended. Maxine continued to run the business, the One Stop Upholstery Shop.
Maxine also continued to run the Accordion – Guitar Studio, teaching both youth and adults. At one of the adult classes in 1980, a young man named James (Jay) Hackleman attended to learn the guitar. After a year he asked Maxine to lunch, and the Jay and Maxine story began.
Maxine and Jay got married on Sept. 26, 1981. Jay had not been married before, so he acquired not only a wife but kids and grandkids! He also married into a very musical family. Most of the grandchildren and adults played instruments, so a holiday or family get together immediately turned into a large jam session. Jay fit right in, as he loved music and was a square dancer.
Jay and Maxine lived a fine life together. They traveled, ran the business, enjoyed the children and grandchildren. They camped, gardened, canned, made bread and cookies, and just loved their life together. They played music at Fort Laramie Historical site, and Jay made ice cream for many visitors on July 4ths. They also played with the Torrington Fiddlers Association, and enjoyed a special friendship with Tim Naylor, who over the years, became like family to them.
Jay passed away on July 9, 2019, and the Jay and Maxine story ended after 38 years together. Maxine then continued alone with the Maxine story. She continued teaching students, enjoyed her grandchildren, dogs and cats, and continued growing flowers and some vegetables. She went to live in the Care Center in Torrington, where she entertained the residents with her piano playing, and stories of times gone by.
She lived a long and fulfilling life, living through many events of the 20th century. Starting with the hospital fire, she lived through the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, WWII, Korean War, Blizzard of ’49, Vietnam, Y2K, the depressions of the 2000s, Covid. She saw men land on the moon, airplanes take people all over the world, TV, computers, cell phones, electric cars, and more. She lived longer than all of her siblings except her sister Opal who lived to be 96. Maxine was the last remaining member on both sides of her generation in her family.
Maxine is survived by her 3 children: Veda Bafford (Rick) of Statesville, North Carolina, Bryan Foster (Dona) of Torrington, and Claudia MacPhee (John) of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. She is survived by nine grandchildren: Nicole Bafford Woodard (Derek), Erik Bafford (Jaime) Heather DuVall (Leo), Micah Foster (Kelly), Sam Teeters (Laura), Jessica Schatzle (Dennis), Lauren Jones (Adam), Heidi Teeters. 21 great grandchildren survive her: Will Woodard, Enoch Bafford, Jameson Woodard, Elijah Bafford, Connor Bafford, Maddox Bafford, Lily Bafford, Leah Foster, Andie Foster, Reed Foster, Kiersten Foster, Phoenix Foster, Madeleine DuVall, Solomon DuVall, Payton Jones, Paisley Jones, Malachi Teeters (Gabrielle), Penelope Teeters, Kaitlyn Layman Casper (Quentin), Oliver Schatzle, Lydia Schatzle. Great great grandchildren are Violet Sonae and Castiel Casper.
In lieu of flowers, in memorial to Maxine, please send donations to the Alzheimer’s Unit, Floor 500, Banner Health, Torrington.
A memorial service is planned for a later date.