Maxine Newell was born on December 1, 1919, to Noel and Ollie O. Sitton in New Mexico. She grew up in Dove Creek and Monticello and has lived in Moab since 1948. She passed away peacefully in her home on September 19, 2015.
During World War 11, Maxine worked for the U.S. State Department, the Northwest Service Command, and the Army Corps of Engineers and was based in Washington, D.C., Banff, Alberta; and San Francisco before returning to Monticello, where she married George (Hub) Newell. She was employed by the city of Moab in the 1950s, and spent six years writing for The Times Independent in the 1960s. She served as a park ranger at Arches National Park from 1968 to 1985.
Maxine attended Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, and there discovered her knack for writing. While a park ranger, she wrote her first book, “A Story of Life at Wolfe Ranch, Arches National Park.” She also co-authored “The Untold History of Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument” with Terby Barnes in 1998, and wrote “The Story of the Hole N’ the Rock” in 2005. Her paperback, “Charlie Steen’s Mi Vida,” reprinted in 2012, depicted the true story of the Uranium King. Steen wrote in the foreword, “[Newell] has managed to capture and record many of the people and events of the Uranium Boom, which caused so much excitement and changed so many lives.” A fascinating story teller, Maxine was a featured contributor in KUED’s video, “Moab in the 50s.”
Maxine created stunning flower gardens and was a supreme hostess. Visitors enjoyed lively conversations with Maxine and never left her house hungry.
The family wishes to thank Maxine’s “Happy Hour” friends for their continued love and support, Marilyn Coffee for her attentive care of Maxine, and the Grand County Hospice professionals for their assistance during Maxine’s final days.
Maxine is survived by her daughter, Jane Newell Schaffner (Dave) and her sister, Fern Wood. She was preceded in death by her husband George “Hub” Newell in 1975, her parents, and her brother, Robert Sitton.
A service to honor Maxine was held at St. Francis’ Episcopal Church on Wednesday, September 23. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society in Maxine’s memory.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.