Salem-The first thing Victoria Ann Maxwell wants everyone to know is she did not die, she simply returned to her original form in spirit.
Victoria was born on February 5, 1942, in Newark, New Jersey and grew up in the affluent suburbs of Summit, New Jersey. Frank DePaul, Ms. Maxwell’s father was a Safety Engineer for the Exxon Mobil Corporation while Victoria’s mother, Eleanor Liberty DePaul worked for the Ciba Geigy Corporation as an office professional. Victoria Ann is predeceased by her parents as well as her brother Frank DePaul. Under the guise of suburbia, Ms. Maxwell learned to love horses through riding and competitive jumping, a hobby which she enjoyed for the majority of her life. After graduating from West Virginia’s Greenbriar College, Victoria married her high school sweetheart and moved to Rochester, New York to work as a purchasing agent for a publicly traded company.
Upon concluding her first marriage, Lady Victoria moved to Del Ray Beach, Florida to live with her Grandmother Liberty. She spent her 20’s in Florida as a waitress in the evenings and a beach bum during the day and often described these as her most enjoyable years. While in Florida, Grandma Vickie (GV) was falsely accused of a traffic accident by a prominent government official which made her so angry she hired the best law firm in the county and won her case which provided a considerable payout that GV used to purchase an inboard-outboard seafaring boat. Her boat was terrifically fun and allowed her to enjoy deep diving in the Atlantic and an occasional UFO sighting. Her years in Florida even encompassed one interaction with an official human looking extraterrestrial carrying a black briefcase in a Florida airport.
As Ms. Maxwell neared the end of her third decade of life her parents moved to Hebron, New York because her father loved Saratoga Horse Racing and wanted to retire next to the horse racing phenomenon. While visiting her parents in Hebron, her hairdresser set her up with a dairy farmer named Dayton Maxwell and three weeks later, in the fall of 1971, she married him. Dayton came with 100 milking cows and a wild bunch of five children from a previous marriage: David, Darlene, Donna, Douglas, and Dorenda. The couple added two more children to this crazy mix: Dayton and Deanne. After eight years of farm life and a reintroduction to waitressing at the original Wallie’s of Greenwich, New York, the adventurous Victoria moved with her daughter Deanne to the town of Salem while always offering her farm bound son Dayton a good meal and safe overnight stay.
Vickie enjoyed Salem life and became a regular fixture in the town keeping physically fit through walks around Blind Buck, various streets in the town and the school’s athletic track often with her Labradors (Maggie, Emmie, and Max) and friend Margie and daughter Deanne. Grandma Victoria financially supported her household for 35 years following her move to Salem working at Ed Levin Jeweler’s in Cambridge, New York and a multitude of restaurants in Salem and Cambridge and Eagle Bridge: The Town House, The Old Cambridge Hotel, The Central House, Steininger’s, and The Eagle Bridge Inn. Victoria’s wonderful contribution to society was her ability to make people happy as she served them fine food from these area establishments. The lady had a great knack for helping the wounded in spirit through kind words and good food, often inviting such characters to Thanksgiving dinner. Vickie would regularly comment about her complete non-existence of a sense of direction and infer how glad she was that everything she needed was located on New York State Route 22. In her non-working time, she enjoyed walking with her friend Gail in Shaftsbury, Vermont and with her friends and family at Vermont’s Merck Forest. In a quest to understand the world’s mysteries, Ms. Victoria traveled with friends and family to the great pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge of England, and Bermuda and many other destinations involving cruising on ocean vessels. She especially loved cruising with her dear friend Marge Leibert. As Deanne and Dayton traveled and attended college Victoria was always a willing and supportive travel companion and confidant never ceasing to comment about big and beautiful houses and their presumably wealthy home owners. On more than one occasion the former farm wife partied with SUNY Cobleskill College students leaving them wide eyed with her ability to “keep up.” After such interactions she was a very talkative passenger on return trips to Salem.
Throughout her life, Lady Victoria relished her friendships with Jean, Betty, and Janice and their times together laughing, eating good food, consuming adult beverages, and catching up on neighborhood gossip. She loved visiting her friend Gail in Shaftsbury for a walk-up steep hills, often accompanied by Kasey Morrison, who she considered a second daughter. After their vigorous walk, Vickie and Kasey would enjoy social time in Bennington. Also among her treasured friendships was Caroline Eddy, her college roommate and lifelong friend, who she frequently enjoyed visiting in South Carolina. Certainly not to be forgotten are the special ladies of the Cambridge Two Top crew: Gail, Kerry, and the now deceased Angie, who kept the Lady Victoria looking beautiful week after week.
At the start of the remaining 15 years of her earthly residence, Lady Victoria met a prominent area attorney described by her as her knight in shining armor leading to her third try at marriage. After six years, she found herself again as a single lady living in Salem occasionally referencing the fact that she wasn’t very good at being married. While finishing her years in Salem, Grandma Victoria enjoyed serving the community at the Court House Thrift Store and meeting her grandchildren on the sidewalk in front of Salem Central School for a meander around town combined with consumption of sweet treats. She truly loved working in her flower garden behind her Main Street apartment, as well as hitting the greens at the golf course. As a fixture in Salem, Ms. Maxwell provided dog sitting services and eldercare observations and was a regular at the Salem Tavern enjoying hamburgers and cheese nachos with her most favorite drink of Gin and Tonic. Victoria even survived cancer in 2008!
As health-related issues started to plague the Great Lady of Salem in 2017 she relied on her friends and family for support. One such friend was Victoria’s childhood schoolmate, John from Texas. Vickie was a freshman in high school when she met John, then a high school senior. John and Salem’s Lady met regularly throughout her remaining years for trips to Lake George and Syracuse and, for the most recent three years, a few months stay in Texas where the winters are usually warmer and more forgiving than winters in the Northeast. John and Vickie traveled to Frankfort, Germany and cruised on the Rhine River. John, such a dear and loving lifelong friend to Victoria Ann Maxwell.
In her final days, with illness gradually eroding her physical body, Ms. Victoria was cared for by Laurie, Tarra, Sarah, and Barbie. These ladies are truly Angels doing GOD’s work of providing end of life care which is one of humanity’s tremendously understated and unheralded needs. In her altered state of physical and mental deterioration Vickie reported her brother Frank as arriving soon to pick her up, as well as a large black raven occasionally seen only by her in the tree outside her living room window. Just before dawn on the morning of November 8, 2021 and in typical Lady Victoria style when no one was looking, the fixture of Salem took one last breath before leaving her broken physical body and returning to her perfect form in spirit as if a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. According to her last words with her daughter Deanne, she will see us in her next life.
Victoria Ann Maxwell is survived by her daughter Deanne Maxwell and Deanne’s husband Matthew Noonan both of Ithaca, New York and their eight-year-old twin sons Milo and Theo as well as son Dayton Maxwell and his wife Amy Maxwell and their children Anna (14), Molly (11), and Nolan (8) all residing in the Town of Jackson near Cambridge, New York. From Victoria’s dairy farming days, David, Darlene, Douglas, and Dorenda are still walking planet earth while Donna passed over in November of 2019.
A celebration of Victoria’s life will be held on November 18, 2021 with 9:00 am to 12:00 noon calling hours at the McClellan-Gariepy Funeral Home, 19 East Broadway in Salem, followed by a 1:00 pm funeral service at The Hebron United Presbyterian Church in West Hebron to conclude with an afternoon and evening of good food and good drink at the American Legion in Cambridge beginning after 4:00 pm. Victoria’s family asks those planning to attend the American Legion dinner to please bring a dish to pass. For those wishing to make financial contributions please donate in Victoria’s name to The Community Hospice of Saratoga County, 179 Lawrence Street, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866, (518)-581-0800.
Most of all, be sure to smile when you think about Victoria’s grand adventure of 79 years and if you’re so inclined enjoy a Gin and Tonic in remembrance of Victoria Ann Maxwell.
179 Lawrence Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866