Our beloved proud Wyoming native, Maxine Shaw Litecky, 88 of Cheyenne, died December 7, 2022. She was born in Wheatland, Wyoming June 18, 1934, to James Albert and Crystal Hill Shaw. Due to complications from childbirth, Crystal passed away on July 3, 1934, leaving James to raise 15-day old Maxine, and her brother Jim. James later married Maxine’s step “mom” Rose Pahl Shaw, who became a wonderful mother to Maxine.
James and Rose raised Maxine at their ranch on Laramie Peak until the place was infested by rattle snakes. In 1936 they moved to Dubois, where they were met by water snakes, and established the LU Bar Dude Ranch. It was there that Maxine learned to ride horses and care for animals. Her first mount was a mule named Gracie Allen, after George Burns’ wife, and she sat on Gracie like a toad while Jim pulled on the halter and Virgil Rutledge, who was living with them while going to high school, would twist her tail. Maxine also had a pet deer named Bambi, that made it into her bedroom, nibbling Rose’s houseplants along the way.
Maxine went to school at the old log schoolhouse that she liked, because all four grades were in one room. She joked that she spent a lot of time staring out the window at Ernest Stringer’s milk cows and that she knew more about them than what was being taught in class.
She is remembered for her beautiful dark ponytail and stunning eyes. People were so fond of her mother’s good cooking, that her friends would visit often. In later years, they would tell Maxine that they still used Rose’s recipes or remembered things she had made for them when they were young.
During World War II Maxine said, “the town practically shut down, everyone was gone, and her barber Harold Boedeker, was off cutting General MacArthur’s hair instead of hers.”
Maxine left Dubois in 1952 and attended the University of Wyoming, where she met the very handsome, Ed Litecky, centerfielder for the Wyoming Cowboys. They were married in 1955 at the Catholic Church in Laramie by Father Fahey. Maxine wore a classic tea length, winter white dress and a pillbox hat.
Ed was commissioned as a second lieutenant and reported to Fort Belvoir in Virginia in February 1956. Maxine worked as a secretary until they returned to Laramie. They moved to Cheyenne in 1956 so Ed could take a job at the Wyoming Highway Department. In Cheyenne, they lived in an apartment on east 19th street, where their winter entertainment included watching cars, that couldn’t make it up the hill, slide back down. In 1957 they bought their house on Cribbon for $8,000.
Greg was born in 1959 and Sharon joined the family in 1961. While raising children, Maxine was a homemaker, she baked and sewed, and the family played golf together. Ed was a huge golfer, and Maxine learned that if she wanted to be with Ed, she had to learn to golf. The family took trips together, often for Ed’s business, but they also made memorable visits to Disneyland, South Dakota, Washington, New Mexico, Chicago to see Ed’s family and of course, they went to Maxine’s hometown of Dubois Wyoming. She and Sharon took trips to Mexico, Egypt, and once went Christmas shopping in Hong Kong.
Max will be remembered as a kindhearted, funny, well-read, an outstanding cook and seamstress, and for her sportsmanship on and off the golf course.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother, Jim (Jean), Virgil Rutledge, loving husband Ed, and son, Greg. She is survived by her daughter, Sharon (Mark) Daly, and nephews, Jamie, Billy, and Duncan.
Her family would like to thank the staff at Life Care Center of Cheyenne for working so hard to get Maxine home, and Davis Hospice Center for the wonderful care she had at home.
A funeral service will be held Thursday, December 15, 2022, 1:30 p.m. at Lakeview Chapel followed by interment in Lakeview Cemetery and a reception at Schrader Reception Center. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Cheyenne Animal Shelter or Davis Hospice Center. To leave condolences and watch the Livestream of the service go to www.schradercares.com.