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302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Robert Lee Maxwell

Robert Lee Maxwell, 84 years old, surrounded by family, went home to be with God on September 25, 2021.

Robert “Bob” Maxwell was literally born larger than life weighing in at 13 pounds at birth. Bob was born in 1937 to Rebecca Graham Maxwell and William Henry Maxwell in their home on Lincoln Street in Wilmington. Bob grew up in his beloved Forty Acres neighborhood. He attended St. Ann’s Catholic School, graduating in 1950. Upon graduation, Bob was awarded a Raskob Scholarship to attend Salesianum High School from which he graduated in 1954. Bob was a lifelong supporter of both schools.

Bob met and married Betty Corrie and together they had four daughters; Betsy, Robin, Denise and Rebecca. Bob entered the workforce as a member of the AFL-CIO Painters Union.

On a painting job at the Winterthur Museum, Bob noticed and then met the love of his life, Catherine “Cathy” Ann Hull. A story is that he first saw her from the top of a steeple on the Winterthur property. He then formally met her when both entered the same elevator at Winterthur and rode together; the rest is history. Bob and Cathy married in 1966 and went on to have two children, William “Bill” and Catherine “Kate”.

Bob attended the University of Delaware, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1970. He went on to teach Economics and American Studies at Alexis I. DuPont High School. To get the job, Bob convinced the school’s administration that he could coach wrestling. He had never coached wrestling, but he went on to coach a championship team. During his teaching career, Bob went back to school at the Institute for Organization Management, part of the University of Delaware. He graduated in 1989 with a Masters in Communication.

Anyone who knew Bob knew of his love of the community. Bob loved politics and supported many in his beloved Delaware Democratic Party. Coupled with his love of an audience, Bob embarked on a decades long political career. In 1974 he was elected to the Delaware House of Representatives. In 1980 he ran for Delaware’s seat in the United States Hour of Representatives. His platform was “Maxwell for the House, the anti-inflation candidate”. He lost the election, but never one to accept defeat, in 1982 Bob ran for and was elected as the 13th district Representative for New Castle County Council.

From 1989 to 1996 Bob served as Chief Administrative Officer for New Castle County in the Dennis Greenhouse Administration. There he worked with his “dream team” made up of so many greats; among them were life-long friends Anne Farley, William Bowser and John Carney. Following his time at New Castle County, Bob started the consulting firm Maxwell and Associates in 1997 and represented many clients and causes over the next 24 years. During his long career Bob became known as the person who could get things done. If you needed something and he did not have it, he always knew who did and how to get it.

Bob was an avid golfer and shared that passion with his son and grandsons. Bob loved sports. He especially enjoyed watching March Madness basketball with his life-long buddies from Salesianum. If he wasn’t reading the daily newspaper on his porch, or holding court at Janssen’s, he could often be found in his garden.

Another passion of Bob’s was the addiction community. He was part of the New Visions program at Gander Hill prison where he worked with offenders supporting them as they re-entered the community. In 2003 Bob was elected as the President of the Delaware Association for Children of Alcoholics. Bob was a friend of the programs of Adult Children of Alcoholics and Alcoholics Anonymous for over 25 years.

His relationship with his “bride” Catherine was his greatest accomplishment. Bob and Cathy shared a great love story for 55 years. To love and be loved is the greatest happiness and their love was a joy shared by everyone who knew them.

Robert Lee Maxwell will be lovingly remembered by his wife Catherine of 55 years. His brother; Richard Maxwell (Helena) His children; Betsy Runne (Ed), Robin Roberts (David), Denise Paiva, Bill Maxwell (Ginine) and Kate Maxwell. Grandchildren; Robert Bowman (Ari), Rachel Gallagher (Matt), Tyler Sutphin, Raphael Gray, Alvin Maxwell (Dana), Jordan Maxwell, Harrison Maxwell, Clayton Maxwell, Grayson Maxwell, Landon Fox and Casey Fox. Great grandchildren; Hannah Bowman, Oliver Bowman, Jackson Gallagher, Luke Gallagher, Arielle Gray, Adrien Gray, Ashton Gray, Audrey Maxwell, Ace Maxwell, Asher Maxwell and Arlo Maxwell.

Bob was predeceased by his parents; Rebecca Graham Maxwell and William Maxwell, his wife’s parents; Blanche and Donald Hull. His late siblings; Ronald Maxwell (Margaret) and Peggy O’Neill (James). His daughter; Rebecca Maxwell and sons in law; Robert Bowman, Kenny Paiva and Christopher Leach.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Raskob Scholarship fund in memory of Robert Lee Maxwell. The hope is that more “Bobs” are awarded the opportunity of a Catholic school education. The Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities, 10 Montchanin Rd, Wilmington, DE 19807. 302-655-4440

“Say not in grief that he is no more but live in thankfulness that he was”- Hebrew Proverb

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Funeral Services

A public viewing will be held on Sunday October 3, 2021 from 6pm to 9pm at the Chandler Funeral Home, 2506 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807.
*Masks and social distancing required

A public Mass and Memorial will be held on Monday October 4, 2021 at 11am at St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, 809 S. Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19805


    Stephen R Fox writes,
    Our deepest condolences to your family. From, The Fox Family
    09/28/2021 01:59 pm
    Marilyn Conaway writes,
    My thoughts are with your family. Such a great man. Dana and Alvin always loved talking about him. I did have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Maxwell and I was very struck by his soft spoken voice. The love he had for his family. Dana is my granddaughter and Alvin is my idol! We love him so Much. Marilyn.
    09/28/2021 04:23 pm
    John Riley writes,
    I served with Max on the New Castle County Council 1983 - 85. Although of opposite political parties we quickly became close friends. No matter the issue or the debate, it never became personal and was always quickly forgotten. Max loved people and he loved this community. Just running into him in later years put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. He was a special man - God rest his soul. John Riley
    09/28/2021 05:49 pm
    Patrick McCullar writes,
    I have known Bob since 1997 and enjoyed the friendship all these years. Bob would help any one with anything just for the joy of being able to help others. A kind and gentle giant of a man. He will improve heaven. God speed, Bob. In deepest sympathy for Cathy and family The McCullar Family.
    09/28/2021 05:54 pm
    Lauren Burns-Evans writes,
    I’m sending so much love and healing energy to your family and loved ones. I am so sorry for your loss and sadness. God needed his Light. I am honored to read the beautiful story of how he used his Light and shined it so brightly here. He leaves a legacy that will never be forgotten. May peace, love and beautiful memories of him remind your soul often of who deeply he is loved.
    09/28/2021 06:25 pm
    Jonathan Kirch writes,
    Max and me saw eye to eye …… primarily because I’m six feet four inches tall. I enjoyed his advice, his friendship, his company, and his warm approach to everyone with whom he made any acquaintance or association. I was lucky to know Bob. He is dearly missed.
    09/28/2021 08:52 pm
    Edward Pankowski lit a candle and writes,
    Bob a good friend for many years as a devoted public official and then as a mentor to me in AA. He was a great man who raised a great family and helped MANY people over many years in his illustrious career. R.I.P. my friend and May Peace be with your family ❤️🙏
    09/28/2021 09:50 pm
    Edward Pankowski lit a candle and writes,
    Bob a great friend over many years ! My mentor for the last 11 years in AA. A great guy who helped many! R.I.P. my friend... May God Bless you and your family
    09/29/2021 06:21 am writes,
    Betsy and family.........I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing.. Sincerely....JoAnn Ianire Elliott. (John). ♥️
    09/29/2021 06:56 am
    John k welch writes,
    Bob was literally a great man.He helped so many people in his life and was the most generous man I met in my life.He will be missed beyond comprehension.He never turned someone who was in need.Bob`s wife was the same way.They we’re and always will be a great team.I will miss Bob as a person and his generosity
    09/29/2021 08:33 am
    Michael Kozikowski writes,
    Bob was an inspiration to us all. His commitment and support for transparency and better government was demonstrated in his years of service in local government and more importantly his dedication to the Citizens of New Castle County.
    09/29/2021 09:11 am
    Any J. Reed Parker lit a candle and writes,
    My sympathies to the family. I had the pleasure of meeting Bob thru Sussex County politics(SCAT) in the earlier 2000’s, he was a kind & dynamic man. Once again an obituary is very enlightening on a life well lived. RIP, sir Bob!
    09/29/2021 09:12 am
    George Brown lit a candle and writes,
    Bob was a true friend. He always was there for me when I needed to talk about living life one day at a time. He was committed to helping people and always remained positive about living life on life's terms. I admired his devotion to his wife. and together they were always fun to hang out with for lunch and dinner. I always told Bob that that Kathleen was my girlfriend too. I will miss Bob dearly God bless the Maxwell family
    09/29/2021 10:43 am
    George Brown lit a candle and writes,
    I will miss my dear friend, Bob, very much. Bob was the most positive person I ever met. He never complained, and if you called him he always was there to offer his words of wisdom to help me cope with living life one day at a time as a sober person. His dedication to helping people was 24/7 with Bob. I will always cherish the times Bob and Kathleen and I had together at lunches and dinners. His favorite for dinner was Hollywood Grille with his AA friends. His devotion to his wife was awesome and a true love affair. I always told Bob that Kathleen was my girlfriend too. God bless the Maxwell family. Love and light, George Brown
    09/29/2021 10:54 am
    Jon Hickey writes,
    I was very sorry to learn of Bob's passing. Bob was a great fellow and a fine Rotarian. I enjoyed the times we had lunch together, as he brought such an interesting perspective due to his deep knowledge of the political universe. He was a true gentleman and he will be greatly missed. My sympathies to his family and loved ones.
    09/29/2021 11:56 am
    Ralph Walsh writes,
    Very sorry to hear of Bob's passing. He was without a doubt a true Statesman. Bob was my Apprentice Instructor with Painters Local #100 in 1970-71-72. He then went into Politics where he introduced and sponsored many Union Labor Bills. He was a Great friend to the working men and women in Delaware
    09/29/2021 12:52 pm
    Hether Clash Macfarlane writes,
    Bobby (as he was called when I was little) was one of my favorite cousins. I will miss knowing he is happy in his life in Delaware. Hugs to Cathy.
    09/29/2021 03:57 pm
    Sam Waltz writes,
    My wife Sandi and I send our prayers to Cathy and family for "the Peace that Passeth Understanding" on the occasion of Bob's passing. He was a great man, a good friend, and someone with whom I spent great time at many intersections in our lives. Bob has just been elected to the Delaware General Assembly, taking office in Jan 1975, when the News Journal brought me to Delaware 46 1/2 years ago in April 1975 covering politics in Dover, the Governor, the General Assembly (the House, where Bob and Lonnie George and Gerry Cain and Caz Jonkiert and so many other greats labored), and more. We became friends then, and stayed in touch. Later, in the 1980s and 1990s, when he worked for Dennis Greenhouse, again our paths crossed, I recall, when I was delegated by Midway Girls Softball to work with NCCo to get usage of its Delcastle complex for a permanent dedicated field, and I worked with Dennis, Bob and Joe Freebery. I'll never forget when Bob got ready to hang out his "consulting shingle," long after I'd hung out my own post-DuPont in 1993, he sought me out for coffee and discussions, and we met together at the BrewHaHa and talked about it. Our paths continued to overlap in many venues. Finally, over the last decade or so, I often ran into Bob at the University & Whist Club, where we each enjoyed memberships. It's the classic "small world Delaware" story. Bob will be missed, and RIP in peace, Bob. Warmest, Sam
    09/29/2021 04:06 pm
    Lee Carey Anderson writes,
    Mr. Maxwell was an amazing teacher but I've learned so much more about his impact on the Delaware community by reading this beautifully written tribute to the legacy he left to us. How lucky were we -- the Class of '77 at A.I. to experience his wisdom and outlook based upon his personal experiences. And what a sense of humor!!! RIP Mr. Maxwell Lee (Carey) Anderson Bradenton, FL
    09/29/2021 09:52 pm
    Mary Welch writes,
    Dearest Cathy and Family, I can't begin to tell you how very sorry I am to learn of Bob's passing. I can still picture the two of you sitting at the Sunday night meeting and sharing your experience, strength and hope. You both always had something helpful to say, and I am going to miss that. Since I had not seen you recently, I wondered if you were both okay and offered a prayer for you. I really appreciated Bob's kindness especially after Jim passed away when he often asked me how I was doing and offered words of comfort. Bob was very kind and caring, and it was an inspiration to see you together and feel your love. Know that I will keep you, Kathy and your family, in my heart and prayers, With sympathy and love, Mary Welch
    09/30/2021 01:41 am
    Matt Jamison writes,
    Mr. Maxwell was a high school teacher of mine, and a very inspiring instructor. He was extremely thorough and always encouraged young people. I can recall numerous personal interactions in which he displayed his caring nature. He once wrote a letter of recommendation for me to attend one of the service academies. Years later, we worked together in New Castle County Government. Mr. Maxwell was the Chief Administrative Officer for New Castle County, and he was always atop all the major issues. May the Good Lord welcome him home, as his work here is finished. Rest well, and God Speed to the entire family.
    09/30/2021 08:28 am
    Andrea Kreiner writes,
    Bob was a good man and a good friend to me; generously giving his support and advice. His presence will be missed, but his memory and impact will live on.
    09/30/2021 10:41 am
    Suzie Stehle writes,
    I am so saddened as I read Bob’s obituary in The Delaware State News this morning. One doesn’t think of losing a person so alive. I met Bob when he was a board member and later President of the Delaware Association for Children of Alcoholics. It was always a pleasure to see him. He knew how to make one feel special. He will be very missed by all.
    09/30/2021 09:21 pm
    Janet Kilpatrick writes,
    Bob was a great mentor and friend. He was always available for a discussion or advice. He will be missed.
    10/01/2021 10:26 am
    Ronald S. And Susan V. Osbourn lit a candle and writes,
    A great person has left us... . Much too soon. .We will miss the many years and wonderful Times as neighbors in Lancaster Village. May he rest in peace With sincere heartfellt condolences To Kathy and family.. .
    10/01/2021 08:42 pm
    Sat Growing & Learning Group lit a candle and writes,
    So sorry for your loss, Bob will be missed greatly in our Sat morning group, condolences to the family
    10/02/2021 09:16 am
    Julie G writes,
    What can you possibly say about the legacy of Bob Maxwell? He always opened his door, he always picked up his phone and he even showed up with a truck at a moment’s notice, if asked. I told him the short comings of others and he told me to look at myself. He changed my life and passed the message to countless others. Bob never knew a stranger. …that said, I will pass. 😌
    10/02/2021 10:03 am
    Arlene Batten writes,
    Dear Cathy, I am so sorry that you and your family have to endure the painful loss of your beloved husband. May Bob's joy of life be with all of you forever. At this difficult time, I pray that you are comforted by God's peace and love. My deepest sympathy, Arlene Batten
    10/02/2021 09:28 pm
    Henry Milligan lit a candle and writes,
    Coach Maxwell was my first wrestling coach in high school, and did great things for me. I will always appreciate his guidance and his kindness!
    10/03/2021 09:27 am
    George Hull lit a candle and writes,
    Uncle Bob was a larger-than-life kind of man. He believed in family and he showed it. He was firm when he needed to be and you always knew where you stood with him. He was a tireless advocate for others in Delaware. And he will be deeply missed. My condolences to the Maxwell family.
    10/03/2021 01:54 pm
    Carolyn Maxwell Thompson writes,
    Exuberant. True citizen. Involved. Bob's obituary was an enlightening tribute for a man that I wish I had known, someone who is going to be dearly missed by his family, friends and community. My sincerest condolences to Cathy and family members. May each day bring a smile to your faces as you recall your loved one's being. (My father Charles and Bob were first cousins.)
    10/03/2021 02:43 pm
    Diane Baker & Don Reyburn writes,
    We're so sorry for your loss. Bob will be sorely missed especially at the Drayton Reteats. We will miss his intellect and his way with words
    10/03/2021 04:25 pm
    Marilyn Mengden lit a candle and writes,
    My sincere condolences to you Cathy and all your family. I have many fond memories of you both. The special memories were those several of us shared at Hollywood Grill over many years. Bob was a good friend to me and many. You remain in my prayers Cathy. Love Marilyn
    10/03/2021 09:18 pm
    Kristin DeMesse lit a candle and writes,
    Dear Cathy, My deepest sympathies on this terrible loss for you and your family. I am sending you my love and hopes for comfort and healing. Love, Kris
    10/04/2021 07:29 pm
    Paulette Sullivan Moore writes,
    I was saddened to learn of Bob's passing. He was always incredibly gracious in helping me navigate my way around NCC government and Legislative Hall. Bob was absolutely one of the good guys!
    10/06/2021 04:36 pm
    Janice Durham writes,
    I enjoyed seeing Bob in our office when he came for meetings. He was a kind man and I always enjoyed chatting with him. He always had a smile when he entered my office. He will certainly be missed but our memories of him will always be with us. Bob's family are in my thoughts and prayers. Respectfully, Janice Durham
    10/20/2021 10:58 am

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