Maxine Elaine Williamson June 23, 1931 – January 21, 2017

Filed under: Obituaries |

Maxine Elaine (Dunn) Williamson, age 85, died Jan. 21, 2017 at 12:58 AM at her home. She was born June 23, 1931 in Houston, Texas to William Tracy Dunn and Ann Grossman.

She attended high school at Jefferson Davis and was Valedictorian of her class. In high school she worked part time at Brown Express and Central Freight Line. She attended Baylor University, Waco, as a pre-med student. After freshman chemistry courses she said, “It would be easier to marry a doctor than be one.” For three years she worked as secretary to the Chairman of the Biology Dept. Dr. Cornelia M. Smith, while completing her course for a BA degree in Biology and Elementary Education. She was elected to the honorary Biology Society, Beta Beta Beta. She met her future husband in the Biology Department when he was a student assistant in Bacteriology.

After surviving the F-5 Waco Tornado, May 11, 1953, that destroyed a lot of downtown Waco and killed 114, she graduated about May 25, 1953 and married Walter E. Williamson, Jr. of St. Louis, MO on June 27, 1953, after he had completed his first year at Baylor Medical School.
Maxine supported him while he finished medical school by teaching school at the elementary school she had attended – under the same Principal! During his last year in Medical School she worked in the Debakey, Cooley, Creech Surgery Dept. at the Medical School as Dr. Oscar Creech’s secretary. Their first child, Mark W. was born on Jan 28, 1956. After graduating in May 1956 Walter joined the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corp. and was sent to the PHS Hospital in New Orleans, LA as an intern while she taught elementary school in one of the neighboring parishes.

When his internship was completed, they were transferred to Detroit PHS Hospital on the surgery staff. Their second child, Leslie E. was born in Gross Pointe, MI on Jan. 1, 1958. In June 1958 they were transferred back to New Orleans for his surgery residency. During his third year as resident he was at Tulane Medical School doing basic research in Heart Transplantation under Dr. Oscar Creech, who had become the head of the Surgery Dept. at Tulane. Their third child, Jon W. was born in New Orleans on May 5, 1960.

After completing his residency, they were transferred to the USPHS Hospital in San Francisco, CA as the Assistant Chief of Surgery. During their five year stay in San Francisco (they lived in Terra Linda San Raphael, CA – across the Golden Gate Bridge) he was promoted to Deputy Chief of Surgery. Maxine worked with Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls with Leslie while her husband worked with the Y-Indian Guides and Boy Scouts with their 2 sons.

At the end of five years, Lt. Col Williamson and his family were transferred to Detroit PHS Hospital as Chief of Surgery. Maxine agreed with the PTA to make hot chocolate for the school Patrol Boys each morning when the temp was freezing or below, — there were 20 straight days that winter.

After 1 year 2 months when he was promised promotion to full Bird Col didn’t come through, he resigned his commission and the family moved to Bridgeport, WV where Dr. Ray Harron, a close friend from New Orleans was a radiologist. The family drove down from Detroit one weekend, liked the area, bought a home, rented an office and enrolled the children in school. The Hospital Division of the PHS closed several years after. When he opened his office for General Chest and Vascular Surgery, Maxine agreed to run the office temporarily for a few months or so until he could get acquainted and hire some girls. 40 years later when they closed the office and retired in 2005, she reminded him he “Forgot to fire her and hire some girls.” They were active in the Simpson Creek Baptist Church for many years in Bridgeport, WV until they moved to Arlington, TX in 2005 to live with their boys.

Maxine is survived by her husband of 63 years, Walter, (retired surgeon); 3 children, Mark W. (retired), Leslie Warren (a teacher in Duncanville, TX) and Jon W., DDS of Cedar Hill, TX; her brother, Jon William Dunn and wife, Ann of Rye, TX; sister, Marilyn D. Dennis, RN of Santa FE, TX.

At her request she will be cremated and her ashes, “scattered among the bluebonnets.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate