Maxine Webber Duffy passed away peacefully, April 29. 2018 at Springbrook Nursing Home in Westbrook as a result of complications of a stroke. She was 88.
She was born December 25, 1929 in Freeport Maine, to the parents of Robert and Ellen Webber. She had one sister, Marceline Webber McKeen, who predeceased her in February, 2018. Maxine grew up with talented parents, her mother, Ellen, was a public-school English teacher in Freeport and Portland throughout her career. Her father, Robert, was a gifted violin crafter and piano tuner and became the inspiration for Maxine to play violin from a very young age. Maxine would speak fondly of being lulled to sleep at the sound of the violin, as her father would play when her and her sister went to sleep.
Having a mother as an educator, Maxine excelled in school and made her career in education. After graduating high school in 1947, she obtained both her undergraduate degree in 1952, graduating magna cum laude, and in 1960 her Master’s Degree in Music from Boston University. She later received her Ph.D. in Music Education, from The University of Michigan in 1972.
Maxine’s talent as a violinist was recognized by the Portland Symphony where she began playing at age 15 and into her years in college. Maxine moved to Connecticut in 1960 and continued to play as a performing violinist in various symphonies including, Bridgeport and New Haven spanning several decades.
Maxine taught violin throughout her college years and after graduation, taught music in both Portland and Freeport schools before moving to Connecticut. Her teaching then continued with five years in the Wallingford Elementary Schools and then accepting an Associate Professor of Music position at Southern Connecticut State College in 1966 where she taught Music History and Theory. In 1980, she was promoted to Professor where she continued that position until her retirement in 1992.
In 1970 in London, she married her husband, Yale graduate and pianist, William Duffy, who predeceased her in 2014. They were fortunate to have had 44 years together enjoying many common interests, such as music, antiques, auctions, attending social functions and entertaining friends and family. Certainly, one of the most memorable accomplishments together, was their purchasing and renovating the 1760 landmark, “The Lady Pepperrell House”, in Kittery Point, ME from 1985-1999, then moving to Portland to stay in 1999.
Maxine was the most thoughtful and gracious of ladies. To have been in her presence, was a gift, as she always spoke kindly and had a captivating personality making everyone feel special. She had a passion for her flower gardens and would spend countless hours planting and pruning. She loved all animals but had a strong affection for cats. Maxine was a tremendous cook and baker, constantly testing a new recipe. You could always count on Maxine to bring the most delicious cake for birthdays and parties.
Maxine is survived by nieces, Susan McKeen of South Portland and Deborah Brown and her husband Steve of Fryeburg.
A private family graveyard service is planned.