Cover photo for Maxine Levin Essinger's Obituary
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1937 Maxine 2024

Maxine Levin Essinger

June 13, 1937 — April 26, 2024

Maxine Levin Essinger was born in Ashtabula, Ohio on June 13, 1937. She graduated high school there and went on to take classes at Pitt University where she worked as a transcriber to the Chancellor. She met Theodore Essinger at a party she and her girlfriends hosted. Six weeks later, she accepted his marriage proposal, “Will you be the mother of my children?” and together they raised Barbara, Rebecca and Marc. This past Leap year they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. 

Maxine made five cross-country moves following her husband’s employment, a decision she made easily, “wherever thou goest, I goeth.” While raising her children, she worked full time as a legal transcriber for Pishka and Kessler Law offices in Coconut Grove, Florida. She also volunteered at Beth Am Miami synagogue teaching Jewish cooking classes and supported the synagogue’s B’nai Mitzvah Program. She was the matriarch of her family, hosting the Jewish holiday ritual meals, cooking and baking everything from scratch in a volume that was often teased as “enough to feed an army.” She was known for her spirited, often unfiltered humor and was loyal to all who earned her trust. She welcomed individuals of all walks of life who sought community, including her children’s friends who were always welcomed as part of the family. She maintained steady correspondence with friends and family from all over the world including that of her life-long best friend from childhood, Pidge Rush. 

She was actively involved in supporting Russian Jews who immigrated to Israel in the 1970’s; sending boxes of clothing and necessities to help them acclimate to their new home. Similarly, she joined letter campaigns to secure the freedom of oppressed Jews. Whenever a need arose, she was the first to volunteer her assistance; cooking and delivering meals for congregants in need or writing letters of condolence to those mourning the death of a loved one. 

Maxine, though a very black and white thinker, was a perpetual optimist. She instilled in her children strength often reminding them to “bite the bullet.” She valued education deeply and worked three jobs to help insure each of her children could earn a college diploma. Maxine welcomed Hayden Bosworth into the family in 1994 calling him her “second son” rather than her son-in-law. She relished her role as Bubbe to her two grandchildren, Benjamin and Joshua, showering them with quality time and affection. Similarly, her grand puppies were spoiled with love and homemade matzo ball soup and challah.

Maxine was a beautiful wife, mother, and friend. Those who knew her were blessed.  

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Judea Reform Congregation Cemetery

2560 Jones Ferry Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

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