(1922 – 2009)
It was said of Maxine Ledbetter that she loved God, family, and country. She loved many other things, too. That made her special. She loved the outdoors and was happiest when she was working in her yard. She loved animals, all animals, and she went to great efforts to make sure that all the birds and squirrels in her neighborhood were well fed.
A devoted Christian, she loved her church and spent a lot of time in its service. And she loved the Extension. Her 37 years there, she said, were “golden.” She got to Alabama and eventually to Auburn, courtesy of the love of her life, a WWII soldier named George R. Ledbetter. They were married for 50 years until his death following a lengthy illness. She was a girl from America’s heartland, a 1940 graduate of Shenandoah High School in Monroe County, Iowa. She and George made their way to Alabama via Talladega, where she was a secretary at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.
She went to work for the Extension Service in Auburn in 1950 and retired in 1987 with a stack of awards and letters of commendation from the administration. Somehow, she got many of the tough jobs. That was because she was talented and efficient and energetic. A lasting image of her coworkers is one of her zipping down a corridor in Duncan Hall with a handful of papers headed to the director’s office.
“No mother ever loved her family more,” she once said, “or cried more tears or prayed more prayers.” Her greatest reward, she said, “was to have eternal life with my Lord.” Aside from her husband, two sons, Michael and Gregory Ledbetter preceded her in death. At the time of her death, survivors included a son, Alan, and a daughter, Rebecca Emerick.
For her complete dedication to the Extension Service, Epsilon Sigma Phi is honored to place the name of Maxine S. Ledbetter on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 539