Donald James Maxwell


Donald James Maxwell of Richland Center, 76, passed away Monday, November 15, 2021, after a 15-year battle with cancer.

Donald was born in Lone Rock, WI to Glen and Agnes (Lord) Maxwell on November 21, 1944.

He is survived by his wife, Lorna (Crary) Maxwell. his two daughters, Melissa (John) Fruit, April (Jason) Schildgen of Richland Center, his son Jonathan (Sally) Maxwell of Katy, TX, and four grandchildren, Christopher Schildgen, Alexis Eberhardt, Erica Fruit, and Connor Schildgen. Donald also has 3 great-grandchildren.

Donald graduated from the first class of River Valley High School and met the love of his life, Lorna, in Lone Rock and they were then married on January 4, 1969. They then took their honeymoon in exotic St. Louis. On this trip, his brand-new mother-in-law sewed all of his underwear legs closed, to welcome him to the family.

Donald spent 30 years of his life serving the greater Richland County, first as a Sheriff’s Deputy and then as a Richland Center Police Officer. He also took the time to teach multiple hunter safety courses, as well as serving in the role of big brother in the community.

In his free time, he enjoyed supporting his children and grandchildren in extracurricular activities, hunting for wild game and great deals on antiques, fishing, and showering his wife with rare buttons, fabric for quilting, and fine jewelry. For their first Christmas together as husband and wife, he decided to go above and beyond by buying Lorna a vacuum cleaner, which is why he decided to ensure that she received the aforementioned gifts that she actually wanted. Donald was always a giver and turned into a child every Christmas, just to watch the joy in his family’s eyes, as they opened their gifts that Lorna and Donald worked very hard to provide.

Donald was also an expert on relationships and especially for keeping a happy marriage. His greatest piece of advice for how to handle marriage arguments/disagreements was passed down to his son. He stated, “Son, when you are in an argument with your wife, you can either be right or happy. Choose one.”

A fun-fact about Donald is that he was the inventor of “corny dad jokes”. He had about six of them, but everyone who knew Donald surely heard each one several times. This is the main reason that all of these children and grandchildren know of only one way of catching a polar bear: First, you dig a hole in the ice and then surround the hole with peas. Then when the polar bear comes to take a pea, you kick him in the ice-hole.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 18, 2021, at 11:00 AM at the Park Street Christian Church with burial to follow in the Button Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Pratt Memorial Chapel and again on Thursday, November 18 at the Park Street Christian Church from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at 11:00 AM. The family requests everyone wears a mask to the visitation and funeral.

The family suggests memorials in Donald’s honor can be made to either the Stained-Glass Fund for Park Street Christian Church or Walk with GRACE.

The Pratt Funeral and Cremation Service is assisting the family with their arrangements.