Maxine Jessup Houghton Wallin Maxine Jessup Houghton Wallin

Maxine Jessup Houghton Wallin, born November 30th, 1926, a noted volunteer, community and philanthropic leader, died peacefully in her sleep at her Edina residence on April 2nd, 2023.

Maxine is preceded in her death by her husband of 61 years, Winston R. Wallin, and by her parents, Max Howard Houghton and Julia Moore Houghton. Maxine is survived by her 4 children, Rebecca Wallin, Brooks Wallin (Catherine), Lance Wallin and Bradford Wallin (Cynthia), and by 13 grandchildren: Pierre Wallin, Travis Dickinson, Elena Wallin, Agathe Wallin, Preston Wallin, Alexandra Wallin, Alexei Dickinson, Sylvia Wallin, Dasha Dickinson, Clarissa Wallin, Julia Wallin, Rowan Wallin and Rhys Wallin.

A native of Duluth, Maxine graduated from Central High School at the age of 16, where she was named Valedictorian of her class of over 600 students. After working in a Duluth bank, Maxine enrolled at Macalester College and then at the University of Minnesota, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a major in international relations. Reading, literature and international relations were always among Maxine's great passions. She later received a degree in library science from the U of M.

Armed with that degree, Maxine was employed as a research librarian at the University of Minnesota's Walter Library, where among other duties she cataloged books in foreign languages. Winston and Maxine were married in Minneapolis in September of 1949 and began their lives together living in a small bungalow in Minneapolis.

From 1955 to 1965 Maxine and Winston lived in Ogden, Utah where Winston had been transferred as a regional grain procurement manager for the Pillsbury Company. During that time Maxine worked as a medical research librarian at a Mormon affiliated hospital, assisting medical doctors in their diagnoses of sickness and disease. So full of energy and eager to help, Maxine joined the Junior League of Ogden in 1959 to participate in worthy community projects.

Upon the Wallin's return to Minneapolis in 1965, Maxine quickly engaged with the Junior League of Minneapolis and again volunteered her support to various causes. Over time and together with her husband, Maxine became a leading figure in the Twin Cities philanthropic community. She served numerous not-for-profit institutions in volunteer and / or Board roles including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library, Hennepin County Library Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Presbyterian Homes of Minnesota, the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, University of Minnesota Friends of the Library, University of Minnesota Women's Athletics, Kappa Delta Sorority, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Wallin Education Partners, and others.

Maxine particularly valued her time at the University of Minnesota where the Wallin name graces both the Wallin Medical Biosciences Building and the Maxine Houghton Wallin Special Collections Research Center in the Andersen Library.

In 1992 Maxine and her husband Winston founded what is now known as "Wallin Education Partners," a non-profit entity dedicated to helping promising students from Minnesota low-income families attend college through financial and advisory support. Over the years many very generous individual and corporate donor partners have joined this cause. As a result, the Program has seen dramatic growth. At present, roughly 1,500 scholars are currently enrolled and well over 5,000 have graduated from college.

The Education Partners Program offers scholarships to students from roughly 70 Minnesota high schools all across the State. These students currently attend over 70 colleges nationwide. At many scholarship award events, Maxine would conclude her remarks by telling the students she had "Great Expectations" for their futures. This Program was clearly one of her passions.

With her husband Winston, Maxine received numerous awards from several Minnesota Community Organizations. One of her personal highlights was receiving the Katherine Phelps Lifetime Achievement Award from the Junior League of Minneapolis in 2013.

A woman of many accomplishments, Maxine was a member of the Colonial Dames and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a lifelong anglophile and profoundly interested in her genealogy and always eager to strike up a conversation about one's ancestors.

She was intellectually curious and always anxious to learn, joyful in her engagement with books and ideas and the people who liked to talk about them. She had an impressive knowledge of history and seemed to know something about almost everything.

As a young girl Maxine played the piano, clarinet and tap danced with great enjoyment. Tennis was another lifelong passion, from the '50s courts in Ogden, Utah, where one had to bring one's own net, to her weekly tennis group at the Minikahda Club where she played until she couldn't. Many remember her particular love of ballroom dancing with Winston, as an elegant couple in Minneapolis they often impressed others with their style and skill. 

Others will know Maxine as a lover of winter sports, especially skating. In the sixties she enrolled all her children in figure skating at Braemar Arena, and in the ‘70s began her long career as a hockey mom, rooting for her own boys as well as her grandchildren, eight of whom have played the game.

Throughout her life, she held dearest her friends from Kappa Delta / college, charitable organizations, and the “Onlies” group comprised of only children, of which she was one.

What seemed most important for Maxine was the satisfaction of helping others and contributing back to the community. She was a lifelong learner and especially interested in the young generation. Maxine never complained about her own circumstances and physical ailments, even when she was in declining health, and was always the best of sports.

Thank you to the highly compassionate staff at Home Instead and Lifespark, especially Joko, for supporting Maxine in her final months. A celebration of life event is scheduled for June 3rd, 2023, at Lakewood Memorial Chapel, 3600 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis at 10 am. A reception will immediately follow at the Minikahda Club, 3205 Excelsior Blvd, Minneapolis. Memorial donations to Wallin Education Partners are preferred. (

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