Maxine Callis White was born July 30, 1935, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Thelma and LeRoy Callis. Of the four children born in that union, Maxine was the second oldest and was preceded in death by her older sister, Elaine Hudson and two younger brothers, Sonny and Brother.
Educated in the Philadelphia School District, Maxine attended E.M. Stanton Elementary, Norris S. Barrett Jr. High and Edward Bok Vocational High School. She was an excellent student and she captivated audiences during her high school years with her baton skills.
Maxine was a devoted and loving mother to her three children, Thelma, Estelle and Leslie who preceded her death. Though a single parent, she exposed her children to many exciting, educational and fun experiences. Throughout the years, she was often complimented by neighbors and friends for lovingly and successfully parenting.
While caring for her ailing parents, Maxine received custody of her two grandsons, Leslie and Basheer, following the death of their father. Having sought the better schools for them, she traveled faithfully to Scotland, Pa. And Robesonia, Pa., attending conferences and events concerning the boys. She was committed to them with unconditional love.
A faithful and active member of Tasker Street Missionary Baptist Church where she was baptized, Maxine held the position for several years as secretary for the Senior Bible Study Class. When unable to independently attend services at Tasker Street, she often attended services at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, transported by her daughter;
her devotion to God did not waiver.
Maxine was introduced to Earl White through her cousin, Junie Street. Convinced they were made for one another, they enjoyed dining out, socializing with friends, dancing and attending family gatherings. After many years as a couple, they married in December 2001.
Maxine’s diverse employment history included working as an elevator operator at the Broadwood and Adelphia Hotels and utilizing her power machine skills as a seamstress in Center City. After passing the state exam for the Liquor Control Board, she was employed at state stores, now Wine & Spirits, for seventeen years. Her dedication and enjoyment of the job often led to stories about the many famous restaurateurs who frequented the stores for libations needed for their business. Her enjoyment of the job led to the opportunity to attend Wine School, sponsored by the Liquor Control Board. Maxine became a connoisseur of wines and the go to person by family and friends for celebratory selections.
A woman of conviction, when Maxine set her mind to a task, she did it. Well into her forties, she achieved her GED, attending night school at South Philadelphia High School and obtained her driver’s license beyond the age of fifty and purchased her first car. As a member of the YWCA, though hesitant, she took the plunge and decided to take swim classes.
Maxine enjoyed cooking and a couple of her quick go to meals included fried sweet potatoes with pork chops and gravy or fried apples and chicken wings. Along with her home-made rolls, her sweet potato pies and carrot cakes were also indescribably delicious.
Keeping abreast of current events, Maxine was always ready to discuss the news of the day. She also enjoyed watching Steve Harvey on Family Feud, westerns and medieval movies. She particularly enjoyed the older black and white movies, including women’s fashion.
When Maxine became dependent upon family to care for her, Earl remained devoted and caring. Even in her challenges, Maxine was tenacious as ever – full of life in her own way and her life was indeed full with love and family.
Forever celebrating her are her husband Earl, daughters and spouses Thelma/James and Estelle/Jesse; grandchildren and spouses, Rhonda/Tariq, Chanti, Daimon, Andaiye/Jonathan, Leslie, Basheer/Jamila, Lloyd/Layna, and Micah/Stanford. Twenty great grandchildren, Irene Smith, a loving and dedicated confidant and numerous nieces and nephews.