Obituary of Maxine Carlson
Maxine Carlson, 66, died Saturday March 26, 2022. Maxine was born on the world’s most common birthday, September 16, in 1955. Surviving a tumultuous beginning and a surprising ending, she acclimated to five name changes. ‘Maxine’ became her legal name at the age of ten though she always strove to fulfill the name her birth mother bestowed which translates, “she that makes happy.” She gained her independence at sixteen, employed during her last two years of high school as a companion, cook and housekeeper to Margaret Lafferty Payne. In lieu of family, encouragement from Mrs. Payne and high school teachers helped her excel. She was elected school treasurer and earned numerous academic scholarships and awards. Celebrating federal civil rights law Title IX, she lettered in sports, at a time when few females joined the swim team. After her 1973 graduation she worked for the United States Postal Service, one of the first females to deliver mail. While taking college classes, she worked at various times as a clinical lab assistant, bookkeeper, and secretary. Earning a Bachelor of Science in accounting, she became a Certified Public Accountant when females in the profession were uncommon. Maxine’s first office lacked a computer. Her accounting career began with a pencil, eraser, adding machine and tenuous grasp of tax trivia. Displaying her usual independence, Maxine started Liberty Staffing, Inc. in 1997, serving as Corporate President until her death. The company specialized in recruiting information technology professionals and engineers. When an employer offered only a temporary position, she took pride in providing these employees the option of health insurance and after six months, a 401K. She strongly believed profits matter less than people. In 1999 The American Business Women Association, Grant Wood Chapter, named her Woman of The Year. After her semi-retirement in 2010, Maxine found joy in writing and photography with a focus on the features and accomplishments of others. She was grateful for The University Club Writer’s group members who helped polish her skills. Her work appeared in many publications. Two of her poems were projected on a town square wall in Krakow, Poland and translated into multiple languages. From 2015 until 2020 she served on the board of the Iowa Poetry Association. She also volunteered as Johnson County field reporter for Our Iowa Magazine. Rob Carlson and Maxine were married in 1974; they divorced a few years later. She married Mark L. Bulechek in 1987, relocated from Montana to a farm they purchased in southwest Iowa. In 1994 they moved to his family farm in rural Iowa City. She loved planting flowers, sewing, quilting and cooking food to share. She is survived by her husband, Mark, her daughter, Dianne (Phil) grandchildren, Ziva and Ori and a tribe of friends she cherished as family. Memorial donations may be directed to Mercy Medical Center Foundation, Hall-Perrine Cancer Center or your local food bank. Celebration of Life is scheduled for April 24th at 1pm at Gay and Ciha’s Funeral Home.