Maxine Carol Gerdom Manard

Written by Theresa Rose on September 11, 2020

Maxine Carol Gerdom Manard, 90, of New London, passed away on Thursday, September 10, 2020, at Bickford Assisted Living and Memory Care in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Maxine was born on Christmas Eve 1929 in Burlington, Iowa, the daughter of Emil “Pete” and Ella Berg Gerdom. She was raised on Highland Avenue in Burlington, where she attended Sunnyside Elementary School, Oak Street Junior High and Burlington High School, graduating in 1947. She then attended Burlington Junior College, earning her Teaching Certification. From 1949-1953 she taught at Jefferson Elementary School in Fort Madison, Iowa.

On February 28, 1953, Maxine married James “Jim” Manard at The First Church of Christ in Burlington. Married for 61 years, until Jim’s passing, they shared a life together that took them to Fort Madison, IA; Boston, MA; Iowa City, IA; Burlington, IA; Grand Island, NE; and New London, IA.  They resided in New London for 40 years. Maxine later moved to West Des Moines to be closer to her children.

Maxine and Jim had four children; Bradley, Timothy, Claire and Jana.  Maxine left her teaching career to focus on raising their children in a loving home and to support their education and extracurricular activities. Later, Maxine returned to the workforce as a Study Hall Supervisor at Grand Island Senior High School, where she was affectionately called “The Warden”. After moving to New London, Maxine was employed at Shore’s Pharmacy for 17 years, retiring in 1992.

Maxine lived a unique life as the wife of a locally prominent musician.  Wherever they lived, Jim had a “day job”, but at night he lived his passion as a talented and popular jazz pianist and band leader. To some it would appear that Maxine lived in the shadow of Jim’s popularity, sitting in the audience while he entertained. But in truth, Maxine supported his musical career, and it became her passion as well. Because of that, Maxine was equally popular and loved by the countless fans that followed Jim’s music. Their life together was truly a magical, musical love story.

In the community, Maxine was a member of the Burlington Civic Music Association, the New London Red Hatters’ Club and the New London Medius Club. A devoted follower of Jesus Christ, Maxine was a member of the New London United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School, served as Church Historian, and was an active member of the United Methodist Women.

Maxine is survived by her and Jim’s four children, Brad (Carolyn) Manard, Estes Park, CO; Tim Manard, Champaign, IL; Claire (Rick) Seely, St. Charles, IA; and Jana (Steve) Dingeman, West Des Moines, IA; seven grandchildren, Janina (Clayton) Dingeman Craiger, Allison Manard Ronk, Erin (Tyler Ellerman) Seely, Adam Dingeman, Alex Manard, Anne Seely and Michael Manard; two great-grandchildren, Leah and TJ Ronk; and two step-grandchildren, Jonathan and Benjamin Clark.

She was preceded in death by her husband Jim in 2014, her parents, sister Eleanor Gerdom Middagh, and daughter-in-law Mary Posus Manard.

Visitation with the family present is Monday, September 14, at 1:00, followed by a funeral service at 2:00, at Elliott Chapel in New London with Pastor David Mixon officiating.

Social distancing will be followed and masks are required by the family. Immediately following the service, burial will take place at Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington.  A memorial in Maxine’s honor has been established for the New London United Methodist Church. Online condolences may be left at www.elliottfuneralchapel.com.