Muriel Lane Maxwell went peacefully home to the Lord on August 5, 2019 at the Bristal Assisted Living in Sayville, NY, at age 85.
Muriel was born on January 7, 1934 to Charles Emile Vaillant, Jr. and Margaret Lane Vaillant in Nassau Hospital (now NYU Winthrop) in Mineola, NY. Joining her brother Charles Emile III, she grew up in Hempstead, NY and was a member of Our Lady of Loretto parish. Muriel was a proud graduate of Sacred Heart Academy when it was a primary school, and spent her high school years at The Mary Louis Academy in Queens.
Growing up Muriel enjoyed spending time at the East Northport summer home of her paternal grandparents and aunt and uncle. She also had very fond memories of summer vacations with her family at Hill Farm Inn in Sunderland, Vermont.
Muriel continued her Catholic education as a member of the first class of nursing students at St. Clare’s School of Nursing in Manhattan. Completing her studies in 1954, Muriel began her career as an operating room nurse at Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre, NY.
Her friendship with Sheila (Shi) Maxwell led to her courtship with Shi’s brother Everett after he returned from serving in the Korean War and began working at Grumman Aerospace. Married in 1957, Ev and Muriel started out married life in an apartment in Valley Stream. Their family grew with the birth of their sons Paul and Billy. While at a party “way out” on Long Island in Sayville, they decided to check out a new development called Indianhead. Ev and Muriel put a deposit on the lot for 14 Karen Drive where they would spend the next 58 years as their family grew. Daughter Marianne, son Michael, and daughter Claire completed the family.
Muriel was fiercely proud of her nursing skills and became a fixture at the office of Drs. Mulholland and LoVece and Hill in Sayville, and then West Sayville Pediatrics where she worked part time for almost 40 years and developed many strong friendships with her coworkers. Muriel loved being recognized by former patients and their families over the years, and her own children took pride in that as well.
Muriel and Everett ventured out with their young family for a week each August to the White Mountains of New Hampshire where great family memories were made. Once their kids were out of the house, Muriel and Everett enjoyed visits to Sanibel Island where her love of shells grew exponentially, as did her collection. Later Ev and Muriel enjoyed seeing more of the world on numerous cruises to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, and Northeast U.S. and Canada. Muriel treasured time with her nine grandchildren and one great grandchild on trips around the U.S. visiting their kids and their spouses. Beginning with Muriel and Everett’s 40thwedding anniversary celebration, Muriel looked forward to more family time and shell collecting at biennial reunions at Emerald Isle, NC.
In addition to her nursing career, Muriel will be remembered for her quiet but strong faith, attention to detail, love of craft and sewing projects, baking (especially her crumb cake and famous brownies) and her devotion to family and friends near and far. She proudly kept up with friends from high school, nurse’s training, former coworkers and neighbors, couples from her and Dad’s Gourmet Club, and many others. Muriel would often surprise her kids when she would check her pocket calendar and remind us of the birthday or anniversary of ourfriends!
Muriel was a longstanding and active member of St. Lawrence the Martyr parish and Rosary Altar Society; Catholic Nurses Association; U.S. Coast Guard Academy Parents’ Association; Bayport Homemakers Club; and her close knit “card group.” Mom will also be fondly remembered for urging loved ones to be prepared by bringing a sweater or jacket wherever we went. She just couldn’t believe we would be warm enough!
Most of all, Muriel was the embodiment of the word “caregiver.” In addition to raising five children, being a steadfast friend to her neighbor Rose Lee, and helping with each new grandchild, Muriel took care of her mother after her father died. Muriel and Everett took Grandma into their home where she lived with the family for almost ten years. Muriel also helped with care of her Aunt Clarice in Brooklyn. After Grandma died, Mom shifted her tireless efforts to her sister-in-law Shi’s needs, and then to Dad’s. She never expected much in the way of thanks, but we hope Mom knows now how blessed each of us feels from her unfailing love and care. She often fell asleep saying the Rosary, and we’re counting on Mom to continue her prayers for us now that she’s home in heaven.
Muriel was a resident of the Bristal Assisted Living in Sayville since January 2018. Mom faced a number of health challenges over the years and was diagnosed with vascular dementia, which contributed to her decline. Muriel and her family are grateful for the care and love from many members of the Bristal staff and her caregivers from Good Shepherd Hospice and Caring People Home Care. Mom and all of the Maxwell family have also been blessed by the long and faithful friendship of Rev. Peter Allen.
Muriel is predeceased by her parents and brother. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Everett, son Paul Maxwell and his wife Wanda of Rochester, NY; son Bill Maxwell and his wife Karen of Houston, TX; daughter Marianne Kersey and her husband Matt of Raleigh, NC; son Michael Maxwell and his wife Maria of Wading River, NY; and daughter Claire Gallo and her husband Billy of Sayville. Muriel is also survived by her beloved grandchildren Kelly Maxwell, Sean Maxwell (Sarah), and Chris Maxwell; Katie Maxwell; Sarah Kersey Moran (Thomas) and Elise Kersey Leventry (Charlie); Olivia and Charlie Maxwell; Maxwell Gallo; and great granddaughter Emma Maxwell, as well as her niece Patty Vaillant Fitzpatrick, nephew Peter Vaillant, her husband’s cousin Marguerite Mohr, and many dear friends.
Visitation Thursday,August 8th, 2:00-4:30 & 7:00-9:30 p.m. at Raynor & D'Andrea Funeral Home, 683 Montauk Highway, Bayport, NY. Funeral Mass on Friday, August 9that 10:00 a.m. at St. Lawrence RC Church, Sayville. Interment will follow at the parish cemetery at 401 Lakeland Ave., Sayville.
Charitable donations may be made in Muriel’s memory to the St. Lawrence Parish Outreach at 27 Handsome Ave., Sayville, NY 11782 or Good Shepherd Hospice, 110 B-County Blvd., Suite 114, Farmingdale, NY 11735 (www.goodshepherdhospice.chsli.org.)
To send flowers to Muriel's family, please visit our floral section.
St. Lawrence Parish Outreach
27 Handsome Avenue, Sayville NY 11782
Good Shepherd Hospice
110 Bi-County Blvd Suite 114, Farmingdale NY 11735