Longtime Fargo attorney Elizabeth "Liz" Maxwell, 89, of Sarasota, Fla., died July 16 at her lake home in Richville, Minn.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 20, at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls, Minn.
Martha Elizabeth (Liz) Fargusson Maxwell was born February 17, 1926, to Earl Elisha Fargusson from Illinois, and Martha Elizabeth Messenger, from Door County, Michigan. During WWII, Liz entered the cadet nurses corps, completing her nurses' training at the Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, MN. She was assigned as a nurse to the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in Belcourt, ND, where she met her future husband, Ralph (Buzzy) Maxwell. They were married February 14, 1948, in Rolla, ND. She received a B.S. from NDSU in 1974, and in 1977, she graduated from UND School of Law. She was a private practice attorney, 1977-80, and then an attorney with the Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Division, in Chicago, 1981-1988. She opened the Maxwell Law Offices in Fargo with her husband, Buzzy, and son, William, in 1988-1991.
She was named Fargo's Mrs. All-American City and she placed first in the local and regional Toastmistresses speaking competitions. She was involved with the League of Women Voters, the Nonpartisan League and the Democratic Party, the Law Women's Caucus at UND law school, as well actively supporting the Equal Rights Amendment movement, both in ND and later in Chicago. In addition to running for the state legislature in West Fargo, she ran for district judge in Fargo, ND, in 1980.
She and her husband of 66 years enjoyed their time spent in Nosara, Costa Rica; Alamo, Texas; and at their residence in Longboat Key, FL. She spent her last days at her summer lake home of 38 years, near Richville, MN.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Maxwell, her sisters, Lois Thomas, Evelyn Brownlow, Virginia Dutcher, and her brothers Earl Fargusson and Ralph Fargusson.
Liz is survived by her sister Harriet Oldenburg (Donald, deceased), her children, Susan Fitzgerald (John, deceased), Nancy Maxwell (Pandora Kiss), Peggy Maxwell (Larry Parish, deceased), Bill Maxwell (Debra Taylor), Jan Maxwell (Robert Lunney) and Richard Maxwell (Victoria Vazquez); her brother-in-law, Francis Maxwell (Kathleen); and her grandchildren, Robert Fitzgerald (Meredith Fry), Kea (Fitzgerald) Mwania (Erik Navarrette), Michael Fitzgerald (Alexandra Sherman), Maxwell Frederickson (Ashlee), Chanomi Maxwell-Parish (Frank Steed), Jeremy Maxwell-Parish, Andrew Maxwell-Parish (Alexandra Buzo), Ben Maxwell (Angel Ivy), Will Maxwell-Lunney, Dolores Maxwell and Shane Maxwell; her great grandson, Jalen Navarrette, in addition to many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, Liz requested donations be made to New York City Players (www.nycplayers.org), or Friends of Nosara, David Kitson Memorial Library (friendsofnosara.org).
July 20, 2015