Gwendolyn Sheri Maxson, age 61, of Mantorville, Minnesota, passed peacefully on November 13th at Mayo Clinic/Methodist Hospital after complications from re-occurring gastric cancer. Gwen spent her final moments surrounded by family and close friends, as she entered the kingdom of heaven, her forever home.
Gwen was born in Bottineau, North Dakota on September 25, 1962 to Dale Kermit and Geraldine Christine Schmall. She spent her younger years, along with her sister, Shona growing up in the same house for over 20 years on 11th Avenue in Rochester MN. Gwen was an active in high school activities, graduated from John Marshall High School in 1981 and Mankato State University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. On October 20, 1990, Gwen married Mark Maxson of Pine Island, Minnesota. Together for the past 33 years they resided in the home they built in Mantorville, Minnesota.
Gwen began working in the insurance industry in 1987. She worked as an insurance representative for Hirman Insurors from 1989-2002. In 2003 Gwen took her eye for detail and customer care to insurance Brokers of Minnesota located in Byron and worked until the time of her passing.
Gwen truly embraced and enjoyed life. She loved to travel with her husband and friends to various places, but especially enjoyed the beauty of Scotland and Ireland. Gwen’s favorite place and thing to do was to spend time with family and close friends at the family condominium on the island of Maui, Hawaii. This was her place of refuge, her heaven on earth, which she was able to enjoy, along with her sister, just two weeks prior to her passing. Gwen loved living in her country home, feeding the many hummingbirds, cardinals, and deer she would see outside her kitchen window. She loved her two cats, Odie and Angel, who were her constant companions. Gwen was a gardener, walker, hiker, golfer, artist, and an avid researcher of health and wellness topics relating to overcoming cancer, as well as a disciplinarian regarding lifestyle choices.
Gwen had a love and passion for serving, as she was involved in various community groups, American Cancer Society/Relay for Life, and an award recipient with the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). Most importantly, she loved being a part of her church family at Community Celebration Church in Kasson. Gwen served as a Stephan’s Ministry Leader, participated in mission trips, volunteered, and participated in various ministries and spiritual life groups. Faith in Jesus was the most important part of Gwen’s life. She walked daily with her Lord and Savior, relying on his strength and trusting him as she journeyed through life and as she battled cancer, five different times throughout her life, beginning at the early age of 12 up until her passing at age 61. Gwen was a warrior who walked by faith and claimed victory! Hope was at the forefront of every cancer diagnosis, and she truly walked trusting God in every uncertain circumstance. God honored Gwen with many miracles of healing. She did everything she knew to live her best life, all while encouraging others even on her most challenging days. She was kindhearted, sweet spirited, selfless, determined, resilient, and hardworking, committed, and was also a little feisty from time to time. She thought of others above herself and always listened more than she spoke.
Gwen joined her father, Dale K. Schmall in heaven, and all other beloved family members who have passed on. She awaits her husband Mark Maxson, mother Geri Schmall, sister Shona Schmall and all other loved family and friends.
Gwen is finally at home and at rest. Our hearts are broken, as we grieve the loss of Gwen, she will be forever missed. Thank you so much to everyone who have expressed condolences and have shown us so much love during this most difficult time. Gwen would want every person to know this; always hope, trust in God, and rely on his strength, no matter what life brings. Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 41:10 were the verses that Gwen chose to live by.
A visitation will be held on Friday, December 8, 2023 from 9 - 11AM at Community Celebration Church, 27337 County Hwy 34, Kasson, MN 55944. A celebration of life service will start at 11 AM. A lunch will follow the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, Gwen’s family welcomes memorial gifts to Cancer Research at Mayo, American Cancer Society or Camp Companion. Memorial gifts can be made by check, or online.
Mail: Checks can be made directly to Mayo Clinic and sent to: Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905 in the memo line of the check indicate in memory of Gwendolyn Maxson – Cancer Research.
Gifts can be made online by visiting https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/donatemc
-Under designate my gift select other ‘cancer research.’
-Click “make this donation a tribute”
-First name: Gwendolyn, Last name: Maxson
American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org
Camp Companion: https://www.givemn.org/organization/Camp-Companion.