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Ouida was born August 5, 1922, in Houston, to William and Neillie Wickes. They moved to Weatherford and then to Mineral Wells where her father worked for the Upham Gas Company. Ouida began school in Weatherford and after moving to Mineral Wells attended school beginning with Barber Elementary and finishing with Mineral Wells High School. She met her future husband, James Earl Maxwell, while working on the high school annual, The Burro, where she was the feature editor and he was the art editor. After high school, Ouida attended Tarleton State College, but returned to Mineral Wells after her first semester to work and to be courted by her future husband who worked for the Construction Quartermaster at Fort Wolters' Army Post. Ouida and Earl were married in July, 1941, at the First Baptist Church of Mineral Wells where both were members. Earl claims that they picked July 3rd to wed so that they could recuperate on July 4th, a holiday for both of them. Then came Pearl Harbor and their life together changed dramatically. When Earl enlisted in the Army Air Corp, Ouida found herself a military wife and began a life of moving and discovery throughout the United States. She first followed Earl to Waco and then returned to Fort Worth when he was transferred overseas to serve with the Eighth Air Force out of England. Their first child, James Earl Maxwell, Jr., was born in 1945 and met his father in 1946 when he returned from the war zone. After a few years living in Fort Worth, the family re-entered the military life and were stationed in California, New Mexico, South Dakota, Puerto Rico, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Guam, and California before retirement occurred and they returned to Weatherford. Throughout her life, Ouida was actively involved with Earl helping to establish churches wherever the Lord sent them through their military experience. They helped establish a church in Rapid City, South Dakota, where their second child, Patijean, was born. They also help found the Borinquen Baptist Church on the island of Puerto Rico, named for the Borinquen Indians of that Island.
Throughout their life together, Ouida and Earl have been active members of churches in each community they lived in and have been members of the first Baptist Church of Weatherford for many years. Ouida's activities also have included participation as an auxiliary member of the Gideon's International Ministry and as an auxiliary member of the Military Officers' Association of America.
Survivors: Ouida Lois Wickes' memory will be cherished by her family which includes her husband of 70 years, James Earl Maxwell; and her children, James Earl Maxwell Jr. and wife, Susan; daughter, Patijean Cates and her husband, Richard; her grandchildren, Anne Maxwell Cates and James Tyler Cates; and other family members and special friends.