Cover photo for Maxine Bushman's Obituary
1931 Maxine 2024

Maxine Bushman

October 5, 1931 — April 24, 2024

Maxine Cox Bushman, 92, left this mortal existence peacefully at her Snowflake, Arizona home the morning of Wednesday, April 24, 2024, from causes incident to age. Her remaining siblings, children, grandchildren, and many great and great-great grandchildren already miss her. Her parents, siblings, husband, children, grandchild and great-grandchildren rejoice with her on the other side.


Maxine was born Monday, October 5, 1931 in Nampa, Idaho to Earl D Cox, and Hattie Jane Higginson Cox. She was the third daughter, after her sisters Doris Lolene and Echo Dell. She grew up pounding on the piano, loving baths, playing house, and riding bikes at their beautiful home and garden at 823 7th Avenue South. Theirs was a home where family, cousins, and friends were always welcome to stay, play, and eat Jane's fudge, cinnamon rolls, popcorn, and the best oatmeal cookies Maxine had ever tasted-all of which she grew up to make and share herself. She was a sincere and trustworthy child; her sixth grade principal, Mr. Cook would call her out of class, "Copper!"-referring to her red hair-and send her to the bank on her bike with the school's deposit.


For her thirteenth birthday gift, her "Daddy" promised he would quit smoking, and he did. Earl died two days later, however, on October 7, 1944, after a two-year battle with throat cancer. Young Maxine was devastated. Jane was expecting their son Earl Dee, who was born February 20th the following year. It was suggested that Jane save the expense of Maxine's piano lessons, but Jane refused, knowing she was building a lifetime of service to the church and community. Indeed, the piano pounding became accomplished playing, and Maxine began to accompany Jane's Sunday school class when she was barely a teenager. She went on to accompany the Jr. High and High School orchestras and choirs, the Brigham Young High School choir while she was in college, and countless other individuals and groups throughout her life. She was a gifted, generous, and willing accompanist and performer.


About three years after Earl was born, Jane married William Elmer Johnson of Kuna, Idaho, a widower with five married children, and two younger children still living at home: Juan, Russell, Norma, Realla, Dwain, and then Burton and Janet. Jane and Elmer also had a baby boy together, Mark Elmer Johnson. Maxine always appreciated "Dad Johnson" and how he cared for their family. Maxine graduated from Nampa High School in 1949 and attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where she studied elementary education and earned a minor in music. She loved her time at "The Y." Her junior year, she lived at Warnick House with Helen and Alice Bushman, sisters of Nephi Wallace Bushman, who fell immediately in love with her because of her beautiful red hair. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 26, 1952 by then-apostle Spencer W. Kimball. They always agreed on two things: their commitment to and love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and His church-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and their devotion to and love for their children, family, and friends.


Moving from Idaho to Arizona to temporarily help Nephi's parents, Martin and Phoebe Bushman, but then feeling very strongly that this was the place to raise their family, Nephi and Maxine eventually built a beautiful red house at 34 North 3rd West in Snowflake, where they raised their family of seven children, along with several foster children whom Maxine loved as her own: Erma Begay, John Yazzie Jr., Rita Apache, Dorothy McCabe, and Kevin Holt. The early years of child rearing and building Nephi's businesses and supporting his church callings and political endeavors were challenging ones, plagued by health problems for Maxine. "One thing that has come from all our adversities is having empathy for others in their sufferings." And truly, Maxine is well known to mourn with those that mourn, and in turn, to celebrate the joys of her loved ones just as fervently (please pass the red soda pop!). Maxine also indulged Nephi's love for entertaining, often cooking for several guests with little notice. Their home was open to any and all.


They also built a home at 162 West Center for Martin and Phoebe, which later became theirs in retirement. During those years, they served in many church callings, including six full-time missions: Micronesia, Guam; Nigeria West Africa; Chesterfield, Idaho; Vietnam, Singapore, East Malaysia, and Pakistan; Nauvoo, Illinois; and Aba Nigeria West Africa, where Nephi was called as first counselor of the Aba Nigeria Temple presidency, and Maxine served as assistant to the temple matron. Following their mission service, Maxine was thrilled to have more time for her true passion-genealogy! She spent countless hours researching, uploading photos, and writing her own history, as well as those of her husband and parents. Her posterity is blessed for her dedication and great effort on their behalf.


Maxine's sweetheart Nephi passed away on September 3, 2013, after which Maxine moved to Utah to live with her daughters, Naomi, Bonnie, and Becky, in turn. Naomi (and her husband Brent) bought the property at 162 W Center about a year ago, so Maxine could return to Snowflake and pass away in her own home. They have cared for her diligently for seven of the past ten years, and their dedicated service is deeply appreciated by all the family. Maxine was lovingly cared for, exactly as she cared for her in-laws for many years, as well as so many others. During these later years, when asked how she was doing, Maxine would chuckle and reply, "I'm old and decrepit!" and she'd quote Grandpa Martin and advise, "Whatever you do, don't get old!"


Maxine is survived by her brothers, Earl Dee Cox of Millville, Utah and Mark Elmer Johnson of Star, Idaho; her children: Nephi Wallace Bushman II of Prescott Valley, Arizona; Samuel Thomas (Lonette Roark) Bushman of Cascade, Idaho; Bonnie Ann (Sam) Merrill of Salt Lake City, Utah; Rebecca "Becky" Jane (Alan) Shields of Enoch, Utah; Naomi (Brent) Willis of Snowflake, Arizona; Benjamin (Shannon Gooch) Bushman of Tucson, Arizona. Maxine and Nephi's posterity includes 40 grandchildren; 98 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great grandchildren, all of whom adore her and will strive to honor her beautiful life and talent.


She is preceded in death by her parents; her sisters Doris Lolene and Echo Dell "Echi"; her husband, Nephi Wallace Bushman; her stillborn son Jacob; her son-in-law Gregg Irwin Alvord (husband to Bonnie); her son and daughter-in-law Joseph "Joe" Cox and Kathy (Ashcraft) Bushman, her grandson Gregg Thomas Bushman (son of Joseph), her great-grandson Cole Merrill (grandson of Bonnie), her great-grandson Thomas Corey Bushman (grandson of Samuel), and her daughter-in-law, Rebecca Stringham (wife of Nephi II).


Viewings will take place Friday, May 17, 2024 at 6:00 pm and Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 9:00 am, at the Main Street Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 48 North Main Street, Snowflake, Arizona. Funeral services will follow on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 10:00 am at the same location. Those not able to attend in person may use the following zoom link to participate in the services beginning with prelude at 9:40 am: https://zoom.us/j/97992811004


Interment will immediately follow the services at the Mike Ramsay Memorial Cemetery. With gratitude, final arrangements are under the direction of Owens Livingston Mortuary of Snowflake; in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Mission Fund. The Bushman family appreciates Lynda Willis, who came to read to Maxine daily in her final months, and Joe's daughter Christie, who also often read to and visited with Maxine, which she greatly enjoyed. The family would also like to thank RN Wendi McPeak and CNA Christine Nardini of the AZ Life Hospice team for their tender loving care. Maxine loved you. She loves us all, and we love her.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Viewing

Friday, May 17, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Snowflake Main Street LD Chapel

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Public Viewing

Saturday, May 18, 2024

9:00 - 10:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Snowflake Main Street LD Chapel

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Funeral Service

Saturday, May 18, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Snowflake Main Street LD Chapel

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Graveside Service

Saturday, May 18, 2024

11:15 - 11:45 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

R.V. "Mike" Ramsay Memorial Cemetery

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