A fund in loving memory of Maxine Barton-Bauman, longtime HLAA member, volunteer and dear friend
It was at an HLAA Convention in Washington, D.C. in 2011 that Nancy Lelewer Sonnabend and Maxine Barton-Bauman became fast friends. They were queued to board the boat for a post-meeting-day excursion to see the city via the Potomac River. The last in line, Nancy spotted Maxine further ahead, walked up to her, and struck up a conversation. It was at that moment that a close, decade-long friendship began.
With much in common — from both having had two husbands, to having athlete daughters who went to Harvard and even lived in the same dorm, to a shared itch for travel — their friendship took off.
“We were the sisters to one another that neither of us had ever had,” Nancy explained.
Wendy, Michael, Kelly and Brett Erickson
Cecily Tyler and Marc Verzani
Patti, Steven, Kristi and Joe Wagner
And, indeed, their friendship spanned the full gamut of life: cross-country visits with Nancy’s family and friends in Boston, and Maxine’s in Southern California; adventures to Cuba and Maine; many a New Year’s Eve celebration together; soul-support through Maxine’s decision to get a cochlear implant; nightly phone calls — and, sadly, a diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“I received a card from Maxine dated September 3, 2021,” Nancy recently shared with us. “It said, ‘Nancy, Sending love to my wonderful sister. Maxine.’ She died about the time I received her card. I will carry her in my heart for as long as I live — as will many of my family members and friends who got to know her.”
Maxine selflessly devoted her life to helping everyone she encountered tap into their strengths and to realize their potential. I am eternally grateful for the special friendship that we shared — and for all the time we spent talking, supporting one another, and adventuring together.
Sow joy. Nurture community.
Exemplifying the spirit of this year’s HLAA Annual Giving Campaign, Nancy made a generous donation and created a fund in Maxine’s name.