Remembering Edward L. Maxwellby Representative Steny H. Hoyer
Posted on 2013-02-12
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I was saddened to learn this week of the
passing of Edward L. Maxwell, an old friend who was a community
leader in Prince George's County, Maryland. He was 80 years old when he
lost his battle to cancer on January 29.
Born in 1932 in Phenix City, Alabama, a stone's throw from Fort Benning, Edward dreamed even as a boy of serving his country in the U.S. Army. At age 13, he rode a freight train to Washington, DC, with his older brother Stephen to chase the dream of a better life, and he attended Spingarn High School. In 1950, at age 18, Edward volunteered for the U.S. Army and was sent to Korea, where he was wounded in both legs and expected to be paralyzed permanently.
With grit and hard work, Edward spent time in rehab at Walter Reed Army hospital and was able to walk again. Following his military service, he studied at the Veterans Vocational Institute, the Cortez Peters Business School, the LaSalle School of Accounting, and the George Washington University. With a penchant for math and a love of learning, Edward embarked on a career in business that would eventually lead him to become a successful small business owner and founder of the Best Value and Allen's Discount retail stores. He started it all by selling encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, and insurance policies--and working at fast-food restaurants--until he could afford to start his own businesses.
Later, Edward started other successful businesses, including a casino that contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to help individuals in the community afford college and pursue opportunities for their families. He launched a non-profit to help disabled veterans like himself access their earned benefits and find jobs, and he donated so much food to the needy over the holidays that, over the years, he became known locally as the ``Turkey Man.'' I first came to know Edward in the 1970s, when I was working as a lawyer in Prince George's County. He was a cherished member of the community who was not only a man of business but a man of deep faith in God and faith in his fellow men and women. Edward was also a loving husband, father, grandfather, and uncle.
Edward married his wife Freida in 1962, and after 50 years together, she survives him. So does their daughter Gene and four sons: Kermit, Zach, Edward Jr., and Mike. He was also blessed with six grandchildren.
I join in mourning Edward's passing and in offering my condolences to Freida and their entire family. He will be missed by the entire Prince George's County community, and his generosity, big heart, and warm spirit will be long remembered.