Obituary Maxine Wortham


Maxine Wortham

January 28, 2017


Maxine Wortham, 83-year-old Worland resident passed away peacefully with family by her side on January 28, 2017 at the Washakie Medical Center in Worland.

Born in Pampa, Texas and raised by her Grandmother Williams and her parents, Lyle and Ora Lee Gilmore, Maxine was a bright light to those around her from the very beginning. In 1949 at the age of 16 Maxine and her family moved from Texas to Wyoming. Her father Lyle helped to build the Texas Golf Sulfur plant north of Worland. Maxine started high school at Worland High, and graduated Worland High School with the class of 1951. It was during this time that she met her lifelong sweetheart Ralph Wortham.

After high school, Maxine worked for the Ben Franklin Dime Store, and then went to work as a secretary for McKibben’s Department Store. She and Ralph continued to go steady until he got his greetings from Uncle Sam and was drafted to go to Camp Roberts in 1952. With this news, they decided to wed before Ralph left for basic training.

After three months of marriage they found out that they would be blessed with a little girl. Ralph left for Camp Roberts and Maxine lived on the Camp Roberts base while Ralph completed basic training. After training, they returned to Worland where their first daughter, Deborah (Debbie), was born. The very next day Ralph had to leave for the conflict in Korea for 17 months. Maxine and her daughter Debbie lived with her parents during those months. When Ralph returned home he began work for a contractor for a short time. They had their second daughter, Tamara (Tammie) in 1957. After Tammie’s birth, Ralph and Maxine decided that they should begin Ralph Wortham Construction.

Maxine often said that she never thought that she would grow up to be an office manager, but she was a solid rock by Ralph’s side for the entire 58 years that they ran Ralph Wortham Construction. She not only ran the office, she looked after all the men at the shop, while also taking care of her home and their two daughters.

Anyone who has ever been to Maxine and Ralph’s home has seen their beautiful flowers. Maxine was a gifted flower lady, and her garden was even featured as “Garden of the Month” in 2016. As recently as this summer, neighbors might see Maxine tending to her flowers. She liked to add beauty wherever she went.

Maxine had a very giving nature. Anyone that met her benefited from her generosity. It was not uncommon to find Maxine at your door with flowers or a gift in hand. Her southern roots showed through her continuous hospitality, and love of giving to others.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her great-granddaughter Everly Allen.

She is survived by her husband Ralph Wortham; her children: Debbie Cowdrey of Worland and Tammie McDonald of Prescott, Arizona; her grandchildren: Lindsay Hallam of Kenai, Alaska, Katelyn Allen of Gilbert, Arizona, Amber Taylor of Ramona, California, and Colton Cowdrey of Worland, Wyoming; and her great-grandchildren: Grace Hallam, Noah Hallam, Samantha Allen, Connor Allen, and Remi Taylor.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at the United Methodist Church in Worland. Burial will follow at Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to New Hope Humane Society in care of Bryant Funeral Home, PO Box 524, Worland, WY 82401. Online condolences may be made at