Patricia Carter Maxfield, 93, of Odessa, died the morning of October 10, 2023 surrounded by her family and dogs. Pat was born in Winter Haven, Florida on September 13, 1930. She grew up in Florida, Alabama and on the coast of Mississippi. Later in life she lived in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and for the past 45 years, in Tampa and Odessa. She is survived by her three daughters, Melissa Maxfield, Maura Maxfield Smith, and Melinda Maxfield; son-in-law Reed Smith; and granddaughter Mary-Streeter Smith. She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years Dr. William “Bill” Streeter Maxfield and her parents, Major William Carey Carter and Alice Ouida Carter.
As a child, she lived in Jacksonville and Kissimmee before moving to Dothan, AL while her father served in World War II. After the war, they moved to Gulfport, Mississippi where her father founded Gulf National Bank. Pat attended Gulfport High School where she was a member of the Debate Team and National Honor Society. Upon graduation, Pat entered Duke University where she studied English and Political Science and was a member of Tri Delta Sorority. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1952 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Political Science. After graduation she studied abroad at Oxford University before returning to Duke where she received her Master’s degree in Political Science in 1954. While pursuing a PhD in Political Science at Duke she was recruited on campus by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to be an analyst. This would lead to her becoming one of the earliest female analysts at the CIA. While awaiting her CIA security clearance, she travelled to Acapulco, Mexico with friends in July 1955. It was there that she met the love of her life Bill Maxfield. They married in Gulfport, MS two years later on November 2, 1957. Together they lived in Washington DC until 1964 when they moved to New Orleans and started their family in 1965.
Pat was a dedicated daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. She loved to travel with her husband and later with her daughters to the Caribbean, Europe, and particularly return trips to Mexico. She enjoyed cooking and entertaining, especially hosting holiday celebrations with extended family and friends. Weekend dinners included seafood boils of fresh “head on shrimp” and blue crabs always served with a green salad and her homemade dressing. She was an art enthusiast and loved visiting museums and special exhibitions around the country. She enjoyed gardening and was especially fond of her weekly fresh flower arrangements. Pat had a soft spot for animals, especially dogs. From 1964 to her death there was never a time when her house didn’t have multiple dogs. She was a voracious reader, not only reading multiple books at a time, but also reading the Tampa Bay Times and New York Times cover to cover daily.
Pat enjoyed volunteering and supported many charities in New Orleans and the Tampa area. Although she was raised in the Methodist church, she became a member of the Episcopal Church at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC in 1957 prior to her wedding.
Our family would like to thank Rosie Wright for her support and work caring for Pat, Bill, and the family over the last 45 years. We also want to thank the many doctors and dedicated care workers that helped provide top quality care for Pat over the last few years, particularly Dr. George Muthalakuzhy.
She cherished her role as wife, mother, and grandmother and will be deeply missed by her family and friends. She will remain forever in our hearts. She was buried in her family’s cemetery outside Troy, Alabama. A memorial service is being held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Tampa at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, October 25, 2023. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her honor to Metropolitan Ministries of Tampa at www.metromin.org, LifePath Hospice at www.chaptershealth.org/foundation/lifepathhospice-donation/, Tampa Bay Strays at https://tampabaystrays.org/donate/, or St. Andrew’s Foundation at https://saintandrewstampa.org/e-giving/.