Dr. Joe Maxson, first host of Oklahoma Gardening passes

Dr. Joe Maxson, first host of Oklahoma Gardening passes

Dr. Joe Maxson, first host of Oklahoma Gardening

 Joe Mac Maxson , 77 of Durant, Oklahoma, passed from this earth in Denison, Texas on Thursday, January 12, 2017. Joe was born on August 23, 1939 in Haywood, Oklahoma to Clyde Alva Maxson and Geneva Bess (Lee) Maxson. He married the love of his life Ruth Elizabeth Barrett on June 17, 1962 in Coalgate, Oklahoma. Joe and Ruth had three sons, Joe Barrett, Stephen Lee, and Brian Jeffory Maxson.

Joe grew up on a farm at Indianola, Oklahoma. He graduated from high school at Harrah, Oklahoma then attended Oklahoma State University where he received three degrees, including a doctorate in Agricultural Education. He was employed by the Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service. Joe came to Durant in 1965 where he served as the 4-H agent for Bryan County. They moved to Washington County in 1972 where he also served as the 4-H agent. Following this he returned to Oklahoma State University to pursue his doctorate, after which he entered the Horticulture Department as a Youth Specialist in 4-H. Joe developed and produced the Oklahoma Gardening television program and was the host for the show’s first two years. He returned to Durant in 1985 as the County Ag Agent, then served as Southeast District Horticulturalist until his retirement.

Joe loved horticulture and always had a backyard greenhouse. Thirty years ago Joe decided he wanted to take up woodcarving in order to carve ducks. Since then, he has become known for his hand-carved ducks and Santas.

Joe loved the people of southeastern Oklahoma. He loved Lake Texoma and spent many of his hours fishing with friends and family members.

Joe was a faithful member of the Northwest Church of Christ in Durant, where he served over time as both a deacon and an elder. Joe also served as a deacon for the Stillwater Church of Christ. Joe always worked with the church youth group as well as taking part in benevolence work.

Joe is survived by his loving wife, Ruth; two sons - Stephen of Durant and Brian and wife Janeva of Woodbridge, Virginia; and three grandchildren - Tacie of Atoka, Oklahoma, Brantley and wife Amanda of Ardmore, Oklahoma and Brayden of Woodbridge, Virginia, and one great-granddaughter - Addison Paige of Ardmore, Oklahoma.

He is also survived by step-mother Juanita Maxson of McAlester, Oklahoma; sister Georgia (Maxson) Bohannon-Cagle and brother-in-law John Cagle of Sulphur, Oklahoma; sister Norma (Maxson) Littleton and brother-in-law Gary Littleton of Washita Point, Oklahoma; Sister-in-law Arden Barrett of Oklahoma City; Nephew Kendall Bohannon of Denver, Colorado; Niece Janna (Bohannon) Taylor and husband David Taylor of Arlington, Texas; Nephew Andrew “Andy” Littleton and wife Stephanie Littleton of Edmond, Oklahoma; Nephew Eric Littleton and wife Marcie Littleton of Flower Mound, Texas; Niece Sabrina Dunlop and husband of Oklahoma City; Niece Tara Petroll and husband Matt of Dallas, Texas; Nephew Brac Barrett and wife Joncee of Oklahoma City; Nephew Brett Bailey and wife Kari of Oklahoma City; Nephew Brent Bailey and wife Heather of Round Rock, Texas; Nephew Barrett Bailey of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Great-nephews Drew Littleton and wife Chelsie Littleton, Zachary Taylor and wife Nicolette Taylor, Nathan S. Taylor, Solomon Littleton, Isaac Littleton, Trevor Taylor, Jared Petroll, Jackson Petroll, Jett Petroll, Brock Bailey, Chance Bailey and Jude Bailey; Great-nieces Desirae (Littleton) Garrett and husband Logan Garrett, Mekala Littleton, Grace Littleton, Audrey Taylor, Mia Barrett, Olivia Barrett, Emma Barrett, Kayla Bailey, Emma Bailey; and great-great-nephew Roman Garrett.

Joe was preceded in death by his son Joe Barrett Maxson; his parents Clyde and Geneva Maxson; Brothers-in-law Lynn Bohannon, Paul Barrett and Bill Bailey; and sister-in-law Betty Bailey.

Family Hours will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, January 16. Services will be Tuesday, January 17 at 10:00 a.m. at Northwest Church of Christ in Durant. Interment will be at Pleasant View Cemetery in Armstrong.

Online Condolences can be made to the family at

Arrangements are under the direction of Brown’s Funeral Service, Durant.



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