Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Maxine Hoffland Tucker's memorial

Maxine Hoffland Tucker
Feb. 26, 1938-April 19, 2024
Palo Alto, California

Maxine Hoffland Tucker died peacefully at home on April 19, 2024, after a long illness. She was born February 26th, 1938 in Covina California to Corwin Hoffland and Margaret Goheen Hoffland. She attended Covina Schools, graduating from Covina High School in 1956. Following her father in college and the newspaper business, she enrolled in UCLA, intending to major in journalism. However, after a year Maxine and a friend decided to transfer to UC Berkeley, uncertain about areas of study. Conversations and tests at the Cal Counseling Center suggested Social Work and she found her calling, earning her bachelor’s degree in 1960 and MSW in 1962.

In 1958 Cal won the Pacific Coast Conference football championship and played in the Rose Bowl on January 1st, 1959. As a result, Maxine had a new year’s eve party at her home in Covina. She invited friends from high school and college who were in the area for the game. Included was Kenneth Tucker, a friend of Joyce Sims, the graduate resident in Maxine’s dorm at Cal. Mutual interest sparked that evening, fueled by a subsequent note from Ken saying “I found you.” Their first date was a basketball game between Cal and Washington; mutual interest in sports, connection of friends through Joyce, a dorm complex well known to Ken from having lived there four years previously added to the personal attraction. They dated through the balance of the basketball season, Ken traveling from his engineering job in Palo Alto to Berkeley each weekend. By late Spring, Ken and Maxine started talking about how they might make marriage work while Maxine completed her studies at Cal. They were married on September 12th, 1959 in Covina. First living in Castro Valley and then San Mateo, both commuted for three years while Maxine earned her MSW.

Ken and Maxine purchased their first home in the Green Gables area of Palo Alto in 1962. Maxine worked as a School Social Worker in East San Jose for several years, taking leave to raise children when their daughter, Kristen, was born in1968, followed by their son, Derek, in 1970. Maxine was a very active parent, serving in parent leadership roles at Friends Nursery School, Green Gables Elementary, and Jordan Middle Schools. She also participated in an adult-education class titled “Self Awareness Through Literature,” where she formed life-long friendships. When Proposition 13 decimated these public-supported activities, the friends continued independently as a weekly book group for forty years. Maxine was a voracious reader (especially of mysteries by women authors), an avid card player, and a great cook. She relished small, casual, dinner groups with good, sometimes salty conversation. Maxine and Ken have lived in the Green Gables (now Duveneck Saint Francis) area of Palo Alto for more than 61 years.

In the late 1970s, Maxine returned part-time to professional work as a School Social Worker with the San Mateo County Office of Education and, later, with the Mental Health Dept. of San Mateo County. She worked primarily with Autistic children and their families. Maxine left public employment in 1993, but continued with a social work private practice that she had earlier established until her first grandchild was born in 2001. Maxine was an adoring grandmother, bestowing love, care, encouragement, and support on Annette Vergara-Tucker (2001), Caelan Tucker-Camou (2004), Ceferino Vergara-Tucker (2005), Graham Tucker-Camou (2006), and Maeve Tucker-Camou (2013).

In addition to the five grandchildren, Maxine is survived by her husband Ken, daughter Kristen Tucker and son-in-law Alfredo Vergara, son Derek Tucker and daughter-in-law Michelle Camou. Also surviving are Maxine’s two younger sisters, Barbara Card and Linda Cook, as well as Linda’s husband Mike and four nieces and nephews. A celebration of Maxine’s life will be held from 3 to 5 PM on July 14, 2024 at the Lucie Stern Community Center in Palo Alto.

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