Maxi Decker

Date of Birth

April 23, 1927

Date of Death

January 16, 2022

City of Death

Santa Barbara, CA

Martha Maxwell (Maxi) Dickinson Heimlich Riggs Bohannon Decker

“She never changed the Stars from their appointed courses,
But she loved good men and she rode good horses.”

An Ode to Maxi

Of a Southern belle I will tell, with charms that were swell,
Who Hailed from old Tennessee.
With style and grace and a beautiful face,
She came from a high Pedigree.

As a young lass, full of sass, she broke with her past,
And took a risk for all to see.
And moved quite far with her favorite guitar,
To the land called Californee.

It was here in this general and nearby locale,
That the locals were dazzled by the charming Southern gal.
One particular orthodontist would become her best pal,
The dashing fantastic guy known as Al.

Together they created a whirlwind of glee,
And out of their frolics sprung their beloved Whitney.
But our Southern gal was not destined to settle for convention,
For she could play the guitar, sing like a star, and pursued much broader attention.

Taking cues from the Old West and playing music with the best,
She sang tributes to days gone by.
Like a cowgirl of old she was fearless and bold,
Bringing tears to many an eye.

She found her a cowboy and they rode many a mile,
Winning the ‘62 Endurance Trail Sweepstakes.
With grit and strength, not to be topped,
Maxi showed up and won; she had what it takes.

Woody and Maxi took time to rest the “hosses” a minute,
And Shannon burst into their arms.
A beautiful angel of delight and wonder,
Sharing her daddy’s passion and her mama’s charms.

No moss grew on Maxi, when life got tough, she’d not rest.
Moving to California, Arizona and S.B. foothills out West.
Al, Woody, Bob and Burt, all took a turn at her side,
She outlived them all, with gratitude that each shared her life’s “trail ride”.

A Mother, a lover, a sister, grandmother, advocate for furry friends,
You’d see her with her pony and cart, picking up trash, running weekend errands.
She hosted many a rip-roaring party, with costumes, props and punch.
Her Montecito friends from the ‘40s til 2020s were an enthusiastic partying bunch!

The third of six siblings, Maxi went the extra mile,
To travel across the country visiting each one, so versatile.
Loving them all with open heart, she strived for affinity,
And so loved remarkable Rufus who’s near (most the year)
Down the road in close vicinity.

She created sock monkeys, Slicky the Seal, sculptures ‘n books,
Toured and sang with her Country Band.
Painted Mickey Mouse rocks, gave her best years to West,
Yet her heart remained deeply rooted in Dixieland.

Sharing her passions with Whit, Rivers, Dawson and Bob,
It is hard to describe that life at that ranch.
With ponies and BBQs, conversation and jokes,
Never boring, rather a sensory avalanche!

Maxi’s zeal never waned. She was not to be tamed.
She lived her life by her own rules.
She gave all she could, her inner strength rates knighthood,
Enthusiasm and joy she wore like sparkling jewels.

Maxi’s adventures were many, her trials aplenty,
But throughout she was charming and sweet.
A force and a flame that no one could tame,
Yet a friend to all she would greet.

An equestrian, a writer, a soft touch, a fighter,
A charismatic and potent personality.
We all sure do miss, her but now she is free,
Raise a glass, wish farewell to dauntless Maxi.


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