A revered American serviceman who was the oldest Medal of Honor recipient, passed away Saturday, May 11, in Bend at the age of 98.
Bob Maxwell unhesitatingly threw himself on a grenade during an early morning attack on his battalion headquarters in Besançon, France, in September 1944. His bravery saved the lives of those around him. It was a characteristic response for Maxwell whose actions earned two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts, and a Bronze Star.
“Bob Maxwell was the embodiment of the American spirit, quick-thinking, selfless, and refusing to blink when everything was on the line. We were indeed blessed to have a man of such character and integrity to walk among us,” said Oregon House Republican Leader Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass).
“Few in history showed the courage that Bob Maxwell did as a young man. He gave of himself all his life, and central Oregon will always remember him,” said Rep. Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte).
Following World War II, Maxwell left his mark on future generations of young Oregonians as an auto shop teacher at Bend Senior High School, Central Oregon Community College, and Lane Community College.
“We lost a true American hero who earned our nation’s highest military honors. When I met Bob Maxwell at the Bend Band of Brothers breakfast he was humble about his accomplishments and cared more about others. He will be greatly missed,” said Rep. Jack Zika (R-Redmond).
He remained an active contributor to his community throughout his life.
“It was an honor to know Bob Maxwell, a true American hero and friend of mine. He was an amazing man who loved his country and always focused on serving his community. I truly enjoyed working with him to bring the prestigious Medal of Honor curriculum to our Bend-La Pine students. He never stopped advocating, serving, and inspiring our community. He was a true hero of mine. I am praying for his family today and wishing them peace in this sad time,” said Rep. Cheri Helt (R-Bend).