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RV legend, Life on Wheels founder, Gaylord Maxwell dies
By Chuck Woodbury
(Sept. 20, 2008) -- RVing author, columnist, lecturer and industry leader Gaylord Maxwell died today at 2 p.m. Maxwell was the beloved founder, director and guiding light of the Life On Wheels conferences, held annually at colleges in Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Maxwell and his wife Margie had recently moved out of their spacious home near Moscow, Idaho, where for years they had hosted popular parties for Life on Wheels instructors.
The former history teacher turned RV dealer started writing articles for TL Enterprises (Trailer Life, MotorHome, RV Business, Woodalls Campground Management) in 1972. His column in MotorHome magazine has been a feature for more than 25 years. The author of two books -- Fulltiming: An Introduction to Fulltime RVing and Home, Sweet Motorhome -- he and Margie had spent their winters in Yuma, Arizona. Among Gaylord's many honors in the RV industry was his induction into the RV Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame in 1997.
His death was sudden. A week ago he was at the Hershey (Pennsylvania) RV Show visiting with old friends and soliciting sponsorships for Life On Wheels, the pride and joy of his professional life. Before the show, he had taught classes at the Life on Wheels conference at Harrisburg. He fell ill Wednesday and went into the hospital the next morning where he died two days later of MRSA, a staph infection.
According to an email sent to his friends by his family, Maxwell's advice to his readers from his last written column was "A reality is that you can have your cake and eat it too." Maxwell, always happy, always optimistic, always a good friend, did just that.
Plans for a memorial service have not yet been determined.
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