Maxine Linnell



February 4, 1928 — June 4, 2021

Maxine R. Linnell, 93, of Hermiston, passed away on June 4, 2021, surrounded by family.

Maxine was born to William and Violet Zastrow in Owatonna, Minnesota, on February 4, 1928. When she was a young child the family moved west to Walla Walla, Washington, before settling in Gilliam County, Oregon, on the John Day River at the mouth of Rock Creek. She attended elementary school at the Rock Creek School and graduated from Arlington High School.

She met Donald Linnell after he returned home from serving in the Army and they were married June 4, 1947, in The Dalles. They made their home and raised their family on a wheat and cattle ranch in Four Mile Canyon in Gilliam and Morrow counties. Maxine was a 4-H horse club leader for many years in Morrow County and, as a member of the 4-H Leaders group, helped design and build the Snack Shack at the fairgrounds.

In 1955 Maxine and Don built and began operating the Nugget Motel in Boardman. They replaced the motel in 1965 when the construction of the John Day Dam forced much of the city of Boardman to move out of the path of the rising Columbia River. The motel business took them to Pendleton in 1988 before they settled outside Hermiston in 1995.

Don and Maxine enjoyed traveling, including trips to Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. They also enjoyed spending time at their cabin near Tollgate, snowmobiling in the winter and ATVs in the summer with family and friends. Maxine and Don attended as many of their grandchildren’s activities as possible, from ball games to cattle shows.

Maxine was a proud and loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She loved being Granny and you did not have to be related by blood to be considered one of hers. Maxine loved a good conversation with anyone and was full of questions, reflecting her deep care and interest in others. She will be missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by sister Joyce Palm of Wenatchee; sons Rodney (Bonnie) of Hermiston and Brock (Marie) of Hermiston; daughter Marci (Eric) Thorsen of Yacolt, Washington; grandchildren Rodney Linnell Jr., Brenda Kittelson, Phoebe Reed, JW Lundell, Patrick Linnell and Brady Linnell; and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband Donald in 1999, her parents William and Violet, her sister Audrey, and brothers Stanley, Melvin and William.

Memorial contributions may be made to Vange John Memorial Hospice Education Program, 645 W. Orchard Ave., Hermiston, OR 97838.

All family and friends are welcome to a celebration of Maxine’s life on July 9 at noon at the home of Brock and Marie Linnell, 79984 Powerline Road, Hermiston. Lunch will be catered. A private graveside service will be held at the Hermiston Cemetery.

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements. Share memories with the family at

To plant a tree in memory of Obit: Linnell as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

Sign A Guestbook

Offer a personal message of sympathy...

By sharing a fond memory or writing a kind tribute, you will be providing a comforting keepsake to those in mourning. If you have an existing account with this site, you may log in with that below. Otherwise, you can create an account by clicking on the Log in button below, and then register to create your account.

(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.