- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 21, 2004

Webster P. Maxson, 87, retired government executive

Webster P. Maxson, a former government executive under President Kennedy, died March 10 at his Bethesda home of cancer after an extended illness. He was 87.

Mr. Maxson was born in Rockford, Ill., and grew up in Massachusetts. His childhood was consumed by developing his talent as a trumpet player and bandleader. By the time he entered Amherst College in 1935, he was well-established in the big-band business. “Web Maxson and his Orchestra” became a familiar attraction at resorts throughout New England and in New York.

After graduating from Amherst in 1939, he continued with the orchestra for one year while living in Amherst. He then joined the Army Air Corps during World War II, serving in a variety of positions until his discharge in 1946 with the rank of major.

He worked at several jobs before moving to Ohio and enrolling at the University of Cincinnati Law School in 1947, where he received his law degree.

In 1950, he accepted a position as hearing examiner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the District and moved his family to Bethesda.

Throughout the next 25 years, he held a variety of government positions, including a lawyer in the Office of Legal Counsel for the Department of Justice, director of the Office of Administrative Procedure and staff director for the President’s Panel on Ethics in Government.

In 1961, President Kennedy appointed him executive director of the Administrative Conference, a post he held for two years. He returned to the Department of Justice to re-establish the Office of Administrative Procedure.

In 1965, he received the Justice Department’s Meritorious Service Award for his work as director of the Office of Administrative Procedure. He retired from government service in 1975.

He was an original member of the Lakewood Country Club in Rockville. He became an avid and accomplished golfer, winning the Lakewood Senior Club championship in 1985 and 1989.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Louise; a son, John, of Riverwoods, Ill.; two daughters, Mary of Aurora, Ill., and Anne of Alum Ridge, Va.; and six grandchildren.

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