February 8, 1962 ~ April 11, 2016
Carla McDonald Maxwell, 54, of Arlington entered Heaven on April 11, 2016 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was an award-winning eighth-grade U.S. history teacher at Boles Junior High who truly enjoyed engaging students, making connections, and providing encouragement. Carlaʼs students were excited about history because of her unique teaching techniques. Even more, many former students have expressed how her individual attention to them has inspired and motivated them to transcend their own circumstances. Carla was a true joy to everyone she met and knew. She had the gift of quick wit and ability to engage conversation with anyone she encountered, and she did it in a way that made each one feel special. She lived full of life and her presence was life-giving to everyone around her. Those who met Carla became an instant friend. Carla was a true extrovert who loved to engage people whether she had met them before or not. Through her two year battle with cancer, Carla had a profound impact on thousands of friends and followers of her Carlaʼs Journey Facebook story due to her continued joy, courage, and deep faith in Jesus Christ. Her ability to sincerely declare “Itʼs good to be Carla!” despite her circumstances caused many to seek the source of the bright light shining through Carla. The Maxwell family greatly appreciates all those who helped and supported Carla during the past two years. Carla was born in Jasper on February 8, 1962 to Dorothy and Elmer Earl “Double E” McDonald. She resided in Pineland until graduation from West Sabine High School in 1980 where achievements included homecoming queen, band drum major, band leader, twirler, and basketball. Carla received an associateʼs degree in science from Panola College and bachelorʼs degree in economics from University of Texas - Arlington. Upon moving to the Arlington area to complete college, Carla was introduced to Greg by a mutual friend and they joined in marriage on April 27, 1991. Carla began her professional career as loan underwriter for construction equipment at Associates Corporation in Charlotte, N.C. After 16 months, she transferred to the corporate office in Las Colinas as mortgage loan underwriter and eventually was promoted to underwriting manager for several years. Carla made a couple career moves, one being independent contractor for Childrenʼs Trust Fund of Texas where she traveled to rural counties to promote education programs for awareness and prevention of child abuse. As daughters Olivia & Madeline began elementary school, Carla volunteered at their school and began substitute teaching. Her first long term assignment was afternoon classes for Oliviaʼs 3rd grade English teacher, Gayla Hyden, who was battling cancer. Upon completion, Carla was offered full time substitute at Boles Junior High where she accepted eighth grade U.S. history and immediately won over the students and teachers with her ability to connect with them. Carla achieved teaching certification that summer, became full time teacher the next fall and continued for 10 years until retirement due to illness. Her achievements include winning the AWARE award for junior high teaching excellence within Arlington. Her Carlaʼs Journey wristbands referencing Bible verse “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21) have been worn by many in prominent venues including Texas A&M and TCU football players and San Francisco Giants in the World Series. She will be remembered as a bright light, always full of life, with a type triple A personality who stood tough all the way through her battle against cancer, never giving up but knowing she has Jesus Christ as her savior. Carla was predeceased by her mother, Dorothy Broach McDonald. Survivors: Husband, Gregory Maxwell. of 25 years; daughters, Olivia and Madeline Maxwell; father, Elmer Earl McDonald; stepmother, Lanora McDonald; brother, Mark McDonald; sister, Sabrina McDonald; stepsisters, Sherri Foster and Jennifer Moody; and 12 nieces and nephews. Celebration of Life: 11 a.m. Saturday, April 23, at First United Methodist Church, Arlington Memorials: Carlaʼs wish is to endow a scholarship for high school students in her hometown who will attend college to become a school teacher. You may contribute to Carla Maxwell Memorial Fund c/o Affiliated Bank, PO Box 152137, Arlington, TX 76015 or through Gofundme.com, Carla Maxwell Scholarship Fund ( https:// www.gofundme.com/carlamaxwell ).