In a scene reminiscent of old-style comedy, Harneitha Elizabeth Maxey ran down the hill after her son in a runaway golf cart. But this was for real.
"Mom wasn't fast but she was fast that day," said Roger Maxey of Jackson, who was 7 when his parents house-shopped on the Mississippi Coast and the agent asked him to park a brakeless cart.
"With my mom chasing me I knew it would be all right. It gave me a lasting image of my mom that no matter what I did or where I went she would always be there for me, trying to help."
In 1980 the Maxeys bought a Long Beach house because Dr. Louis Maxey Sr. was tired of cold winters. The couple stayed in their home during Katrina because an arduous 2004 Hurricane Ivan evacuation aggravated her husband's health.
Harneitha, 75, was born in Seneca, S.C., and is remembered as "an all-around, classy, sophisticated, warm, loving --- everything." The registered nurse met her husband at the noted Provident Hospital in Chicago, left nursing to raise three boys, but when they moved to the Coast she worked in her husband's plastic surgery practice.
A 1993 retirement became a joke. Recalled Roger, "Every time I came home, she was heading out --- the symphony board, the garden club, the book club, the Democratic Women, or just to help somebody."