Maxine Rusche, former researcher in biological sciences

Maxine Lasoff Rusche, a longtime biology researcher at NAU, died at her Chapel Hill, N.C., home Oct 18. She was 67.

Dr. Rusche was born in Chicago on Feb. 7, 1942, and moved to Flagstaff in 1971 with her husband, Dennis Rusche, and their two daughters, Laura and Sara. She received a master’s degree and then earned her Ph.D. in 1990 from Northern Arizona University.

In 1977, she began working as an NAU research specialist in biological sciences, and she also taught various biology courses at NAU until 2008.

“Maxine was unselfish with her knowledge, whether it was in the lab, classroom or just in the hall,” said Peggy Pollak, a senior lecturer in biological sciences. “She was a very positive role model, an academic professional balancing a dynamic family life.”

Dr. Rusche served as a docent at the Museum of Northern Arizona, a volunteer at the Flagstaff Arboretum, a Girl Scout leader and a member of the board of the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts.

She is survived by her husband, Dennis Rusche, daughters Laura and Sara, her sisters Natalie Lasoff and Ann Lasoff, her grandsons Adam Klaits and Nathan Klaits, and son-in-law Frederick Klaits.

A memorial service was held last week in Chapel Hill, N.C. Condolences can be conveyed to Dennis at (919) 968-7869.