How do you tell the story of a storyteller? If you knew my dad, the first response would be: repeat, repeat, repeat. Max was born May 16, 1935 in Tremont, TN, the first of 4 boys and 1 girl. His childhood was not easy from a physical or emotional standpoint, and maybe that’s a clue to how he chose his career later in life. From the simple education of the Blount County schools of Chilhowee View and Everett High, he went on to attend Maryville College and begin work for the State of Tennessee Welfare Department where he helped those children in Blount County that were poor and in difficult or dangerous home situations. He was a member of the TN Air National Guard 151st Fighter Interceptor Squadron. In 1962, he served in Germany as a mechanic for the F-104 Starfighter as part of the second Berlin Crisis. In the late 1960’s he went back to school at Vanderbilt University and received a Master’s degree in Social Work. He spent the next almost 30 years as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for both the McNabb Center and Overlook Mental Health Services. It is impossible for us to know how many lives he either saved from suicide or simply gave the ability to live better over the years, but we know that several of his patients would regularly send him updates even after he retired and a few even went into mental health services as well. As a devoted Christian, he served his Lord through the local church as a trustee, deacon, and teacher for more than 60 years as well as multiple mission trips to build churches or houses. Finally, he was a devoted husband to Frances for 62 years, father to Eric, grandfather to Daniel, Ellie, and Silas, brother, and uncle for whom the word family extended beyond just relatives to the many friends and others he impacted through the years. So again I will ask, how do you tell the story of a storyteller? In this case it seems repeat, repeat, repeat is actually the right answer. If we all repeat the story of his life over and over and over through our own, we and those we help will all be better off. Max passed away on September 7, 2021. Friends may come by the funeral home and sign the register book and pay their respects from 12:00 Noon until 5:00 PM on Friday. Family and friends will assemble for graveside service and interment at Grandview Pavilion on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 11AM. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com.
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