July 29, 1923- June 28, 2014
Max Arthur Wheelwright, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away Saturday, June 28, 2014 at Mercy Gilbert Hospital in Gilbert, AZ. Max was 90 years old. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at the First Christian Church in Perry, Iowa with Pastor Tom Conrey officiating and Judy Henry as the musician. Burial will be in Violet Hill Cemetery with military honors. Visitation will be held on Friday, July 18, 2014 at the Murdock Funeral Home in Perry, with family receiving friends from 5 – 7 p.m. A memorial has been established in his name and may be left or sent to the funeral home. Online condolences may be left at murdockfuneralhome.net
Max was born on July 29, 1923 in his family’s home in Woodward, Iowa. He moved to Perry and met Jean Ann (Friar) through mutual friends at Perry High School. Max left to serve his country in WWII on July 1, 1944. He fought with the 80th Infantry Division in “The Battle of the Bulge” and received many Medals of Honor throughout his time served. He returned on December 25, 1945. Upon his return, he and Jean were married at “The Little Brown Church” in Nashua, Iowa on May 12, 1946. They celebrated their 50th wedding Anniversary together on May 12, 1996 with family and many close friends.
When Max returned from WWII, he joined his father in business. They owned an auto dealership, a gasoline and oil delivery business called Wheelwright Oil Company, and several service stations in Perry and the surrounding area. Max carried on the family business in Perry for many years. Everyone around town knew Max to be kind, friendly, and always ready to lend a helping hand. He had a big heart and always carried a big smile around wherever he went.
Max had an undeniable passion and love for life. That love included his family and friends, his church, music, his business and community. He also loved football, and was an accomplished player himself in high school. He followed Perry High School sports throughout the years, attended many Iowa State Football games in Ames, and also followed the Iowa Hawkeyes. He loved playing golf in his later years. He and his son, Bob, played many nearby golf courses right up until his 85th birthday.
He was a devoted member of his First Christian Church for more than 80 years, and sang in the church choir for over 50 years. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Perry Lions Club and the Perry Elks Club. He served on numerous church and city boards throughout the years, including several years on the Perry Historic Preservation Commission. He loved being actively involved in his hometown.
Max moved to Des Moines in 2011, where he lived for two years at Calvin Community on Hickman Road. This past November, Max made an even bigger move. He moved to Phoenix, AZ to be closer to family and spend the winter in warmth and sunshine. He was very active and enjoyed long walks, many fun outings and time spent with family. He made many new friends along the way with his moves and journey in later years.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Jean Ann (Friar), parents, Bob and Birdeena Wheelwright, sister, Doris Mae and his son, Robert James. Max is survived by his daughters, Barbara Kelly of Chandler, AZ; Betsy (William) Daniel of Tucson, AZ and Anne (Doug) McVinua of Gilbert, AZ, 9 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
1420 Warford Street
Perry, IA 50220