Ezra Max Williams|
Dec, 5 1916 - July 27, 2014
Max, as he was known, lived in his Los Altos home for 53 years. He died peacefully in his sleep. Max was born in Las Animas, Co to Melvin Ezra and Grace May Williams. He moved often as a child between Colorado, Missouri, and California as his father was terminally ill with tuberculosis; Max attended 24 different schools. Max earned a B.A. in Electrical Engineering at Colorado State A&M University, Fort Collins, and a Masters in Meteorology at UCLA. Max retired from the US Army as Lt Colonel after 22 years. He earned the Bronze Star for his outstanding contributions during the Korean War. He spent much of his off-duty hours in Korea at an orphanage teaching children to sing English songs. Max and his unit donated personal funds that were used to construct a new building to house the orphans. Later with the army, Max was an important member of the small team that successfully placed in orbit the Explorer, the first U.S. satellite.
After his military career, Max was employed by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. During this time, he rose to 2nd in charge of the Lockheed Test Base in Santa Cruz. Later, he was employed by Williams and Burrows Construction Company with the title of Risk Manager. He was key to their safety program, and no industrial accidents occurred during his supervision.
Max loved singing and was often found in the center of a group harmonizing with others. He was a religious man, and sang in the Moffett Field Church Choir with his wife and daughter for many years. Max had an uplifting sense of humor and was always ready to tell or listen to a joke. He made friends easily and was known for his gregarious nature and willingness to help resolve personal issues of others. Max's personality also exemplified a wonderful combination of intelligence, common sense, generosity, and concern for others.
Max was intensely devoted to his family and cherished the family gatherings that often took place at his home. He has been the center of the family, and we will miss him tremendously.
In his later years Max often said "I am not leaving my house unless it is in a pine box." Max got his wish, thanks to the loving care provided to him by Vaiongo and Asupa Makasini and their family over the last 4 years. The attentiveness, diligence, and love with the care they provided assured that Max's last years were lived in peace and comfort.
Max was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 60 years, Virginia Henderson Williams, who he considered to be the "prettiest girl I've ever seen". He was also preceded in death by his two brothers, Floyd and J.T. He is survived by his daughter Bonnie Kaye Williams Ruger of Scotts Valley, son Max E Williams of Reno, daughter Deborah Williams Foster of Rocklin, and grandchildren David Max Williams, Patrick Grant Williams, Matthew George Williams, Monica Elizabeth Williams, Michael Karl Ruger, Jeannette Lynn Normington, Daniel Joseph Foster, Jason Grant Foster, Christopher Wayne Foster, and 8 great grandchildren. Max will also be greatly missed by his close friend and wonderful companion in recent years, Doris Jacobson.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, Sept 6 at Spangler's Funeral Home, 399 So. San Antonio Road, Los Altos. We ask that contributions be made in lieu of flowers to VAPAHCS (honoring veterans at the Palo Alto Clinic) and Wounded Warriors(WoundedWarriorProject.org.)
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Aug. 24, 2014