Max R. Atwell, Sr. A 31-year resident of Tucson, passed away on June 7, 2014, after a long and courageous battle with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Max was born on June 4, 1940, in Shields, Kansas, the son of Zelma B. Shover Atwell and James William Atwell. He grew up in Laramie, Wyoming, where he graduated from Laramie High School. He enlisted in the U. S. Army and served during the Berlin and Cuban Missile crises. Amongst Max's career highlights are having worked for the Union Pacific Railroad, and as Safety Director for Brinkerhoff Signal Oil Well Drilling. He was honored to have served as the Personnel Director for the Tohono O'Odham Nation, under the administrations of two different Tribal Chairmen. For the last 25 years, Max owned and managed the Tumax Company, a company he created to manufacture gardening accessories. Most recently he completed a historical novel about Wyoming in the late 1800's; Ambush on Elk Mountain. Max is preceded in death by his parents; his brother, John William Atwell (Greta) and his sister, Lodema Traficanti (Joe). He is survived by Sharon, his spouse of 54 years; son and best buddy Max R. Atwell, Jr., (Nanette); beloved grandsons, Zachary and Benjamin Atwell; brother, Samuel Thomas Atwell (Linda Dugan); sister, Lavena Marie Wyatt; brother-in-law, John C. Barbee (Judith); many nieces and nephews; and his two dogs, Dusty and Danny. Max was never happier than when he was cooking for people he loved. He liked rock and roll music, and enjoyed teaching both of his grandsons to play the guitar. He was also his grandsons' number one fan at their sporting events and other activities. He was proud to have built the home he and his wife lived in. Max will be remembered as a man who was passionate about his country, his friends, and most of all - his family. His family would like to especially thank the staff of UMC's Cancer Center for their exceptional care. A Memorial Service, with military honors, will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at EAST LAWN PALMS MORTUARY in Tucson. In lieu of flowers, Max would be honored by contributions to UMC Cancer Center, the MDS Foundation, or an animal shelter of your choice. Arrangements under the direction of EAST LAWN PALMS MORTUARY, Tucson, AZ.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on June 22, 2014