SPENCERVILLE "You're only one heartbeat from eternity"
Max Stanley Wood passed peacefully to his heavenly home after a short illness on Sunday, May 9, 2021 surrounded by his children. Max was one of the finest and most godly men found on the face of the earth and lived a full and productive life as a true Christian and patriot.
Max was born on a sweltering day on June 28, 1933 in Spencerville, Ohio. He was a child of the lean 1930's but never was in want of food, family, friends and fun. Growing up in a small town does have its advantages and Max was known to be a friend to all. There were the typical childhood hi-jinks involved growing up, an outhouse or five tipped and life-long friendships made. Max grew up loving the out of doors and his connection to the natural world lasted throughout his entire life. He spent many hours hunting, trapping, camping, and especially fishing. If you could add the hours he spent fishing to the end of his life, Max would have probably been around until the year 2054. Fishing was his passion, not just a day spent away from work. He could tell a great fish story and remember details about the fish he caught (or almost caught) from any lake, any date. In fact, he caught 201 crappies throughout this past season in his Florida winter home.
Max graduated from Spencerville High School as a star athlete, (holding the record for the 440 for more than 25 years) and transitioned into the "adult world" by working at the Lima Locomotive Works and Westinghouse until he was drafted during the Korean Conflict. He spent two years in the Army learning a good uniform made him comfortable. After his Army discharge as Corporal, he applied to the Ohio State Highway Patrol and was accepted in the 45th graduating class. Unit #788 spent the first few years at the Swanton and Van Wert Posts. His exemplary service earned him many commendations and awards. He was promoted to sergeant and assigned to the Lima Post where he eventually retired as assistant Post Commander after a 30 year career. He was always eager to lend a hand to a stranded motorist and equally eager to flip on those red and blue lights to point out your poor judgment with a pretty pink ticket. "Sarge" was known as a rule follower and a straight-shooter, literally taking top place in many shooting competitions. He was very proud of his time served as an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper. During his time at the training academy he began to court a pretty young nursing student, Martha Coffman, from his high school class. He eventually proved his love for her and they married on April 7, 1957. They raised three children and enjoyed many adventures, vacations and family time all over the United States and the world.
After a career in a snappy Stetson, Max and Martha began a new chapter in life, moving to eastern Ohio and settling into retirement. But that didn't last long as a new uniform beckoned to Max as a seasonal lake ranger at Leesville Lake, part of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. This job married the best of both worlds for Max, piloting a boat and enforcing the law. He eventually retired again, this time choosing to spend winters fishing in Florida and moving back to the Spencerville area for the warmer months. With every move, finding a home church was always a priority and a way to fellowship, bring others to Christ and give back to the community.
Max lost Martha, the love of his life in August of 2015 but continued to live independently until his recent illness, taking great pride in keeping a clean home and providing "fish frys"for his neighbors.
Surviving Max are his three children. Christine (Scott) Fetzer, Mary J. Wood, and Mark (Eunkyong) Wood. Grandchildren, Dennis (Linda) Fetzer, Cory (Janet) Fetzer, Mindy Fetzer, Jessica Danielle Clark, and Haiden Wood. Siblings Redmond (Millie) Wood and Shirley Blockberger. Brother –in-law Homer Coffman, sister -in-laws, Mary Jane Putman and Marjorie Coffman. Special friends, Sandie Wood and Delores Staples. And numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Preceding Max in death were his parents, Harry Lewis Wood and Ilo Bretta (Gillespie) Wood, his bride of 58 years, Martha (Coffman) Wood, an infant son, siblings Bernard, Martha Neiford and Patricia Daley and infant triplets.
Max was deeply involved in the Spencerville community with the First Baptist Church, Invincible Fire Department, the Historical Society and the American Legion. Max was a bigger than life figure and won't easily be forgotten. Come join us to celebrate his illustrious life at the Thomas E. Bayliff Funeral Home, Spencerville, Ohio on Thursday, May 13, 2-4pm or 6-8pm, Masonic Rites to follow at 8pm. Funeral will be held at Spencerville Baptist Church on Friday, May 14 at 11am, with friends and family visitation held one hour prior at 10am. Military rites will be held at the Spencerville Cemetery following the service. Facebook Live broadcast starting at 11am available through Spencerville First Baptist Church Facebook page.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church Spencerville, Ohio or to the Spencerville Invincible Fire Department.
Condolences may be sent to T.E. Bayliff Funeral Home