Tribute: Shoemaker left his mark in Darke County


GREENVILLE — Max Shoemaker, a pillar of the community in Darke County for many years, died Sept. 19 at the age of 92.

Not only was he a veteran, general manager of a corporation, a Sunday school teacher, a son, a husband, a father, grandfather and a great-grandfather, but he got involved in the community and served on a number of boards and committees, including Greenville Public Schools, First United Methodist Church, the YMCA building fund drive and Kiwanis Club.

And, he was a friend to many.

“Max was in Greenville Kiwanis Club with me and he lived at the Brethren Retirement Community (BRC),” said Dale Musser, an employee of BRC. “He was top of the line…always willing and ready to give the invocation at a minute’s notice at Kiwanis. He was a class act. If he liked you, he picked on you and I was lucky to be picked on. He was always smiling and was an avid golfer.”

Pastor Angela Meeks of the First United Methodist Church in Greenville had this to say about Shoemaker: “Max was delightful. He was future-oriented. Was hopeful. Cared deeply for others. Generous. He was in his 90s but was here every Sunday. The Sunday before he passed, we had a special event at church with a guest speaker. During the speech, the speaker called out to Max, and talking of his more than 60 years and 12 pastors. We joked that morning. I asked him if he would be around for the 13th [pastor], and he said, ‘I’ll be around for 20.’ He was always looking forward. He taught Sunday school for both adults and youth at a different time in his life.”

“I went to school with his son, John,” said Darke County Commissioner Mike Stegall. “He was great guy…always had a kind for everybody, even me. He always had a smile on his face. He was a very smart gentleman and great guy to be around. He liked playing golf.”

Alex Warner, local chiropractor, had echoed some of the same: “He was a great guy. I think Max was probably one of those people who led life by example that more people should be willing to follow. He had a life all of us should aspire to. He was my mentor. His real name is Virgil, but Max really fit who he was. You could turn to him and he would be there for you.”

Here are some condolences that was sent through the funeral home:

“Max’s laugh was one for the ages, especially when he responded to my dad’s question: If Purdue is an engineering school, why can’t they figure out a better way to get the traffic in and out of the stadium parking lot?,” wrote Melanie Myers of Fort Wayne, Indiana. “Max and Nancy and my parents enjoyed several Purdue and Ohio State football trips as well as a special church relationship over the years. After Nancy passed, Max forwarded many entertaining, inspiring and thought-provoking emails for me to enjoy. Those words embody Max for me and I am sure he will continue to touch all of us because he was such a willing servant for God.”

“Max was a wonderful friend and a dear man, so devoted to his family who meant everything to him,” said Christy Fisher. “I was blessed to know him and so enjoyed his company. After my dad passed, Max became my present-day dad/friend, and I, like so many others, will miss him greatly. How wonderful it is to know he and Nancy are happy together again! Hugs and prayers to all you wonderful Shoemakers!”

“The Poling family sends our deepest sympathy to your family during this time. Russ Sr has always enjoyed John sharing stories of all the good times he had with his dad,” wrote Russell Poling of Columbus, Indiana.

“We loved Max,” replied Debbie and Dick Sodders of Greenville. “He was a great friend and will be missed. So happy we had lunch with him at the Darke County Fair a few weeks ago. RIP dear, Max! May your family be comforted by the fact that you were loved by all who knew you.”

By Linda Moody

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Linda Moody can be reached by calling direct at 569-4315. Be her friend on Facebook by searching her name. For more features online, go to or “like” The Daily Advocate on Facebook by searching Advocate 360.

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