MAX W. CHURCHILL
MUSCATINE, Iowa - Max W. Churchill, 89, passed away on Friday, June 26, 2020, at his home.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to honor Max's wishes by creating a memorial fund for a project that would benefit the Muscatine Community. Donations may be sent to the Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home, in care of Leta Churchill. Online condolences: www.wittichfuneralhome.com.
Max was born on March 4, 1931, in Hermon, Illinois, the son of George L. and Leone Locke Churchill. He married Leta Chittick on October 4, 1997, in Muscatine.
Max was a nutritionist for Kent Feeds for 40 years. He attended First Baptist Church in Muscatine. He founded the first Pearl Button Museum and Industry Museum, spearheaded the Mark Twain Overlook and the Muscatine high-bridge commission. He was involved in Muscatine Toast Masters, Y's Men, Muscatine Area Heritage Association, Art Center Board of Trustees, and many other Muscatine community and civic organizations and initiatives.
He truly enjoyed being involved in civic organizations, being involved in programs portraying Mark Twain and Norman Baker, giving travelogues of several of his overseas trips, and was an avid reader and life-long student of history.
Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Leta Churchill of Muscatine; his children, Alan Chittick and wife, Cindy, of Waunakee, Wisconsin, Sondra Clark and husband, Wood, of McMinnville, Oregon, Valerie Chittick and husband, Paul, of Iowa City, Heather Haley and husband, Doug, of DeWitt, and Lisa Sherry of Charlotte, North Carolina; 10 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Wayne Churchill.
"Leta was so glad to see you and Max about two weeks ago at HyVee. So special to talk to Max snd you. Ill alwsys remember what he said to me. It was good to be your neighbor for a short while. Peace and blessing be with you and your family. All my love Christine Lorber-Miller "
"The world has lost an amazingly talented man who brought substance and warmth to a room when he entered!! I will truly miss the man who was "wired and fired" at our Toastmaster meetings at GPC. I learned a lot from this guy and was looking forward to possibly getting in some lunch time with him moving forward into 2020 and beyond. His words of wisdom during my 20 year association with hi in Toastmasters will forever echo in my brain. He is in a better place"
"Thinking of you, Leta, in friendship and sympathy.
"Tribute from Robert D Churchill for his brother, Max
I want to share some of the memories I have of my older brother, Max.
We grew up south east of Ipava, IL, sleeping in the same bed in a house that had no running water and no electricity. In the winter, Mother would heat a soap stone to put in the bed to keep us warm. We walked 1 mile through fields to a one-room school with no electricity or running water.
?When Max got to be 10 years old, Dad became a 4-H leader. Our projects were sheep and hogs. We took them to the county fair in August. Max was left-handed. He was a pitcher and I was the catcher. We formed a 4-H softball team.
Once, Max was cultivating corn with a 1 row cultivator pulled by a team of horses. Something spooked the horses and they turned and ran to the house down a gravel road. Soon Max came walking slowly down the road. He was not happy but he was not hurt.
When we were both in high school, we exhibited our sheep and hogs at 6 county fairs each summer. Max was in the US Army at Ft. Riley, KS. Max graduated from the University of Illinois and went to work at Kent Feeds in Muscatine. Max really changed when someone at Kent said he should join the Toastmasters Club. He became a great public speaker. Our older brother Wayne encouraged him to run for Mayor of Muscatine. Max refused.
?Now you know the rest of the story about Max Churchill, who grew up a poor farm boy and made good in Muscatine. "
"Leta and family,
My condolences to you and your family. I have always considered Max as one my mentors in the feed industry. I spent many hours at Max's desk in the early 1990's soaking up the knowledge he had on feed regulatory issues. He was well respected in the animal feed regulatory circles. That aside, Max had a listening ear, and had a sense of humor. I will always remember what he said about sheep. Thanks Max for being a friend to me, to the feed industry and the community of Muscatine. You gave much to the community to make it a better place to live. I was blessed to know Max. Bruce and Joanne Arentson "
"OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO LETA AND FAMILY. I THOUGHT THE WORLD OF MAX. YOU COULD NOT FIND A BETTER CHRISTIAN THAN MAX. MAX WAS A GREAT PERSON TO TALK TO ABOUT MUSCATINE HISTORY. I WILL SURE MISS HIM. ANNE AND ROBERT MORRISON."
"Leta & Family,
Our prayers and condolences are with you all in the loss of Max. He was truly an amazing man! Max's faith in the Lord, kindness, friendship, and humor will always be remembered by all. We are truly blessed to have had him as a part of our lives.
Chris & Joy Lary
"Our deepest sympathy to all."
"My deepest sympathies for your loss. Max was a great ambassador for Muscatine's history. May he Rest In Peace."
"Dear Leta and family, I am so sorry for your loss. What a great man to have in your lives. You have our sympathy. John and Becky Ernst "
"I'm going to miss my Uncle Max very much. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a loving heart. He sent the best birthday cards to his little nieces, and he never forgot to remember us. I doubt he realized how much that little gesture meant to us, but even today, the memory still makes me smile. "
"Max was a great help with our documentary about Norman Baker. I first met him when he was in characters of both Mark Twain and Norman Baker. He had a great public speaking persona and quirky sense of humor, that was truly advocating growth and positivity for Muscatine."
"MAX CHURCHILL WAS AN EXCELLENT FELLOW EMPLOYEE OF KENT FEEDS AND WAS ALSO A GREAT FRIEND..HE WAS VERY CARING AND DEDICATED TO DOING THINGS RIGHT AND FOR THE RIGHT REASONS..HE MADE LIFE MORE ENJOYABLE FOR MANY PEOPLE AND MADE MANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FEED INDUSTRY THROUGH THE AMERICAN FEED INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION AND THE STATE FEED CONTROL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION....EVERYONE LOOKED TO MAX FOR HIS KNOWLEDGE AND LEADERSHIP,,,,OUR DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO LETA AND FAMILY AND HIS MANY FRIENDS,,,,,,SINCERELY,,RICH SEVERSON"
"Max was a friend and neighbor to my parents. I was always pleased to see him when i came home for a visit. When I returned to Muscatine he was a wonderful friend to me also. I remember him adding delight to many visitors to Muscatine. Max would attend receptions in his character of Mark Twain. Even the visitors from foreign countries knew of the characters created by Samuel Clemens. History was his forte. He realized the importance of the button industry to the history of Muscatine which extended world wide. Thank you, Max, for you contributions to the community of Muscatine. It was a pleasure to know and work with you.
"Max was a great person---he did a lot for the church, community and his friends and family. We are privileged to have known him during our years at Sweetland Methodist. He will be missed. "
"We met Mr. "Call me Max," Churchill at a Christmas party. He knew my family's name and my brothers. He gave me the most interesting history lesson about Muscatine. He clearly was a natural and enjoyed having an eager listener. I would always ask the hostess about him later when I saw her.
Mr. Max would call my husband, Oz (city councilman) and express his views about whatever concerned him that council was doing or not doing.. Oz always enjoyed talking with him too. We had the highest affectionate respect for him. Such a sweet and fun gentleman. Our deepest condolences to his family. Niki and Oz Malcolm"
"Dear Leta, with great affection, we always remember Max. I don't know if you still have that yellow VW Bug convertible, but our kids had such a great time when you let us borrow it to go for a spin; we have a few pix of the happy faces. He was a true gentle man. He was a "go to" guy when you needed an answer. Max, RIP, friend."
"Valerie we are so sorry for your loss, all of the family are in our thoughts and prayers"
"In sympathy and friendship to Leta and family.
Dena Schliesman and Family"
"Max was, to me, Mr. Muscatine, but also Mark Twain, Norman Baker. As an avid Master Toastmaster member, he mentored many and befriended those lucky to be in his association. Max had and gave a richness to life and he blessed us greatly."