A Tribute to Max Overholt, a friend to many

On Good Friday, March 29, we held a graveside service to honor and commemorate the life of Max Overholt. Max was a great friend to many, in fact, if he knew you at all he considered you a friend. His big blue eyes sparkled with a look that was part mischief and part excitement about life. He loved life and the One who gave him life. He was dedicated to his family and his churches. He was a genuine servant who considered it a joy to invest in others.

Belinda and I met Max in the early 80’s. At that time we were often traveling to Wichita, KS, where he lived. Through our friendship with Gary and Judy Burrell we were introduced to Max and Winnie, his faithful wife. They were so gracious to open their home so we could stay with them or have a meal while we were in Wichita. They treated us like family.

We grieved with Max when Winnie graduated from this life into eternity. We did get to see more of Max as he moved to Spring Hill and began attending Indian Creek. It was a treat to see how he lived so full-of-life into a second century; yes he was 100+ years old when he graduated. I thought it was so fitting that he would go to be with the Lord on Easter weekend of this year. We celebrate not only the resurrection of Jesus every Easter but also the victory of every Christ follower at Easter. So this Easter Max was rejoicing in heaven with Winnie and his family and friends. We celebrate with him albeit on this side of eternity.We will miss him.

I thought you might like to learn more of the story of his life. These notes were lovingly provided by the family.

Charles Maxell (whom everyone knew as “Max”) was born November 16, 1912 in Canton, Kansas to Eli B. Overholt and Anne E. Evans-Overholt. Max lived in Wichita and surrounding area most of his life. Max’s father became a Methodist minister at age 40, serving mostly in the Hesston area. The family lived at Hesston until Max was in the third grade. They then moved to Hutchinson. Max finished Junior High School at Hutchinson and attended one year at Clay Center High School. The family re-located to Wichita where Max attended East and North High Schools. Due to the needs of the family Max left high school to go to work at Randal Drug Store and Wyckoff and later Kiser Grocery Store (located at Main and Dewey Sts.).

Max married the “love of his life”: Winifred E. Hill (daughter of Uriah S. and Pearl Morrison-Hill) on June 2, 1935. Three children were born to this union: Nancy Ann, Judith (Judy) Maxine, and Robert Maxwell.

Max was a hard worker and was not happy unless he was busy doing something. There was nothing that he could not fix. He was a good provider for his living family. The family (Max, “Winnie” and Nancy) moved to Blackwell, OK shortly after Nancy was born where Max went to work for a Wholesale Grocer. They left Wichita in 1936 and returned back to Wichita in 1941 (when Judy was just 1 yr. old). He was very active in the Church of God in Blackwell as Sunday School superintendent, and taught a youth class there. Winnie liked to entertain and since their home was right across the street from the church, many came and went during their stay in Oklahoma.

Upon returning to Wichita, Max worked for the Boeing Company during World War II. He then drove a city bus for a short time before taking employment at Buck’s Dept. Store as Traffic Manager, then worked at Beech Aircraft for a year. He was in trucking business since 1947 and retired at age 62 from Mid-American Truck Lines (formerly known as Wichita Forwarding) as Terminal Manager.

Max and Winnie were active in church work through the years. Winnie attended First Church of God since she was 5 years old). Max drove the First Church’s Sunday School church bus during the war years, was Sunday School Superintendent, taught a Boys Intermediate Class, did janitorial work for the church for a period of time. Max and Winnie were charter members of the Comrades Class along with 5 or 6 others.

Max started flying and earned his pilot’s license at age 49. He belonged to the Church of God Flying Club as well as the Pegasus Flying Club. The family enjoyed fishing and camping. After retirement they bought a Holiday Rambler and Max and Winnie became “Snow Birds” leaving Wichita for Port Aransas, TX around the end of October and returning in the spring just before Easter. The kids all loved making the trip around Christmas and spending a week in the warm sun, always returning with a large cooler full of fresh flounder and sheep-head. Winnie became what they called a “fisherman’s widow” joining a woman’s group who made all sorts of neat crafts while the men enjoyed their day of fishing.

Upon Winnie’s death in 1999, Max and his dog “Angel” moved to Spring Hill, Ks. to reside with the loving and tender care of Judy and Gary Burrell. He worked many hours (sun up to sun down) on their grounds, mowing and helping take care of the property and equipment. He was a faithful attender at Indian Creek Church of God in Olathe, enjoying the ministry under Pastor Gary and Kendall.

Max’s health began to deteriorate at age 94, he had quadruple heart bypass which he recuperated in flying colors. However his knees began to give him problems, thus ending his ability to work outside.

Max entered Sweet Life Care Home in Overland Park, KS. when he could no longer lift himself out of his bed or the recliner in hopes he would get his strength back and return home, but this never occurred. Everyone at Sweet Life was very kind and loving to him and there are many who will truly miss his loving smile and kind words.

There is much more to our Max’s life but how can you get 100 years into one story. Max entered his heavenly home Monday, March 25, (the day after Palm Sunday) at 3:25 a.m. where he joined his Savior and loving family that had gone on before him. Max is preceded in death by: his loving wife of 54 years: Winifred “Winnie” Hill-Overholt; his parents, E.B. and Anna Overholt-Wilson; step-mother, Lucy Overholt; in-laws, Samuel and Pearl Hill; and brother, Milford “Bill” Sherwood Overholt.

In loving memory of  and in tribute to Charles “Max” Overholt November 16, 1912 – March 25, 2013