Max Christman
Captain
March 11, 2004
 

Born June 6, 1918 in Bryan, Ohio, he started his long journey up the transportation chain.  from three to two wheels, from pedals to motors, Max piloted them all.  He flew passengers over Bryan's curbs on his sidecar equipped Indian motorcycle.  He treated friends and family to warm summer night cruises in his '56 Chevy and his favorite "hole in the water", a sleek cabin cruiser appropriately named the Starlight.

On his life's many trips to the airport, Max drove everything from a Model T to a diesel Rabbit.  His Hudson's (2) and his Studebaker were Boeing Field icons.  In the air Max graduated from biplanes to DC-3', F27's, DC-9's and on to 727's.  After the riggers of commercial jets and a touch of gray hair, Max up and decided to 'learn to fly' and took to the air again only this time his airport was Lake Washington.  Max soon mastered pontoons.

Max could tell a story, his exploits in Bryan, sailing the town's drainage ditches, pumping gas and fixing tires in the Christman Garage, and mid-winter tow truck expeditions, were just the preliminary exploits to flying below the clouds in Alaska, to short landings in Hoquiam and sour dough runs to San Francisco. Max told tons of tales, and of course he knew a joke or two (thousands!): each anecdote and punch line was delivered with Max's trademark sparkling blue eyes, quick smile and infectious laugh.

Max married Sally in 1961 and inherited an instant family that included Carol, Rich, and Pam, and which over the years grew to include six grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.  Max took on his new family with grace and aplomb.  He was a quick study in the art of parenting except it took his great granddaughter and 85 years to get him to change his first diaper.  Throughout all the standard childhood tribulations, Max's blue eyes kept twinkling.  He was a great dad.

Max was a Quiet Birdman, a R.A.R.E. member, a Monday Lunch Buncher and an early morning McDonald's regular.  He was a dahlia grower, a garage tinkerer, a brewer, and a crossword puzzler.  He will be missed
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Click on image for a large view

Our thanks to Jack Kastien for sending us the touching tribute to Max and the photos taken at his "Memorial Celebration."