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Max Ray Goodman

October 10, 1931 January 6, 2022
Max Ray Goodman
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Obituary for Max Ray Goodman

Max Ray Goodman, 90, died January 6, 2022 due to complications of Parkinson’s Disease. He was born on October 10, 1931 in Franklin Parish, Louisiana, to Dorothy Mae Gilbert and James Ray Goodman. The family moved to Stoneville, Mississippi, when he was in elementary school and Max graduated from Leland High School where he spent his senior year as a school bus driver.

After graduation, he enrolled in Mississippi State College where he became the cafeteria student manager and ran the concessions for student dances. At this time one professor recognized him as “a gentleman and a scholar.” Before completing his degree Max decided to spend a couple of years “traveling with his rich uncle.” During those two years in the army he spent most of his time in Germany and specialized in radio repair which sparked a long-time interest in amateur radio.

After serving his country, Max returned to Mississippi State and earned his degree in Petroleum Geology. During his senior year, he met the love of his life, Marva Lee Strong, who was a student at Mississippi State College for Women. Max and Marva were married in Rolling Fork, Mississippi on March 16, 1957.

Max spent his entire professional career working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Soil Conservation Service. Most of that time was spent in New Albany, Mississippi where Max and Marva welcomed to their family two children, Max Ray, Jr., and Elizabeth Lee.

Max loved exercise and keeping fit. During his time in New Albany he was involved in the local archery community and earned a second degree black belt in Tan Sui karate, eventually going on to teach karate at the local community center.

After a promotion Max relocated to the Jackson, Mississippi area where he completed his career in the state office for the Soil Conservation Service. Max had a long-time interest in blacksmithing and after retirement began a second career as a knifemaker. He enjoyed studying metallurgy and combined science and art to make beautiful, useful knives. He was a juried member of the Craftsman’s Guild of Mississippi and spent many happy hours demonstrating at the Bill Waller Crafts Center. Max was featured in the book I am a Craftsman: 40 at 40: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Craftsmen’s Guild of MIssissippi with 40 of Its Exhibiting Members. A local newspaper did a story about him, calling him “A Man of Steel”.

The Man of Steel has left the planet.

Max was predeceased by his parents. He had a long and fulfilling life with his bride of 64 years, Marva. He also leaves behind his two children, Max Ray Goodman, Jr. (Angela), Elizabeth Lee Goodman Barnhart, three sisters, Willough Dean Krinard, Rene Bradford, and Jean Harper. Grandchildren Max Ray Goodman III, Analee Adams, Laura Barnhart, Mary Barnhart, Emily McIntyre, Thomas Barnhart, and James Barnhart, six great-grandchildren, and many dear cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

A memorial will be held at a later date when friends and family can gather safely with interment in Pine Bluff Cemetery in Copiah County.

Memorial donations may be sent to Wycliffe Bible Translators or Blue Mountain College.

To send flowers in memory of Max Ray Goodman, visit the Tribute Store.

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