Max H. Worthington, 89, was born July 25, 1930, in Pleasantville and, at his home in rural Newton, went to be with the Lord and his loved ones and friends in heaven on June 20, 2020. A family-only funeral was held at the Pence-Reese Funeral Home in Newton on Saturday, June 27, including a Facebook broadcast of the service on the Pence-Reese Funeral Home Facebook page. A drive-by visitation took place Friday, June 26, from 5-7 p.m. at the Worthington home at 5005 East 36th Street South, Newton. Memorial contributions may be made to Newton Christian School or the Monroe Presbyterian Church.
Max grew up in rural Pleasantville with his father Howard and his mother Ethel along with three brothers and two sisters. He attended school and lived in Pleasantville until moving to rural Newton in 1959. Max married his wife Donna in 1958.
Max was a lifelong farmer in the Newton area. Max was very sociable and received great joy from his jobs as a lake patrol officer at Lake Red Rock, as board president and then general manager of the Jasper County Water Association, as a charter bus driver for Hawkeye Stages, and as a Jasper County Supervisor for two terms. Max served as a deacon and elder at the Monroe Presbyterian Church.
In his early years, Max played catcher for a fastpitch softball team at Percy. Later in life, Max enjoyed working on the farm, driving the combine, and helping make hay. Max was a morning person, rising at 4:30 every day to be the first in the door at Newton Family Restaurant, where he met his friends for breakfast and visited with the other customers. Max enjoyed gardening, especially growing tomatoes so he could bless people with fresh garden tomatoes. Each year, he would raise between 80 and 100 tomato plants and give most of the harvest away. Max loved to drive, making many trips to Sam’s Club and his favorite Mill’s Fleet Farm. He would never say no to making a repair parts run for Brad no matter how far it was. Max and Donna enjoyed going for drives, many times stopping at one of their favorite restaurants, including his favorite The Cratty Shack in Colfax. Max and Donna enjoyed traveling, visiting every one of the 50 states through their life together. Max had a Yellow Lab named Jack that he enjoyed immensely and would often take him along for rides.
Those left to honor Max’s legacy include his wife, Donna; his two daughters, Becky Vrban of Englewood, CO, Cindy (Jerry) Webster of Tucson, AZ; his three sons, Dwight “Pete” (Becky) Worthington of Aurora, CO, Joel (Karen) Worthington and Brad (Michele) Worthington both of Newton; his brother Allen “Craig” (Elaine) Worthington of Ames; his sister Roseann (Dave) Johnson of Columbia, MO; his sister in-law Sheri Downs of Pleasant Hill; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family, and friends.
Max was preceded in death by his son Douglas in childbirth, his father and mother, his brothers Carroll and Larry, his sister Shirley Crane, his brother in-law Richard “Dick” Downs, his grandson Efrain Worthington, and extended family members.