James Maxton “Max” Elliott, 94, died on April 12, 2023.
Born on December 16, 1928 in Asheboro, Max was the only child of James Houston Elliott and his second wife, Mattie Cagle Elliott. Though his father died when Max was just sixteen, he cared for his mother until her death at 101.
Max graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1951, then volunteered to serve in the United States Army, where he was stationed in Germany. The two years he spent there afforded him the opportunity to tour extensively throughout Europe, sparking a love of travel that would last throughout his life.
Following his discharge from the Army, he worked for two years at Bache and Company, a brokerage firm in Raleigh. With benefits from the GI bill, he enrolled at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he served as president of his graduating class. Max then moved to Concord to practice law with the firm of Hartsell, Hartsell and Mills. In keeping with his dependability and sense of commitment, he remained with various iterations of that firm until his retirement in 1997.
Shortly after arriving in Concord, Max met Iris Lee Bost on a blind date. Both were in their mid-30s, which at the time was considered a quite advanced age to be single. After a brief courtship, they were married on December 29, 1963. Consistent with their practical natures and prudence with money, they chose this date in part because the church would already be decorated for Christmas. Soon after, they began a family, to which Max was a loving husband and father until his death.
Max had a servant’s heart, and duty to God and community were driving forces in his life. He joined Central United Methodist Church in 1961 and was a faithful member from then on, holding positions on the Administrative Board, Finance Committee, Pastor Parish Relations Committee, Ushering Board, trusteeships and other offices. In many instances he served as chairman, a testament to his calm, evenhanded nature and leadership abilities. Max was also a member of the Jessie Boger Sunday School class. In the Concord community, he was involved with Meals on Wheels, Coltrane Life Center, Friends of the Library, Wesbury Housing, local draft board, hospital foundation, and Concord Rotary Club, where he served as president. After retiring, he volunteered weekly at the hospital for seventeen years.
Max’s personal life was marked by connection and contentment. With his notable kindness and cheerful disposition, Max was widely liked and a loyal friend to many. Children and animals were drawn to his gentle nature. He had a great love of Christmas and delighted in surprising Iris and their girls with creative and sometimes extravagant gifts. As Papa to his four grandchildren, Max enjoyed indulging them on their visits, keeping bicycles on hand and always in good working order, and spending many afternoons with them at the R. Brown McAllister playground. Perhaps his greatest gift was the ability to make others feel truly loved.
Max is survived by his wife of 59 years; their two daughters, Lee Elliott Rambo (William) of Columbia, South Carolina, and Nancy Elliott Mukundan (Srini) of Plymouth, Massachusetts; and four grandchildren, Thomas Janak Mukundan, Dev Carter Mukundan, Elizabeth Elliott Rambo, and William Dargan Rambo. He is also survived by a nephew, C. Ervin Feemster of Tennessee. He was predeceased by his parents, half-brother Cleron Robert Elliott, half-sister Pauline Elliott Haggerty, and nephew David Robert Elliott.
The family is especially grateful to Ethel “Cookie” Burch for her loving care and devotion.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church in Concord with the Reverend Tom Latimer officiating. The family will receive friends afterward in the church parlor.
Memorials may be made to Central United Methodist Church, 30 Union Street North, Concord, North Carolina 28025.