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Max Linton, 1935-2019


Last updated 4/19/2019 at 7:51pm

Max Linton

Max Edward Linton, a longtime Lake Wales resident, Korean War Veteran, beloved Central Florida educator, husband and father died Friday, April 19. He was 83.

Max was born November 25, 1935, in Buffalo, NY, to Burdette and Dawn Linton. He graduated in 1953 from Lafayette High School (Home of the Fighting Violets), where he was known as "Happy." From his earliest days, Max was industrious – always holding a myriad of jobs, which included at different times delivering ice and installing rooftop television antennas.

At 18 years old, the Linton family left chilly Buffalo for Fort Lauderdale. It began Max's lifetime love affair with Florida.

In ­­­1956, Max joined the Army and was stationed for two years in the Demilitarized Zone in Korea. True to his character, he found every last bit of joy that could be found in the experience and, as he was a prolific storyteller, relished sharing wonderful accounts of his time in the military.

Max returned to Florida and on the GI Bill attended college at Florida Atlantic University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Masters in Education. He later went on to receive a Specialist Degree at the University of Florida.

Max started his career as an educator in 1968 teaching biology at Lake Wales High School and later was a guidance counselor. He eventually became an administrator, and served as principal at Polk Avenue Elementary School for 13 years. He subsequently served as principal at McLaughlin Middle School, and Frostproof High School until his retirement in 1995.

More often than not, when he was out in Lake Wales, he would see former students who would always approach with a fond remembrance – even if it had involved "tough love."

Max loved old movies and could easily recount complicated plots and leading ladies. He was also a voracious reader who took his keenest interest in history – particularly World War II.

Max was an active member of Lake Wales Presbyterian Church, where he lent his rich baritone to the church choir and where he was a past Sunday school teacher and Elder. He was also a member, with wife Jayne, of the Lake Wales Chorale.

Max's second-greatest love was the Miami Dolphins whom he followed religiously, and regardless of any negative pre-season prognostications, believed with all his heart that this might be the year they get back to the Super Bowl.

His greatest loves, however, were his daughter Stephanie, his grandchildren Sarah, Jackson and Max, and his beloved wife Jayne to whom he was married for 25 years.

Max was, very simply, a man who radiated goodness, and who effortlessly found God and good in every situation. He was much loved, and will be terribly missed.

He was pre-deceased by father Burt Linton, Lakes Wales, FL, mother Dawn Linton, of Sebring, and Marilee Schabo Bialkowski of Stuart.

Survivors include brother David J. Linton, wife Jayne Crews Linton, daughter Stephanie Linton Keen, granddaughter Sarah Keen, grandsons Jackson and Max Keen – all of Lake Wales, stepdaughter Anna German (husband, Glenn), grandchildren, Claire, Caroline and Michael German – all of Los Angeles, California, stepsons Scott Crews (wife, Angela), grandchildren, Amy and Chandler – all of Lake Wales, FL and Mason Crews of Charleston, SC as well as many nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be 4 p.m. Monday, April 22, at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales, 16 N. 3rd Street, with the Rev. Chad Reynolds officiating.

Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales or the Lake Wales Care Center, 140 East Park Avenue, Lake Wales, FL 33853.

Marion Nelson Funeral Home in Lake Wales is in charge of arrangements.


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