Max Ralph Craighead, 88, died July 16, 2017, at Appletree Court Assisted Living in Richardson, TX. A 59-year resident of Stillwater, he moved to Texas in December 2016 to be near family. Visitation will be from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at Strode Funeral Home. Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, July 20, 2017, at First Baptist Church, Stillwater, OK. Rex Wilkinson, Brother-in-Law, will officiate. Interment will be in High Point Cemetery in Buffalo, OK.
He was born in Buffalo, OK, on March 4, 1929, to Ralph and Gussie Craighead. He attended public schools in Buffalo, graduating high school in 1947. After attending Oklahoma Baptist University for two years, he enlisted in the US Air Force in 1950, at the beginning of the Korean Conflict and served in the USAF Security Command in Texas, Germany, and North Africa.
He and Donna Maree Ring were married on June 4, 1954, in Buffalo three months before completing his military enlistment. The lived in San Antonio, TX for the next year to prepare for Max’s enrollment at Oklahoma A & M College in the fall of 1955. He earned a BS in Forest Management, and was employed immediately upon graduation in 1958 by Oklahoma State University as Assistant Extension Forester. This was the beginning of a career which was to last the next 28 years. He later completed a Masters Degree, and was subsequently promoted to Extension Forester and to Professor of Forestry in the Department of Forestry, Oklahoma State University.
Max was a member and deacon of First Baptist Church, Stillwater, and served as Assistant Treasurer for many years. He served in responsible position in his professional organization, including numerous elected offices. He was a more than 50-year member of the Society of American Foresters, in which he was elected a FELLOW in 1983, and served from 1986-1988 as a member of the National SAF Council where he represented eleven mid-western states. He also held elected offices in SAF at the regional, state, and local levels. He was a member of Xi Sigma Pi, Sigma Xi, The Oklahoma Forestry Association and served on its Board of Directors, a Registered Professional Forester holding Oklahoma license Number Seven, and a member and officer of the Great Plains Forestry Committee. He was Assistant Director or Director of the Oklahoma Youth Forestry Camp for 28 years and Director of the Oklahoma 4-H Family Forestry Camp for nine years, both of which were held at Beavers Bend State Park near Broken Bow. He was a member of the Retired Federal Employees, and an avid supporter of OSU athletics. After retiring from OSU, he served two years as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Agricultural Chemicals Association, followed by nine years as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association.
Max was an avid woodworker and especially enjoyed turning gavels. His personal collection numbered more than 125 and he estimated that he had made and given away nearly 100. One of the joys of later life was in serving in a volunteer capacity as House Manager for Farmhouse Fraternity, where he was honored with the Master Builder Award. Some of his other honors include: Ouachita Society of American Forester’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Forest Heritage Center Advisory Board’s Heritage Forester Award, and Oklahoma Agriculture Aviation Association’s Honorary Lifetime Member.
Max was predeceased by an infant daughter, his parents, and sisters, Jewel and Joye. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Donna Maree of the home; daughter Melanie Maree and husband Wes Moore, Garland, TX; son Todd Max, Oklahoma City, OK, brother-in-law Rex Wilkinson, Muskogee, OK; and the two brightest lights in his life, granddaughters Zoë Maree Moore, Garland, TX, and Emily Ann Craighead, Edmond, OK; plus many loving nieces, nephews, and other relative, friends, and former co-workers