Max Dawson

August 21, 1927 ~ March 24, 2020 (age 92)





                                                   Wheaton Max Chandler Dawson, Jr.


Wheaton Max Chandler Dawson, Jr., known as Max to his friends and family, died on March 24, 2020 at 92.  He was the son of W.M.C. Dawson and Inez Motsinger Dawson and was a lifelong resident of Worth County.  His Grandfather, John C. Dawson, established the Citizens Bank of Grant City in 1881. He was a Mayflower descendant. Even though he grew up in a banking family, Max never wanted to be a banker.  He wanted to be a farmer raising registered angus cattle. One of his favorite sayings was "nothing looks as good as black cattle on green grass." He spent his summers on the farm of his maternal grandparents, John and Harley Motsinger, and had to be forced to go back to school each fall.  He kept his farm in perfect order as his daughters can attest who spent their summers pulling weeds and painting fences. He was blessed to be able to stay on his farm until the final hours of his life, thanks to the care of his wife, Lyla and daughter, Cynthia Barker. Thanks also to Rob Foley and Harold Jones for their help.


Max was a hellraiser in his early years and a rebel all of his life.  He could be a difficult person and was proud of that, saying it made life more interesting. He hated paying taxes of any kind, refused to recognize any authority figure and had more than one squabble with county road maintainers when they worked on his road. He was a big fan of the off color joke. Pretty much everyone in Worth County has a Max story. But, he was a great neighbor and in his early years helped young men who were headed to reform school and those who had been released from prison by hiring them on the farm.  


Max served in the Navy on the Iowa battleship in World War II and then attended Northwest Missouri State University for two years, taking all of their agriculture courses. Max married the adorable, auburn headed, sixteen year old Lyla Jeanne Culbertson in 1948 whom he met at the Grant City skating rink. He and Lyla have four daughters and he was very proud of them.  At first, he was disappointed that he didn't have sons but decided that they all had to be cheerleaders and great horseback riders. He got great pleasure from teaching them how to win blue ribbons when showing horses and barrel racing.  He liked to say "act like you are mad at it" which meant, you had better try your best and then if that isn't enough, take it to another level.  He taught them how to be hard workers as he was. Max had one grandchild, Abbie Lorraine Dawson Barker and he spent many wonderful times attending all of her dance recitals, birthday parties and was a super Papa.  


Max worked for Orlie Lynch at the Sale Barn for years.  He was one of the leaders of the Worth County Sheriff's Posse in the late 1960's and they toured across the nation. He was also a member of the American Angus Association and was manager of the Gentry Music Opry for several years.  He ran the chain for Tiger football for 50 years and only missed one game. He later liked to drive his truck in the back way to watch the games every Friday night. Max loved his John Deere tractors and drove them in parades and participated in tractor pulls. He spent many happy hours going to Royals baseball games, the Sidney rodeo and the American Royal, enjoying a fried chicken dinner afterward.  He loved country western music.


Max was preceded in death by his parents, W.M.C.and Inez Motsinger Dawson, his brother, John P. Dawson and his infant sister, Phyllis Dawson.  He is survived by his wife, Lyla J. Dawson of the home and his four daughters, Jennifer D. Nicholson of Kansas City, Mo, Deanna J DeBruce of Conception Junction, Missouri, Deborah L. Roberts of Savannah, Missouri and Cynthia L Barker (and Harold Jones) of Cameron, Missouri along with his only grand-daughter, Abbie L.D. Barker. He enjoyed his many nieces, nephews and grand-nieces and nephews and is survived by his brother-in-law, Alan Culbertson. He is also missed by his friend and helper for many years with the farm, Rob Foley and had a special relationship with his nephew, Jeremy Culbertson.


Due to the corona virus, open visitation will be held at the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City from Wednesday noon through Sunday at 1:30 PM when a procession to Fletchall Cemetery will drive past the family farm. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 at the Cemetery.  Please note that only 10 people can approach the gravesite but all are invited to stay by their cars and a PA system will broadcast the service.  Donations instead of flowers are gratefully accepted payable to the Fletchall Cemetery in care of the funeral home. 





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