Celebrate your loved one’s life in a way that’s as independent as they were – in the Daily Independent and on YourValley.net. Share fond memories, photos and information on celebrations of life using our easy, step-by-step process.
Max, 80 of Danville and formerly of Sun City West, AZ, went Home to be with the Lord at 3:55pm on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at the Independence House in Danville. Graveside Services will be on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at 10am at The Danville National Cemetery with full military honors.
Max was born on November 27, 1942 in Ottumwa, Iowa to Claude ‘Jack” and Violet (Dietrich) Smallwood; the seventh of twelve children. He was raised in Ottumwa where he attended school and later enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 17. Max served his first enlistment from San Diego, CA. After re-enlisting, Max was stationed out of Coronado, CA where he became a Chief Petty Officer. He worked as a carpenter, shipfitter, damage control specialist, high pressure pipe welder, and a special instructor in fire control. He enlisted a third time, ending in 1979, after serving a total of 14 years. Max served on the USS Lenawee, the USS Paul Revere, the USS Forrestal, and on a series of River Boats, PT Boats, and Swift Boats during his three tours in Vietnam. During his service he attained the rank of E-6 (Chief Petty Officer) and grades of DC3 (damage control specialist), and HT1, HT2 (Hull Technician). He received several commendations and letters of appreciation, as well as various service, campaign, and good conduct medals. Max was very proud of his service in the Navy and even more proud of being a Vietnam Veteran.
Max worked many jobs throughout the years and was a jack of all trades. He worked in many facets of both the construction and maintenance businesses. He later started his own business- Smallwood Home Improvements, which he ran and operated for a number of years. Max retired as City Manager of Maintenance of Union, Iowa in 2009, but quickly went back to work in a variety of maintenance jobs soon after. Max enjoyed playing pool and horseshoes, as well as listening to Country music. In his later years Max enjoyed traveling- in fact moving several times between Iowa, California, and Arizona, as well as playing bocce ball. He was also a longtime member of the Palm West Community Church and Sun City West Christian Churches, and was a member of the Prides- all of Sun City West, Arizona. Max enjoyed volunteer work when his health allowed it, from the weekly Prides beautification program to various opportunities within the two churches.
Max married Linda Aubrey on October 17, 1964 and two daughters were born from this union-Theresa and Brenda; they later divorced. He married Barbara Eslinger DeArmond on November 22, 1997 and the two have shared nearly twenty-six wonderful years of marriage. Max leaves behind his wife Barbara DeArmond-Smallwood; his two daughters: Theresa (Michael) Pryor and Brenda (Michael) Ledford; four grandchildren: Franz Ledford, Max Ledford, Natalie Pryor, Nicole Pryor; four great grandchildren; his extended family, stepson Craig (Marilee) DeArmond, step-daughter Peg DeArmond, step-grandson Paul DeArmond; and his three brothers: Robert Smallwood, Jack Smallwood, and Tim (Lynn) Smallwood. Max was preceded in death by his parents; and his eight brothers and sisters: Raymond, Marlene, Larry, Don, Gary, Roy, Cindy, and Sharon.
Messages and memories may be left on our website at www.KrugerCoanPape.com, or on the Kruger Funeral Home Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, donations and memorials may be made in Max’s name to Palm West Community Church, 13845 W. Stardust Blvd, Sun City West, AZ 85375 or the Vietnam Veterans of America, 8719 Colesville Rd, Suite 100, Silver Springs, MD 20910.