Max Katz, long-time Stillwater cattleman, business community figure, and philanthropist, died on Thursday, December 30th, 2010, at the Jewish Retirement Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the age of 89 years old.
Max was known far and wide as a superior cattle buyer and rancher who created a successful 56-year career in the cattle business by relying on a keen eye, a razor-sharp business sense, honest dealings, and above all, pure hard work. His generosity and willingness to help others in need became his hallmark and reputation.
Max was born on July 25, 1921, to Karl and Jettchen Katz in Jesberg, Germany. In 1938, at the age of 16, he immigrated to the United States to start anew in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where his uncle Jacob (Jake) Katz, was one of the original Oklahoma Sooners and proprietor of the successful Katz Department Store in Stillwater.
From early on Max always worked to help support his family. Max served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 until the war’s conclusion in 1945. Max became a naturalized U.S. citizen while in the Armed Forces.
Following the war, Max attended Oklahoma A&M College for two years, earning a business certificate. He went on to work in the meat packing industry, first in Wichita, Kansas and later in Omaha, Nebraska. Max returned to Stillwater in 1953, to start his own commission cat- tle buying business using the relationships he had developed during his years in the meat packing business.
In 1973, Max began buying pasture land throughout Payne County and feeding his own cattle, in addition to commission buying. At any given time, Max usually had about 3,000 head of cattle either on pasture or in feed lots. Max retired from the cattle business in 2009.
Max is survived by his loving family, including his younger brother Fred Katz and wife Barbara of Wilmington, DE; nephews Harold Katz (deceased) and wife Blythe of Tulsa; Carl Katz and wife Leah of Newton, MA; Dan Katz and wife Kim of Freeland, MD; and nieces Ester Silvers and husband Avraham of Shiloh, Israel and Anita Peiser and husband Ross of Nashville, TN, as well as his eighteen grand nephews and nieces.
Max was a man who gave generously to many non-profit organizations and people in need throughout the world while he himself lived a very modest lifestyle.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 am, on Monday, January 3rd at the Strode Funeral Home in Stillwater. Interment will follow at the Fairlawn Cemetery in Stillwater.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice.