Max Allen Wadsworth

Max WadsworthNovember 19, 1921 — May 6, 2016

Max Allen Wadsworth was born on Nov. 19, 1921, to Bessie Maysell Mathews and George Allen Wadsworth. Max passed away on May 6, 2016. His siblings were May, Louetta, Ethlyn, Norma, Rulon, Sylvia, Marvin and Dee. He was close with his family and lived his life helping and supporting them.

Max grew up in his beloved Panaca in the family home. It is one of the oldest homes in the valley and was owned for generations by the family. He and his siblings were born in this home. He attended Lincoln County High School, where he was very active in football and track. He was also active in the drama department and performed in Honor Plays, which means he excelled in theater. He loved Lincoln County High School and graduated in the Class of 1939.

Throughout his life Max was known as a hard worker no matter where he worked. He prided himself on a job well done and gained a good reputation because of that fact. Max was also friendly and had a wonderful sense of humor; he had many friends throughout his career and within Panaca. He worked at the test site for 17 years and had many friends there. He rode with a group of men from Panaca for those years and they became great friends who often visited him.

Max returned to Panaca for good to take care of his mother when his brother Rulon suddenly died. The two had a very special bond and he enjoyed these years with her. He worked as a maintenance worker for Lincoln County School District for many years. He had a great reputation as a hard worker and was known around the county as a man of his word. Max could fix anything and people often called on his expertise to help with projects around town. He made many friends while working for the district and spent countless hours to make things better for the schools. He worked until he retired at 75 years of age!

Max had many friends in Panaca. He lived a life of service to both his family and the community. He would often load up his truck and mow lawns or shovel snow for the widows and older people in town. He quietly served others and did a lot for the people of Panaca. Max was a gardener and had a reputation for growing the most beautiful roses; his yard was surrounded with roses and flowers and he took pride in tending them to make them exceptionally beautiful. He also grew a large garden in the plot to the east of his home. He particularly enjoyed growing prize cantaloupe and tomatoes.

Max was also an excellent cook and often cooked for family, he was known for his potato salad and cooked complicated dishes. He also enjoyed cooking mulligan stew and biscuits in the hills. He enjoyed fishing and often took his boat to lakes in the area to spend the day. Max was an animal lover and enjoyed feeding and watering the birds, deer, cats and dogs in his yard. He would say, “I need to feed my livestock,” which meant the birds outside.

Max was very active on the cemetery committee and wrote a history of lit. He worked as a volunteer there for many years, digging graves, taking care of the lawns and planting grass. He was instrumental in the pine trees that surround the Panaca Cemetery; he arranged for purchase and drove to Salt Lake and picked up 80 trees, over the summer he and others planted, watered and tended the trees. They are a point of beauty for the cemetery.

Max had a keen memory and knew a lot about his beloved Panaca & the people and families who lived here. He remembered connections and families well. He had many friends and missed them and often spoke of the happy times he had shared during his life.

Max served as Family Patriarch well and called each of his siblings every week. He was very generous and often helped them financially. He was especially close to his nieces and nephews and they often traveled from Ely, California, and Ohio to visit Max. He was the last surviving sibling and grieved for the loss of his brothers and sisters as one by one they passed away.

Max was especially close to his two local siblings, Dee, who lived in Ely, and Norma, who lived in Panaca. They spent many years supporting and strengthening each other. Norma’s son, Richard, passed away suddenly in 1992 and Max and his wife, Sherrin Benson McHenry gained a very strong friendship. They helped each other and gained a bond that will not be broken. They became close companions and spent 24 years sharing the ups and downs of life together.

As Max aged, he was able to do less around his yard & home, and many friends and neighbors stepped in to help him & make needed visits. Special thanks to Teri Lee, who became a cherished caretaker & friend for Max.

Funeral Services

  • Max will be buried in his beloved Panaca. He lived a good life and was able to reside in his beloved home until just before passing at 94 years of age.
  • A Graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016, at the Panaca City Cemetery under the direction of Southern Nevada Mortuary.

Online condolences can be made at


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