A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held for Max Joseph Cameron, 92, of Chariton on Monday, August 16, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Chariton, Iowa. Family will receive friends from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 15, 2021, at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton. A Rosary will be held at 4:00 p.m. following the visitation. Memorials in Max’s memory may be made to an organization of your choice.
You may join the family by watching the livestream at the following link:
The Greatest Generation, Max is exactly what you think of when you speak of the Greatest Generation. He was a North Dakota kid, the second son of four brothers raised in Wahpeton, North Dakota. He enjoyed hunting and fishing more than going to school and tried to enlist in the army before his 18th birthday, but his father wouldn’t sign the papers, so he just waited for his 18th birthday. He enlisted in the United States Army and served in Japan at the end of WWII.
Kathleen Dyrdahl was a Minnesota farm girl attending nursing school when they met. They were married on January 24, 1959. What a great ride they have had over the last 62 years. Blessed with four children: Teri, Jim, Debbie “Jo”, and Tom; Max was always a caretaker to those closest to him.
Max worked in the auto industry for many years starting out as a service technician, then a service manager and eventually a sales manager for the GM motor division in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. He was always a hard worker and an entrepreneur, so when presented with the opportunity he purchased the dealership in Mason City, which became “Cameron Buick-Opel”.
Gruff on the exterior, but he was just a big teddy bear with a heart of gold. He was strong willed and stubborn, a trait he passed down to his children and grandchildren. The most important part of his life was his family. He recognized how much Kathie meant to him, and his world revolved around her and the kids.
Max was so proud of all his grandchildren. He tried to watch all of their activities, and not always living close by, that would mean lots of long drives to make sure they were able to see each grandchild’s event at least once a season. He was also a very vocal fan and made sure his children and grandchildren got a fair shake from the referees.
Just as he thought the world of his grandchildren, they were his biggest fans. Each one of them will tell you that they wouldn’t be the person they are today, if it wasn’t for the impact that their Grandpa had on their lives. He was consistent, a role model, and all about family. He wanted his children and grandchildren to know that they could do anything, you can make it if you work hard and take some risks. He had many “grandpa-isms”. The most notable ones included, “Do you want a free trip to the moon?”, “What else did you get for Christmas?”, “Take your time going, but hurry back!”, “Father, Son, Holy Ghost, who eats the fastest gets the most!” and “Just give me a call if you need anything!” was his signature line when saying good-bye.
He was a favorite uncle to all his nieces and nephews, as they all looked forward to spending time at the lake cabin in Minnesota with all of their cousins, aunts and uncles. A favorite memory of Max, although he was very frugal on some things, but he did not hesitate to give enough money to all of the kids to go to the store for some candy.
After retiring in 1986, Max and Kathie moved to Bella Vista, Arkansas where they enjoyed 27 years of fishing and golfing. They have spent the last 7 years in Chariton where they moved to be close to Teri and her family. Debbie also moved to Chariton, Jim and Tom live close by in Des Moines and Kansas City. Family get togethers have been more frequent and cherished the last several years.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Kathie; children: Teri (Tod) Hockenson, Jim (Patty) Cameron, Debbie “Jo” (Bruce) Gomez, and Tom Cameron; 10 grandchildren: Andy, Matt, TJ, Kelsey, Katie, Nate, Molly, Josh, Callie, and Robbie; 5 great grandchildren: Maddy, Maxwell, Duncan, Otto, and Brayden; and brother, Dale Cameron (Bev).
Max was preceded in death by his parents, Max and Regina Cameron; and brothers: Don Cameron and Dick Cameron.
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