January 19, 1949 – November 1, 2023
Max L. Schmoll, 74, Pleasant Hill, was born on January 19, 1949, in Harrisonville. He departed this life Wednesday, November 1, at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, surrounded by his loving family.
Farming was his life. In high school, Max hauled hay and worked on the family farm to save up for his first car. If he wasn’t working on the farm, you could find him hanging with his friends, drag racing or at FFA activities. He graduated from Pleasant Hill High School in 1967.
On October 11,1970, Max was united in marriage with Kathryn Gayle Prewitt. They owned and operated Schmoll Farms near Pleasant Hill, which continued his father’s legacy, and they greatly expanded the operation. They raised cattle and row crops. Fifty-three years of marriage brought them a family full of love. Max and Gayle had 3 daughters that helped on the farm. He took great pride in helping his daughters with their many 4-H & FFA projects, he especially loved getting them up at the crack of dawn to work with their calves. Max also enjoyed putting his daughters and their friends to work on the farm. His work ethic, values, and love of farming have been instilled in his grandkids to this day.
Max was a seed dealer for many companies over the years. His idea of a family vacation was going to a seed conference. At age 28 he drove his tractor to Kansas City to join over 300 farmers on the first day of the national farmers’ strike. Max was a member of the Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. He was a charter member of the Pleasant Hill Chapter of the Missouri Young Farmers Association. His family was presented with the “Farm Family” award at the Missouri State Fair in 1986. From 1982 to 1988 he served on the East Lynne School board. For many years, he also served on the board of Silver Manor.
At the age of 3, Max’s mother rescued him from their house fire, which led to her passing. This inspired him to become involved in the fire department. Max served on the East Lynne-Gunn City Fire Protection District for many years as well as serving on the board of directors. He orchestrated the construction of the new building. He retired in 2009 after serving 27 years as Chief. He was serving on the board at his time of death. Max was passionate about helping others and making strides to improve emergency response services. He was instrumental in getting 911 on the ballet in the early 90’s and starting the 911 program in Cass County. Max served on the Emergency Services Board from the very beginning, then overwhelmingly was re-elected to the board each term until he retired in 2023. He may not have always agreed with the group, but he always stood up for what he believed was right and fair.
Max had a big personality and loved to socialize. He didn’t know a stranger and enjoyed joking and teasing everyone. Although sometimes inappropriate, he always got a laugh. He was a great friend and mentor to many. He had a heart of gold and would help anyone in need. In the early 70’s Max & Harry Wolfe built a hot rod tractor. He began competing in tractor pulls collecting many trophies over the years. Even after he stopped competing, he still loved to attend tractor pulls. Max always had a love for fast cars, so it was no surprise when he bought his first classic car at age 50, a red 1976 Corvette Stingray. But his favorite car was his 1970 Olds 442 that is Matador red, like the one he ordered in 1970. He enjoyed going to car shows with his wife and showing off his cars. Max often attended cow sales and auctions, always bringing home loads of stuff he didn’t need. Above all, family was the most important thing to him, and he treasured making memories with them, especially spoiling the grandkids.
Max was preceded in death by his parents, Archie Lee and Martha Jane Schmoll; one sister, Joyce Francy and one granddaughter, Isabella Hayes. He is survived by his wife, Gayle Schmoll of the home; three daughters, Amy Schmoll of Harrisonville, Lori Schmoll and Jimmie Williams of Pleasant Hill, and Abbie Engelhardt and Daniel Scott of Garden City; grandchildren, Blake Schmoll and Alexandra Smith, Addilynn Engelhardt, Arianna Schmoll, Keenen Engelhardt, Cierra Williams and Olivia Williams; one great-granddaughter, Morgan Schmoll, other relatives and many, many friends.
The family of Max L. Schmoll will receive friends from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 8, at the Wallace Funeral Home in Pleasant Hill. Funeral Service will be at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, November 9, at the funeral home with Rev. Nancy Cantrell officiating. Casket Bearers will be Blake Schmoll, Bill Rusk, Bob Becker, Kevin Riggs, Bill Gray, John Hartzler, Jim Hertzog and John Bearce. Honorary Casket Bearers will be Frank Buerge and Billy Snyder. Interment will immediately follow in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
Contributions are suggested to Gayle Schmoll and will be used for the future educational needs of Max’s grandchildren.