Max Harley, a Stratford resident, died November 18 after a period of illness. He previously lived in Westport, CT, Indianapolis, IN and Greenville OH.
He was born in 1920, in Hollansburg, Ohio, to Howard R. Harley, MD, and Cleo Mote Harley.
After his father’s death the family moved several times and Max graduated from high school in Fountain City, Indiana.
He followed his brother George to Miami University in Ohio, and upon graduation into the Navy during World War II. After training as a gunnery officer he was posted to the Pacific theater. When he boarded the transport ship in San Diego it was the first time in his life that he was on a boat.
Max was assigned to the USS Nicholas, and later was involved in the commissioning of the USS Cunningham. While on the Nicholas he participated the rescue of the survivors of the USS Helena, for which the Nicholas and its crew received a Presidential Unit Citation. He was involved in the liberation of Shanghai. The Nicholas remains the most highly decorated destroyer in the history of the US Navy.
Upon returning home in 1946, Max entered Ohio State University and obtained a law degree. During this time he met Ruth Ann Wolfe, of Bexley Ohio, and married her in October of 1950. This necessitated a Friday wedding as residents of Columbus, Ohio don’t attend Saturday weddings during football season.
Mr. Harley established a law practice in Greenville Ohio, with Howard Brumbaugh. During this time his three sons were born. Max was also a Scoutmaster, Street Commissioner and Water Commissioner during this time. He further participated in local politics, running for Mayor of Greenville.
In 1961, the family moved to Indianapolis, where he directed the law publications department for Bobbs Merrill Publishing. In 1969 the family moved to Westport, Connecticut where they lived for 28 years. Mr. Harley was the Managing Editor of Matthew Bender Publications and later Editor in Chief of the Practicing Law Institute, both of New York City.
Mr. Harley instilled in his family a love of music, sports, learning, correct grammar and a love of equal rights for all humanity. He was modest, selfeffacing and could be very funny. He played golf into his eighties and scored at least two holes in one after the age of sixty
He is predeceased by his parents, brother George, sister Maxine, and his beloved wife Ruth.
He is survived by his sons John, of Dumont NJ, Bill of Seekonk MA, and Chris, of Shelton, CT and his grandchildren Noah, Dylan and Colette.
There will be a private celebration at a later date.
Donations in his memory may be made to the United Negro College Fund or Doctors Without Borders.