M. Maxwell Smith, 96, of Lancaster, passed away Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at the Mennonite Home, Lancaster. Born in Rea, PA, he was the son of the late J. Leonard and Elsie Taggart Smith. He was the husband of Emma (Shoemaker) Plastow Smith and also the late V. Ruth McCalmont Smith.
Max graduated from Penn State University in 1936. A year later he began his career with the Penn State Agricultural Extension Office of Lancaster County. He would become Extension Director in 1949. On one of his first assignments, he developed a relationship with the Red Rose 4-H Beef Club. Over the years, he guided hundreds of students, and trained 36 first place judging teams. In Farm Show competition, his students received 16 grand champions, 15 reserve champions, in addition to 20 first place and 17 reserve champion pens of lambs.
One of the greatest accomplishments of his career was the completion of the Lancaster Farm and Home Center, a first of its kind building dedicated entirely to agriculture. Max was involved in planning, fund-raising, and groundbreaking in 1966. He would later serve as Honorary Chairman of the Capitol Campaign to expand the Center and would have the auditorium named in his honor. Max retired as a County Agent in 1981 and helped to establish a trust fund to support the Farm and Home Foundation Scholarship program.
Max received numerous awards throughout his career including the Superior Service Award from the USDA, Penn State’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
He was a member of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Lancaster. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Lancaster. A member for more than 62 years, he served as Club President, and received the Paul Harris Fellow + 1. He was also a member of the Pennsylvania Livestock Association the Penn State Club of Lancaster.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by several nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services will be held from Kearney A. Snyder Funeral Home 141 E. Orange St. Lancaster, PA on Saturday, December 17th at 2 PM. The family will visit with friends from 1 to 2 PM at the funeral home on Saturday. Interment will be in the Mount Prospect Cemetery in Hickory, PA. There will also be a funeral service from the Hickory United Presbyterian Church 210 Main St. Hickory, PA on Monday December 17, 2011 at 2 PM. A visitation will be from 1 to 2 PM at the church on Monday. Kindly omit flowers. Memorial Contributions may be sent to the Farm and Home Foundation of Lancaster, Mennonite Home Benevolence Fund, or Bethany Presbyterian Church.