ANSONIA– Those whose lives were touched by Max Subler are sure to miss him in his passing, which occurred the day after Christmas 2021.
Many — children and adults alike — knew him as the maintenance supervisor of Ansonia Local Schools for more than three decades.
Subler worked for the school for 44 years as custodian.
“I can’t put into words what this guy means to me,” said daughter Tammy Morrison. “He was my rock. I will be lost without you but I will continue to make you proud. I love you with everything in me. Fly high, Dad, till we meet again. You will forever be my best friend.”
Jim Atchley, superintendent of Ansonia Local School District, had this to say: “Max always put the interest of the district, its building and grounds, as his priority. I always gave him credit for the pride he took in taking care of all this. I appreciated all his hard work and dedication over the years.”
Slug Widener, who worked 30-plus years with Subler but now retired, commented, “He was a super nice guy. I couldn’t have worked for a better boss. He’s always there to help you. The kids all looked up to him. He loved to joke with the kids.”
Bo Hiatt of Abel’s Barbershop in Ansonia said she took a lot of ribbing from Max, especially when it came to Ansonia-Mississinawa football.
“Because most of the time, they beat Mississinawa,” she said. “He was always good at giving you a hard time with a smile on his face. He also loved to hassle the referees. Max will never be replaced. He was always fun to talk to.”
“Max was definitely one of the good ones,” remarked Bill Merz, former educator at Ansonia. “He impacted many lives and will be deeply missed!”
Staci Lynn Schmidt Bergman, commented, “To those who attended Ansonia, you knew Max as the guy who stood in the doorway of the gymnasium watching the ball games, or the guy in the cafeteria giving you grief as you walked by, but I was lucky enough to have this man as my boss, and grew to love him as a grandfather. Working with him for several years at the school, he taught me how to clean with a ‘bucket of electric,’ when we were working on a project where to take ‘the wood to get it stretched,’ and he used to see how long it would take for me to notice he took the blades off the mower. My time working for Max was some of my best memories. He was a one of a kind and will be so missed. RIP Max, thanks for being so good to me, and allowing me to know and love your family.”
Bergman’s mother, Soni Smith, added, “Staci Lynn, you meant a lot to him. He always asked about you when you were away at college. I know he loved you as one of his own. You learned a lot from him.”
“I have so many good memories of Max,” commented Ginger Sowry, teacher. “I called him Maxoid. No matter what I needed done, he got it done. He was a prankster and never liked my room being so cold. He was a good man and certainly loved Ansonia schools.”
“I love Max,” stated Tracy Moody Cessna. “He would always ask me if my dad braided my hair when I came in to school, as he was well aware it was my mom. He always made people around him smile.”
Marla Threewits said, “So sorry to learn the news about Max. What an ornery guy – loved working with him. He will be greatly missed.”
Amy Marie Schlarman stated, “He will be so missed. He impacted the lives of so many at that school.”
“His ornery smile and the fun he brought to so many of us over the years…he will definitely be missed,” remarked Heather Brown Suerdieck.
Laurie Doyle Erwin, a graduate, had this to say, “Tammy, so sorry for your loss. Max was one of a kind for sure. Everyone loved him and he impacted so many lives. He is going to be missed by so many.”
Zachary Daniel Brown, Subler’s grandson, penned, “Can’t even begin to describe how much you meant to me. Always being there at every sporting event and other major events. Calling us by nicknames and keeping us out of trouble throughout school. Very blessed to have called you Grandpa Max. You chose to be our grandpa and I chose to be your grandson and I will forever be grateful for that. Rest easy, Grandpa Max. You will truly be missed.”
Former educator and coach at Ansonia Mike Appleman I commented, “Max is one of the best men I know. He was always so easy and he put the team first. I love Max Subler…a great man…a great friend.”
Michael Appleman II, a former student at Ansonia, offered this: “Max and my dad always got along so well. Max would do anything to help dad and the basketball team. I know how much my dad liked and respected Max.”
“Max was diagnosed with cancer about the same time as my mom,” recalled Troy Kammer. “Some people from the Legion wanted to do a fundraiser for her. I said not unless we include Max as well. So the day of the fundraiser, after we presented the proceeds to him and my mom, he turned around and donated his half to my mom. That’s the kind of man Max L. Subler was.”
Kammer continued, “Max was always for anything the kids were doing at school be it sports, choir, band, or drama club. My senior year we were setting up the stage for a play. He came into the gym. I took a break. He told me that it was a shame the people of the community didn’t support those organizations as well as they did the athletics, because we worked just as hard at those things. Then, most people don’t know it, but Max was a self-ordained SPIRIT-ual leader. He was the bartender on Sunday mornings at the Legion. We told our wives or girlfriends we were going to the Legion for his guidance. He was a GREAT person to work for. He wanted some help to clean up after home basketball games. So Danny Brown, Todd and Tracey Thwaits, and I said we’d do it. He always came up with something to make the couple of hours fly by. He also never really spoke bad of any kid in the school. Even the worst kids in school had respect for Max. There isn’t a kid in school that wouldn’t stop to help him out.”
“This is the way I will remember him,” said Joey Schmitmeyer, an Ansonia graduate and a member of the school board, when he e-mailed a picture to Tammy of Max on a floor scrubber inside the school. “You could find Max a lot on the floor scrubber and mowing. He loved talking to the kids and the sports at Ansonia. He definitely bled orange and black He will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Rest in peace Max. Thanks for all the great memories.”
Max’s send-off following Tuesday’s funeral was awe-inspiring and surely brought tears to the eyes of onlookers.
The funeral procession started from Zechar Bailey Funeral Home in Greenville, traveled northbound on State Route 118 to Ansonia, where two police cruisers, two fire units and a rescue ambulance then to join the procession at the Ansonia First Church of God, and continued down Main Street, turned east on Canal Street, turning into the west side of the school property and traveled around the school grounds, while students, teachers and others watched their friend go by.
Police Officer Christian Idle said it was his honor as well of those who participated in the procession to be able to do this for the man they loved and respected. Among those making this part of the day eventful included Jerrod Widener, Joe Widener, Chris Widener, Sheri Hart Widener, Bryer Gilland, Crystal Branham Horne, Eric Hanna, Brenda Osterholt and Police Chief Frank Shapiro.
After the graveside service, there was a meal at the Ansonia Legion.
“Thank you so much to the Legion for donating the hall, and also a big thanks to the parents of my ex-husband, Jeremy Morrison, for helping with the meal. You all make my heart happy,” Tammy said on behalf of the family.