Max Cheeseman

October 14, 1949September 30, 2012
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CHEESEMAN, Charles Max October 14, 1949 - September 30, 2012

Max passed away unexpectedly from a torn aorta just three months before his planned retirement.

Max was the second child of Gordon and Cornelia Cheeseman, joining Margaret Ann to complete the family. He was born in and spent his early childhood in Champaign, IL, then moved to Springfield, IL. The family moved again to Midland Park, NJ, where Max completed his first two years of high school. Gordon's job in the Space Program again required the family to move-this time to Camarillo, California, where Max graduated from high school. Throughout his growing up years, Max learned from his father and adoring mother the importance and joy of public service.

Max and best friend ventured north to Fresno to begin their college careers. During college Max's interest in politics emerged. He volunteered on local campaigns, traveling throughout the Central Valley to register and educate voters. Along with debating issues and strategizing policy, Max developed a tight group of friends, even becoming the godfather of Emily Leap-Perzigian. In 1972 Max proudly attended the Democratic National Convention as a McGovern delegate, one of the youngest delegates.

After a brief internship in Washington, D.C., and a few years of being a professional political junkie, he joined the City of Fresno shop. He loved the work, and again his family of friends grew along with his skill set. Once Max had almost completed his Masters of Public Administration he decided it was time to expand his horizons; CalTrans wisely hired him to work in their budget shop.

Max once again decided to make a change and joined the now-defunct California Dept. of Trade and Commerce, where he worked in various units legislation, technology, and the administration of the Small Business Administration program. With the closure of Trade and Commerce, Max moved to the Office of Information Services with the Dept. of Consumer Affairs. At this job Max was able to combine his knowledge of technology, budgets, the legislative process, and project planning. He willingly dedicated many hours of his own time to become certified by the Project Management Institute. He easily acquired the friendship and respect of his colleagues at every job he held, and he valued both greatly.

Once Max moved to Sacramento he expanded his social network by attending a Friday-night discussion group where he met Mary Wandschneider. Within a year, they decided to get married. Mary's joy of life and Max's broad smile and steady keel brought them both many years of happiness. Max embraced and was embraced by the Wandschneider family, and loved the opportunity to be an uncle to so many wonderful, interesting boys. Home ownership was part of Max's dream for his family. Max loved to do the home improvements and maintenance he had learned at his father's side. Max was frequently outside working, chatting with neighbors, or gardening. He loved his neighborhood and his neighbors.

Max always loved children, and he was devastated when Andrew Charles Cheeseman was stillborn in 1994. When Max and Mary became parents to Katherine Irene Cheeseman (Katie), he achieved has greatest dream-to be a father. He devoted his actions and his heart to helping Katie become the wonderful young women she is. When it came time for Katie to consider colleges, he created one of his legendary spreadsheets of the pros and cons of every university she was considering and then carefully planned school visits across the country. Max wanted to help find the best school for his beloved daughter. It was his hope that she would achieve all of her dreams and have a charmed life.

Any memorials may be made to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, 3333 Third Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817, or to a charity of your choice .

Max, we love you for your passion, prudence, and intelligence. We cherish you for your wisdom, humor, loyalty and limitless hear. You will always be missed, remembered, and most importantly loved.

Mary and Katie, Gordon and Wilma, Margaret, and Max's many friends, coworkers, and relatives


  • Memorial Service Monday, October 8, 2012

Max Cheeseman

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Kathleen Dovidio

March 29, 2013

Dear Mary,

I have been thinking about you and Max over the years, wishing that i had not lost touch with both of you after Katie's arrival. I remember your beautiful wedding, and the honor of being Max's best "man". Consequently, i just googled Max and am crying to read that he passed this past September. I am so sorry that he is gone. The photo gallery is beautiful of the three of you and a source of great comfort, knowing that all of you had a good life together. Your daughter is absolutely a beautiful reminder of your love for one another which i was lucky enough to witness on several occasions during your early years together. It is with great sadness that i didn't get in touch when the opportunity was still present to become reacquainted. Although my sympathy is belated, please know that the memories of our friendship have always be present in my life. Your husband was such a lucky guy to have you two! My thoughts are with you both. So sorry i missed meeting Katie but I still have the lovely letter Max sent me announcing her arrival. Take care and god bless, Kathleen Dovidio, Sebastopol, CA

Diane Hall

October 26, 2012

Condolences to Max's family. I know of him through my connection to his father. Max was my 3rd cousin and I'm sorry I didn't get to know him. He was certainly well liked and highly thought of and loved by his family.
Very sincerely,
Diane Gould Hall

Ron Primavera

October 22, 2012

Max helped us all manage the long, tedious hours required to put a budget to bed each year. He was a special guy. Sorry for your loss.

Darrell and Jackie Dearborn

October 19, 2012

Mary and Katie,
I learned of Max's death today in an email from Ron Anderson. It's painful to realize he's gone. His work for me in the Fresno budget office was done with quiet competence. There was nothing Max couldn't learn and do well, better than most of us. He was respected by everyone in our office, and throughout the city organization, for his respectful honesty and his humility, qualities I'm sure he carried throughout his career.

Jackie and I send you our deepest sympathy and condolences.

Diane Hawkins

October 16, 2012

It was so very sad to read the news about Max. My deepest sympathies to Mary, Katie, and all of Max's family & friends. Hold tight to all of the wonderful memories...

Dave Todd

October 15, 2012

I met Max in Fresno during the 1972 McGovern Presidential campaign where I worked on the yard sign operation and also did precinct walking. Max was a very energetic and extremely dedicated member who gave many hours to our effort. I moved to Sacramento eleven years ago. I regret that I did not know that Max had also relocated here. My condolences to his family. Peace and love.

Dave Todd

Brian Holloway

October 15, 2012

Max, Ron Anderson and I were interns at the City of Fresno, while in Grad School. We had a really great time believing that we were actually running the City. Max obviously took our tasks much more seriously than the rest of us. Except for the time we were told to "look busy." That resulted in us designing and constructing the most radical but elaborate paper airplanes, and tossing them out our sixth-story window to the street below. Max's planes were incredibly precise and flew better than any others. Later, Max followed me to Sacramento, where I would hear from him or of his accomplishments from time to time. He truly loved being a husband and father and he will be very much missed. Condolences to Mary, Katie and the rest of his familly.


October 15, 2012

Max was a great guy. Condolences and all the best to Mary and Katie.

October 15, 2012

Mary, I am so very sorry for your loss. Peace be with you and your family.
Sincerely,Clar Rohde (OCJP)

October 15, 2012

I met Max through his sweet wife Mary and had the pleasure of crossing paths with them over the years. His calm, quiet, good-natured presence will be missed. Hugs to all his family and friends.
Teresa Contreras