Max Mitchell Schiff
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Max Mitchell Schiff
  • March 24, 1923 - June 27, 2017
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Max M. Schiff was born in Oklahoma City in 1923 to Bessie Steinman Schiff and Ben Schiff. Max's parents said that Max was born on March 25 but his birth certificate read March 24. Therefore, to be absolutely certain that he was celebrating his correct birthdate, Max celebrated two birthdays each year.
The Schiff family belonged to Emanuel Synagogue in Oklahoma City. Max remained a member of the same synagogue for his entire life. When Max studied for his Bar Mitzvah, he traveled daily from his public school to the synagogue to attend Hebrew School. Years later, a fellow student at his public school said that he felt sorry for Max having to attend another school while the other students played when school was over for the day. However, Max was proud of his Jewish heritage which was a significant part of his life.
Max grew up helping his father run the small family clothing store and shoe repair shop in downtown Oklahoma City. Max didn't think he had the money to attend college, but with the assistance of fellow Phi Lamda Phi fraternity members, he worked several jobs while attending the University of Oklahoma. To save money, during his freshman year he lived in a room underneath the football stadium. Max was the first person in his family to attend college. His brother Eddie followed him in matriculating to college.
Max was in his sophomore year of college when the US entered World War II. He enlisted in the Enlisted Reserve Corp and was called to duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on May 11, 1943. Max was assigned to the infantry and fought in Europe. Max participated in the Battle of the Bulge as a member of the 99th Division.
After the war, Max remained in Europe for a few months as a civilian. A relative told Max that there was a young woman, Henia Ring, who had survived the concentration camps recuperating in a Swedish hospital. Max reluctantly said that he didn't have the finances to travel to see her. Little did Max know that a few years later he would meet the same woman after she immigrated to America and that she would become his wife for 42 years.
Max returned to college after the war and graduated in May 1948 with an accounting degree. Max was hired by Halliburton Company in Duncan, Oklahoma immediately following college and retired at the company after 37 years.
Max and Henia were very proud of their three children, Shirley Strauss, Steven Schiff, and Sandy Ostrosky. Max and Henia was an active member of Toastmasters for a number of years. Traveling became a hobby for Max, and he and his family drove through most of the United States. Later, Max and Henia traveled extensively overseas.
After the death of Henia in 1990, Max was blessed to have a wonderful life with Velma Murray for over 25 years. Max and Velma enjoyed spending time with each other and well as traveling and attending the grandchildren's B'nai Mitzvahs, weddings, and graduations. During Max's final illness, Velma provided loving care to Max.

Max is survived by his children, Shirley Strauss and husband Larry of Dallas, Texas, Steven Schiff and wife Ann of Rockville, Maryland, Sandy Ostrosky and husband Neil of Houston, Texas; 7 grandchildren, Rabbi Brian Strauss and wife Lisa of Houston, Texas, Brad Strauss and wife Dawn of Dallas, Texas, Brandon Strauss and wife Jessica of Houston, Texas, Katherine Schiff of Tel Aviv, Israel, William Schiff of Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Sara Ostrosky Jacobs and husband Maury of Dallas, Texas and Evan Ostrosky of Philadelphia, Pa. as well as 9 great grandchildren.
Max always had a smile on his face and was loved by everyone! Max also had a lifelong love for ice cream! We will all miss Max!

Arrangements under the direction of Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Directors, Oklahoma City, OK.