Raised in Roxbury, Max soared through elementary school skipping two grades despite having not known a word of English when he started. He would then go on to graduate from Roxbury Memorial High School at the top of his class. The continuation of his education was thwarted by the Second World War when he profusely volunteered at the tender age of 22. A proficient trumpeter, Max was a member of the Regimental Band. Knowing however that he would be of greater value to his country elsewhere, he stepped away from a position of relative safety and onto the bloody shores of the South Pacific where he would be in active combat for a startling three and a half years. While on the most treacherous islands of Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Leyte and Cebu to name a few, Staff Sergeant Max Singer of the Americal Division would be awarded a treasure trove of awards including numerous citations for gallantry in action, three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, and two Silver Stars – the United States Armed Force’s third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat. When Max was wounded and sent to Manila to recuperate, he participated in a broadcast powered to reach the home-front. When his brilliantly spoken words were heard by Douglas McArthur, the General was so impressed that he invited Max to spend a weekend of well-deserved R & R at his private residence in the Philippines.
When Max finally returned home, it was to a ticker tape parade and an outpouring of love and cheers for Roxbury’s most highly decorated hero. Determined to pick up where he had left off, Max continued his studies, graduating from Northeastern University and Bentley College with a degree in accounting and finance and hence earning his CPA. Max had a celebrated 30-year career with the Internal Revenue Service, starting as a revenue agent and quickly rising to the top as Chief of the Audit Division where he supervised the work of over 700 employees. Still hesitant to hang up his pencil, Max went on to work as a consultant for the private Boston accounting firm of Laventhol & Horwath. After a very brief second retirement, he was recruited by then-governor Michael Dukakis to serve as Deputy Commissioner of The Audit Division in the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Max would finish his illustrious career by implementing what became the single most successful Amnesty (delinquent tax seizure) program in the country’s history. When Max did finally retire, he and his wife settled in Florida where he could finally focus on his other passion. Getting his first hole-in-one at the young age of eighty, he would stay on the golf course for another 15 years.
Max leaves behind his heartbroken children, Lillian Shapiro and her husband Tom and Glenda Duchesneau and her husband Michael; his cherished grandchildren Serena Molk and her husband Matt, Ariana Tivnan and her husband Ryan, Rebecca Duchesneau, and Alexa Duchesneau; and his precious great-grandson Theo.
The funeral will be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Stanetsky-Hymanson Memorial Chapel, 10 Vinnin Street, Salem. The family will receive friends and family at the home of Lillian and Tom Shapiro of 5 Price Road, Peabody immediately following the burial until 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday evening from 7-9 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances may be made to Brudnick Center for Living, 240 Lynnfield Street, Peabody, MA 01960 or The Northeast Animal Shelter, 347 Highland Ave., Salem, MA 01970.
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