Elizabeth Max, Faculty Emerita at Oklahoma State University, died Sept. 7. She was born on Oct. 9, 1924, in Fort Worth, Texas, to Colonel Frederick Ward and Alice Louise Matthews Maxwell. With a career armed forces officer for a father, she grew up as a child of the military subculture, attending well over 10 schools across the country before graduating from high school at age 16.
In 1944, she received her bachelor’s degree in speech/theater from Texas State College for Women (later, Texas Women’s University) in Denton, where she earned membership in “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.”
After stints playing bass violin in an all-women’s dance band and working for United Press International and NBC Radio in New York City, she married Herbert Jones McCorkle and settled in Breckenridge, Texas, where she taught public school and was the high school librarian.
In 1966, she completed her master’s degree in library science at North Texas State University (now, University of North Texas). She moved to Western Illinois University as the arts and architecture librarian in 1969 and then to Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, in the same position in 1970.
From 1972-76, she was the coordinator of the OSU library science department. She received her doctorate of education in 1974 with a research focus on women in higher education.
From 1976 until her retirement in 1990, she was the supervisor of OSU’s English education program. After her retirement in 1990, she moved to State College, Pa., where one of her daughters was a professor at Penn State. There, she became a disaster relief volunteer for the Red Cross, going to several disaster sites around the country as well as providing disaster relief services to local residents in Pennsylvania. She moved back to Stillwater in 2005 when her daughter joined the OSU faculty.
Elizabeth Max was a strong advocate and activist for women’s rights. She was a founding member of the National Women’s Studies Association and OSU’s Women’s Council. She was a member of many academic and political organizations, including National Council of Teachers of English, National Education Association, National Women’s Studies Association, Oklahoma Adult and Continuing Education Association, Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Phi Mu, People for the American Way, English First, Democratic National Committee, Emily’s List, Society of Mayflower Descendants, and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Her biographical record can be located in numerous reference sources, including Who’s Who in Women in America and Who’s Who in the World. In addition, she was on the New York Times Readers Panel and was a union musician, often offering her skills as a bass violinist to local and regional symphonies throughout the years.
Elizabeth Max’s family is very proud of her and her accomplishments. Not only did she have a thirst for knowledge and adventure, she had a quick wit and a love of culture and the Arts. Especially, she loved New York City for its vibrancy, variety and energy.
She is survived by her children Anne Elizabeth McCorkle Moore, Louise Kate Light, Bruce Ward McCorkle and Sallie Matthews McCorkle; her grandchildren Namdrol Miranda Adams, Will Stuart Moore, Hayes Greenwood Moore, Matthew Bacon McCorkle, and Michelle Maxwell McCorkle; and her great grandchildren Molly Jane Moore, Lily Beth Moore and Chloe Anne Moore.
She was preceded in death by her grandson, Albion Christopher Adams.
In accordance with her wishes, a private memorial will occur in New York on what would have been her 89th birthday.
The family would appreciate receiving thoughts and memories from friends and colleagues via the Palmer Marler Carberry Funeral Home website www.pmcfh.com. Donations to Judith Karman Hospice, Stillwater, would also be appreciated.