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Santa Barbara News-Press : TOOMBS, Max


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July 21, 2013 12:03 AM

1921 - 2013

Max passed away peacefully, at his home in Solvang, surrounded by his loving family on July 13th.

He was born July 12, 1921 to Charles Toombs & Lena Easton Toombs in New Hampton, Harrison County, Missouri. He was the youngest of six children.

Prior to World War II, he moved to Los Angeles where he served as assistant manager of a Wool- worth store where he met his loving wife, Louise "Jean" Grasso and they married in August of 1942.

In September of 1942 Max entered the US Army and joined the 191st Tank Battalion as a tank driver in the European-African Middle-Eastern Campaigns. He was wounded in action in Italy on October 16, 1943 and was the lone survivor in his tank when it was hit by enemy fire. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

After recovering from his wounds he returned home to Inglewood, CA, where he and Louise raised two daughters, and he worked as an electrician for many years. After retiring they moved to Solvang.

He was most happy enjoying his family gatherings, deer hunting and in later years gardening.

Max is survived by his loving wife of seventy years, Louise, two daughters, Diane Chester (Charles) of Solvang and Carol Bennett of Grass Valley, CA, five grandchildren; Nick Valestrino of Thousand Oaks, Jill Valestrino of Santa Barbara and Max Bennett, Gina Bennett and Carrie Osborne all of Grass Valley, CA; eleven great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson.

Dad was loved by all, and he will forever be in our hearts.

Private family services will be held with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Visiting Nurses/Hospice of Santa Barbara.


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