Maxwell R. McCreery


Maxwell R. McCreery of Chilmark passed peacefully in his home, surrounded by his immediate family, while his sister-in-law played his favorite songs on the piano in the next room.

With his booming laugh, warmth, love of life and people, Max was authentically positive. Playing golf, he’d only remember your good shots. Throwing horseshoes, he’d repeatedly bellow an encouraging, “Great shoe!” An inquisitive conversationalist, he was genuinely interested in whomever he was talking to. And he never saw a person he didn’t want to get to know. It was impossible to be in a bad mood around Max. His compassion, humor, and extroverted nature ensured he lived every day of his long life to the fullest.

Called “Roddy” as a child, he loved his hometown of Winchester, where he grew up playing hockey on Wedge Pond behind the house in winter and pick-up basketball whenever a game was on. During his PG year at Hotchkiss, he excelled in baseball, and then went on to play basketball at Brown University. Completing ROTC at Brown, he graduated as a commissioned officer and served in the Air Force (1958–61) in Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Limestone, Maine. Then began his 25-year career at Exxon, starting as a regional sales rep in Northampton, a move to regional sales manager in Buffalo, N.Y.,, and finally landing at the NYC headquarters, where he headed an executive recruiting team and settled his family in Darien, Conn. Taking early retirement, he had a second career in outplacement, where he delighted in helping anyone and everyone find better jobs than they previously held.

Max possessed a sincere sense of civic responsibility; his skills for and love of community building were unparalleled. As an example, he realized his desire to teach his young daughters to play basketball by starting a townwide girls basketball league at the Darien YMCA. He expressed his love of the environment as a founder of the Darien Nature Center, the Friends of Woodland Park, and serving on the board of the Friends of Sengekontacket. To show appreciation for his alma mater, he served as president of the Brown Club of Fairfield County. He gave back to his community by serving on the board of United Way, the board of the Democratic Town Committee, and the board of selectmen for the town of Darien. Retiring to Martha’s Vineyard, he became a faithful member of Grace Church, and spent 15 years on the personnel board for the town of Chilmark. In his seventies, he trained and volunteered as an EMT for the Tri-Town Ambulance service. Delivering meals for Meals on Wheels each Tuesday was a highlight of his week.

Max married the love of his life, Constance Snelling, also from Winchester, in 1963, and together they raised their two girls, Margaret and Georgia. He maintained strong ties with extended family, and treasured lifelong friendships he continued to nurture with daily and weekly phone calls right up until the day he died. Max and Connie spent their summers on (and retired to) their family property in Chilmark, where he woke up to countless “PVDs” (Perfect Vineyard Days), and sincerely and boisterously appreciated every single one. He taught many of his 18 nieces and nephews how to windsurf on Chilmark Pond, countless kids how to shoot a basketball, and enjoyed wonderful music made by family. When they approached, every child in his life was “the great one!” and he told them so with gusto. Relishing the talents of his four grandchildren and their many cousins filled him with joy. There’s no doubt the afterlife just got a little bit more interesting, vibrant, and full of heart.

Max is survived by his wife Connie; daughters Meg and Gigi; sister Betsy and her husband Tom Sheehy; sons-in-law Rob Luton and Andrew Lamond; grandchildren Max, George, Evelyn, and Jocelyn; among so much more extended family, all of whom loved him dearly.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven (P.O. Box 1197, 34 Woodlawn Ave., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or

A funeral service will be held online and in person at Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at 11 am, with reception to follow. Private burial for family.

For online tributes and more information, visit


  1. Meg, I’m sorry for your loss. I know your Dad has gone on to a better place. Condolences to you and your mom.

  2. I’m really going to miss Max and wish I had a chance to say good by to him. We became good friends while disagreeing about a zoning issue years ago. While debating the merits of our respective positions, we grew to respect and like each other and enjoyed each others company. A big guy with a huge heart. Rest in peace.

  3. Max will still be listening to what’s being said, asking pertinent questions and asking forgiveness for forgetting (once again) to bring his hearing aids! He always wanted to do the right thing, to have a guffaw and to appreciate the people involved. A gentleman.

  4. Always enjoyed interactions with Max! Each time I got to see Max he always started with “Did you go for a sail today?” Max knew that I had a sailboat and always encourage me to get out there and enjoy it. warm regards and condolences to Connie and family.

  5. All the good things we’re hearing said about Max McCreery are true, and probably more. He was a true lover of life and people — always appreciating our quirks and challenges, even when he disagreed. The MV Democratic Council and so many other groups will miss his smile, his strong opinions, and the warmth and support he brought to so many of us. Love and comfort to Connie and all his family.

  6. Exceptionally bright and most of all an insatiable curiosity. Very kind, always genuine about you, what did you have to say? He wanted to learn more. Learn more about you, learn more about life. I taught Max in EMT class and subsequent continuing education. Studied hard, couldn’t ask enough questions. As said, curious. His patients I am sure were the beneficiaries. Give, laugh, care and yearn to learn. That’s Max. Sail on my friend.

  7. One of the brightest stars from the class of 1953 Winchester High school is now shining brightly above…there is still a few of us around and we are in touch with each other and Max was always on the list…he is going to be missed by his family and and so many on island and in many other places he and his family had put roots down. Best wishes to Connie and the rest of the family. Joan McNeill Bird – WHS 1953.

Comments are closed.