This is how the Rotary Club of Cleveland will remember longtime member Max Carroll. Tuesday’s meeting was set aside for the Rotary to pay tribute to the legacy Carroll left behind in so many areas. Carroll was a member of Rotary for 31 years.
Carroll was responsible directly and indirectly for several members of the club joining. Rotary President Kim Casteel is one of them.
“Its not very often that people like Max Carroll pass through our lives,” Casteel said. “As it pertains to Rotary, it is also not that often that we get to pay tribute to a person whose influence was just as strong in our club as it was in our community.”
Casteel said he really lived the Rotary concept of “service above self.”
Art Rhodes was another.
“Max loved Rotary. He loved the fellowship and everything about Rotary,”
He was always recruiting new members.
“You may have thought you had a choice, but you really didn’t,” Rhodes said. “Basically when he set his sites in you and said you were going to join Rotary, you were going to join Rotary — it was that simple.”
Max Carroll is also the reason Dr. Bill George became a Rotary member.
George talked about working with Max Carroll in church work. Carroll served on the finance committee for the church and on the Church and Pastor’s Council for several years at North Cleveland Church of God.
It was because of Carroll that George began teaching a two-hour, in-depth study of the Bible every Wednesday. The classes met for two years.
“If I remember correctly he missed very, very few of those meetings,” George said.
“To Max Carroll it was left to have that unique combination of qualities that led me and you to say, ‘Because I knew him I’m a better person,’” George said.
Larry McDaniel, a business associate, invited Carroll to Rotary.
“He was my friend, my partner and my mentor,” McDaniel said.
Carroll gave McDaniel the opportunity to own his own business. He also taught him business sense, McDaniel said.
Cleveland Board of Education chairman Peggy Pesterfield served Carroll during his time on the school board.
“Max did not talk a lot on the school board or make long speeches, but when he spoke we all paid close attention because he knew what was really important, and he would always get directly to the point,” Pesterfield said.
Pesterfield said she was so glad Carroll had been able to attend the dedication of the science wing named in his honor at Cleveland High School.
He would often bring family and friends into the wing to brag on the facility, she said.
Attorney and former school board member Bill Brown said Carroll was someone the community could look up to.
“You know one of the great things about Rotary ... is its fundamental principle of service above self. And if there was ever an individual who emulated that, it was Max Carroll.”
Brown pointed out that the combined years Carroll served in the City Council or school board equaled 38 years, almost half of his life. Brown said Carroll always had the best interest of the community at heart.
“Our country and our community could use more men like Max Carroll,” Brown said.
Carroll’s nephew, Stephen Carroll spoke about Max’s commitment to family and how he always encouraged family members to better themselves and get as much education as possible.
“Max as the youngest literally had a huge legacy on top of him (from the accomplishments of his older siblings),” Stephen said.
Stephen said Max’s drive to be a better person, and encourage others to do the same, came from his family.
Max always showed an interest in his family and what they were doing and why.
Max’s son David Carroll said he wanted to thank everyone for being there for the family in this difficult time.
“You hear that term ‘family of Rotary’ and I look around this room and see my dad’s friends and business associates, and there really is something to that,” he said.
Both David and Stephen Carroll are members of Rotary. They were invited to the club by Max Carroll.