Maxwell Claude Gillette, last of the 12 children of Charles and Emma Gillette, died at California Pacific Medical Center Dec.10, 2020, a victim of lung cancer.
Recent sibling departures include in 2019 brothers Harold and Roscoe; and on Nov. 7, 2020, sister Geraldine Earp. The entire crew (parents Charles and Emma and siblings Lynwood, Charles Jr., William, Auverege, Annie, Idell, Gladys, and Edythe) is together again.
Born in Des Ark, Arkansas March 2, 1928, "Max", as he was fondly called, came to SF in1943 when his parents relocated from Chicago, Il. He joined Bethel AME Church in San Francisco ,and was an active member, singing in the choir, representing Bethel at area youth debate programs, and eventually being named a trustee of the church. In 2018 he was awarded the Trustee Emeritus title, in recognition of his 60+years of exemplary service.
Other recognitions include the Unsung Heroes award by the Public Library, the Man of the Year by KQED, the "Legends Award' by the Sons of Allen of Bethel AMEC and Outstanding Kappa Achievement.
A Lowell High School, graduate, Max received his BA and MA degrees in Industrial Arts from SF State College Nothing delighted him more than to be greeted on the street by former Ben Franklin School students thanking him for teaching woodshop to them and for being their role model.
Following a stint in military service, Max served as administrator of John Adams Community College Center. He retired from the community colleges in 1991. He continued to address community needs through his church work.
Max married Frankie Jacobs, a federal government anti-poverty program administrator in 1976 . They traveled extensively and cheerfully represented San Francisco as members of the San Francisco-Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire Sister City Committee. He enjoyed accompanying Frankie to meetings of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, and escorting her to his fraternal conventions, including the Kappa Alpha Psi, and the Sigma Phi Phi fraternities and the Mt. Hebro Masonic Lodge. Annual Jazz cruises was another joy.
Along with Frankie, Max leaves to remember him fondly several nieces, and nephews in the Bay Area and throughout the world.
A virtual Celebration of Life will occur Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 23 if you wish to attend and/or participate programatically..You will receive a Zoom identify number.
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