CHEESEMAN, Charles Max
October 14, 1949 - September 30, 2012
Max passed away unexpectedly from a torn aorta just three months before his planned retirement.
Max was the second child of Gordon and Cornelia Cheeseman, joining Margaret Ann to complete the family. He was born in and spent his early childhood in Champaign, IL, then moved to Springfield, IL. The family moved again to Midland Park, NJ, where Max completed his first two years of high school. Gordon's job in the Space Program again required the family to move-this time to Camarillo, California, where Max graduated from high school. Throughout his growing up years, Max learned from his father and adoring mother the importance and joy of public service.
Max and best friend ventured north to Fresno to begin their college careers. During college Max's interest in politics emerged. He volunteered on local campaigns, traveling throughout the Central Valley to register and educate voters. Along with debating issues and strategizing policy, Max developed a tight group of friends, even becoming the godfather of Emily Leap-Perzigian. In 1972 Max proudly attended the Democratic National Convention as a McGovern delegate, one of the youngest delegates.
After a brief internship in Washington, D.C., and a few years of being a professional political junkie, he joined the City of Fresno shop. He loved the work, and again his family of friends grew along with his skill set. Once Max had almost completed his Masters of Public Administration he decided it was time to expand his horizons; CalTrans wisely hired him to work in their budget shop.
Max once again decided to make a change and joined the now-defunct California Dept. of Trade and Commerce, where he worked in various units legislation, technology, and the administration of the Small Business Administration program. With the closure of Trade and Commerce, Max moved to the Office of Information Services with the Dept. of Consumer Affairs. At this job Max was able to combine his knowledge of technology, budgets, the legislative process, and project planning. He willingly dedicated many hours of his own time to become certified by the Project Management Institute. He easily acquired the friendship and respect of his colleagues at every job he held, and he valued both greatly.
Once Max moved to Sacramento he expanded his social network by attending a Friday-night discussion group where he met Mary Wandschneider. Within a year, they decided to get married. Mary's joy of life and Max's broad smile and steady keel brought them both many years of happiness. Max embraced and was embraced by the Wandschneider family, and loved the opportunity to be an uncle to so many wonderful, interesting boys. Home ownership was part of Max's dream for his family. Max loved to do the home improvements and maintenance he had learned at his father's side. Max was frequently outside working, chatting with neighbors, or gardening. He loved his neighborhood and his neighbors.
Max always loved children, and he was devastated when Andrew Charles Cheeseman was stillborn in 1994. When Max and Mary became parents to Katherine Irene Cheeseman (Katie), he achieved has greatest dream-to be a father. He devoted his actions and his heart to helping Katie become the wonderful young women she is. When it came time for Katie to consider colleges, he created one of his legendary spreadsheets of the pros and cons of every university she was considering and then carefully planned school visits across the country. Max wanted to help find the best school for his beloved daughter. It was his hope that she would achieve all of her dreams and have a charmed life.
Any memorials may be made to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, 3333 Third Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817, or to a charity of your choice .
Max, we love you for your passion, prudence, and intelligence.
We cherish you for your wisdom, humor, loyalty and limitless hear.
You will always be missed, remembered, and most importantly loved.
Mary and Katie, Gordon and Wilma, Margaret,
and Max's many friends, coworkers, and relatives