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The Greatest Generation lost one of its greatest members on June 7th, 2017. Max Fuentes, Jr. was born on July 31, 1926, in San Antonio, TX. Like most children of America's Great Depression, he knew hard times and deprivation. He grew up in South San Antonio, and although his family's main concern during his childhood years was survival, he recalled his early years as "wholesome, interesting and exciting". His family instilled in him principles that would guide his life: courtesy, honesty and respect for all people. They also drilled into him the concept of doing nothing that would bring shame or dishonor onto him or his family.
He graduated from South San Antonio High School in May, 1944, during the time of World War II. Max's desire to serve his country was such that he enlisted in the Army prior to his 18th birthday. He served as a Combat Infantryman and Athletic Instructor with Company E, 313th Infantry Regiment.
He served in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. The Rhineland campaign advanced from Paris to the Rhine beginning August 25, 1944 and the Central Europe campaign comprised the Western Allied invasion of Germany. The Central Europe campaign was the decisive Allied victory that secured the fall of Nazi Germany.
In late October, 1945 Max won the XV Corps Featherweight boxing championship, representing the 1st Infantry Division (Company E, 16th Infantry). They were known as "The Red Ones", and he was the only member of the 1st Infantry Division's five finalists (in various weight classes), to win his championship bout.
He was a member of the Occupation Army in Germany after the end of the war, and was honorably discharged in June, 1946.
With the assistance of the GI Bill, Max earned a B.A. in Sociology in 1956 from St. Mary's University (San Antonio). In 1957 he earned a LLB from St. Mary's University School of Law (San Antonio). Max was in private practice as a trial attorney in both civil and criminal cases in San Antonio, TX from September 1957 to January , 1972.
He left private practice and was appointed District Counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Houston from 1972 to 1974. He later was promoted to Regional Counsel of the EEOC in the Dallas Regional office. Max ended his career with his appointment as a Municipal Judge for the City of Dallas, and served from 1978 to 1994.
Community involvement was very important to Max. In 1965 and 1968, Max was elected to 3-year terms to the South San Antonio ISD. He served as the Board's President for 3 years, and he was the first Mexican-American President of the ISD Board.
Max championed the civil and voting rights of the Mexican-American community in San Antonio; in particular working towards the eventual elimination of the poll tax. Max was instrumental in bringing programs to South San that benefited the children and adults of the community, such as Vocational Training (to allow a middle-class career path for children), ROTC, Adult Education programs and implementation of the U.S. Government's Milk and Lunch programs.
Max served on several Boards and organizations such as: Bexar County Mental Health and Retardation Board; President of the San Antonio Pan American Golf Association; President of the San Antonio Civic Association; member of the South San Antonio Optimist Club; member of the Harlandale Lions Club; and Chairman of the Municipal Judges' Section of the Texas State Bar Association. Max was also a member of the San Antonio Bar Association, Texas State Bar Association, and the Delta Theta Phi Legal Fraternity.
Max met his life partner, Consuelo Barrera in 1952, and they were married on November 8th, 1953 in her home town: Alice, TX. They were married for 64+ years. They had 2 children, Max, III and Sylvia Ann.
Surviving Max are his beloved wife, Consuelo; his son, Max III and wife Gina; grandsons Austin Gray, Houston Gray; great-grandson Lyndon Gray; and sisters Maria V. Ferguson and Marina Gamboa.
Max enjoyed hunting, fishing and was an avid golfer, having won numerous amateur tournaments dating to the early 1970s. He was a devoted fan of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Longhorns. He also was an incredible BBQ chef. Max was one of those people who never met a stranger, and had many friends who, along with his family, will miss him greatly and cherish the times we shared together.