T. Max Champion, age 69, of Forest City, passed away Monday, April 19th, 2021. Max was born August 31, 1951 and was a son of the late Treona and Margaret Greene Champion.
He was a 1969 graduate of East Rutherford High School, where he played football and baseball. Max then continued his education at Appalachian State University, where he was a member of the Appalachian State football team and graduated with a degree in Education in 1974. He then began his career at East Rutherford High School, where he worked as a driver’s education teacher and football coach. He coached football at East Rutherford for over 25 years, longer than any other coach. Max also served as Head Baseball Coach at East Rutherford for many years. Max then went on to coach football for five years at RS Central High School and four years at Chase High School. He later returned to East Rutherford to coach for an additional two years. Max ended his coaching career coaching alongside his son-in-law, Clint Bland.
In 2000, he was inducted into the East Rutherford Sports Hall of Fame. Max was a founding board member of the Rutherford County Sports Hall of Fame. Max also led a weekly coaches’ outreach Bible study at R-S Central for several years and was a deacon at Florence Baptist Church. He also was a member of several committees throughout his time at Florence. Max had a strong faith, sharing his love for God and uplifting those around him. Max touched the lives of many, especially throughout his time coaching and he is well-remembered by many former players and fellow coaches. Family was of utmost importance to Max, and he made spending time with them a top priority, especially with all his grandchildren. Max was also an avid fisherman and enjoyed spending time at the beach and watching football.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death his wife, Kaye Bright Champion in 2005.
Survivors include his wife, Connie M. Champion of the home, his daughters, Sherry Duncan Beaver and husband Barry of Boiling Springs, NC, Amy Bland and husband Clint of Ellenboro, his grandchildren, Jordan Beaver, Josh Beaver, Carson Bland, Abby Bland, and Griffin Bland, his brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Beverly McCurry of Forest City as well as many cousins, including a special cousin, Patsy Champion.
The funeral service will be held at 3 o’clock Friday, April 23, 2021 in the Florence Baptist Church with Reverend David Cox, and Reverend Dr. Bobby Gantt officiating. Interment will follow at Eternal Hills Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 1 until 2:45 Friday in the sanctuary at Florence Baptist Church.
Memorials may be made to Florence Baptist Church, 201 South Broadway Street, Forest City, North Carolina 28043.
Please note that the service for Coach Champion will be livestreamed by Florence Baptist Church at the following link:
The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at www.padgettking.com
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