ARCHBOLD, Ohio — Max Stuckey, a real estate broker and auctioneer whose rhythmic and sometimes comic chant drew the interest of bidders, died Friday in ProMedica Toledo Hospital. He was 73.
He lost the function of one lung after cancer treatment several years ago and most recently developed complications from pneumonia, said his son, Dr. Jordan Stuckey.
He retired about a year ago from Stuckey Realty, begun by his late father, Denver.
“Closing down the office was tough, but it was time given his physical health,” his son said. “He was one of five children. The others had gone off and done other things. He stayed home and took after his dad.”
He was born Jan. 8, 1944, to Frances and Denver Stuckey. He was a graduate of Archbold High School, but by age 16, was an auctioneer at the former Lugbill Bros. livestock sale in Archbold. His father also was an auctioneer at Lugbill.
“It’s something he learned seeing and hearing how my grandfather did it,” his son said.
Through his family company, he sold the contents of households and farms by auction, for their owners or on behalf of sheriffs across northwest Ohio. Auctions could seem fast-paced, but Mr. Stuckey established a rhythm.
“The pauses were perfectly placed,” his son said.
“It could be exhausting,” his son said. “To sell a house of a lifetime’s belongings, that can be a 7, 8, 12-hour day.”
Mr. Stuckey also was called on by charities across northwest Ohio to be the auctioneer at their fund-raisers, to the delight of attendees.
“People who had never been to a livestock or house sale, they would get caught up in it. You get into the singsong of it,” his son said. “My dad was a showman. It was making jokes and egging people on. By the end of the night, everyone was appreciative and had a good time listening to him. He made a lot of money for charities.”
Outside of auctioneering, he was on the quiet side.
“He would want to get to know somebody before he opened up,” his son said.
As a real estate broker, he was respected as a specialist in knowing the true value of buildings or farmland.
“He took pride in doing the best he could for whoever entrusted him with that responsibility,” his son said.
His primary interest was in providing a service, said Sam Switzer, owner of a Defiance realty firm, who was newly licensed when he first met Mr. Stuckey, who advised patience, that “you don’t have to get upset or worked up about things,” Mr. Switzer said.
“If I learned anything from him, it’s that if you overreact to something, your clients will overreact too,” he said.
Mr. Stuckey helped out with area 4-H and FFA groups and was on the advisory boards of annual fairs in several counties, including Defiance, Fulton, Henry, and Williams. He was a member of the Archbold Area Rotary Foundation.
Surviving are his wife, Sharon, whom he married June 22, 1968; son, Dr. Jordan Stuckey; sisters, Charlene Beck and Sara McFarland; brother, David, and six grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Thursday at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, where funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday. Arrangements are by Grisier Funeral Home, Archbold.
The family suggests tributes to the Rotary International scholarship program or Zion Mennonite Church.
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