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Obituaries

Max Lanier Jarrell

Max Lanier Jarrell, of Tullahoma, passed this life on Saturday, December 19th, 2020 at Tennova Healthcare Harton at the age of 76. Max is survived by Roni, his wife of nearly 34 years; his two sons, Max II (Stephanie) and Chris (Lora); brother Don (Connie); eight grandchildren (Mike, Jake, Jonathan, Breanna, Torin, Declan, Norah and Stephanie); 12 great grandchildren (Sarrah, Cavelyn, Nevaeh, Jaykub, Trinity, Zoey, Ella, Kaden, Trevin, Talon, Hugh and Beau); nieces and nephews (Marsha, Terry, Shari and Michael); and numerous cousins. Max’s brothers (Steve, Larry and Walter) and sister (Betty Sue) predeceased him. Max is also survived by Roni’s dad, Harry (Lenny); her brother, Joe (Ines); nephew Nick (Megan); and niece, Katelyn (Khoa). Roni’s mom, Barbara, predeceased him. Max was born at home in Morrison, TN, in humble surroundings to Leora and W.C. Jarrell and was named after a professional baseball player. Max’s family moved many times in the Warren County and Coffee County areas and finally settled in the only home his family ever owned in Tullahoma, where he, Roni and their four cats have resided since 2003. Max graduated from his beloved Tullahoma High School (THS) in 1962. Everyone who knew Max, knows THS was everything to him. He played football there and sadly ended his football career with a right knee injury during a scrimmage when no one was in the stands to clap for him when they carried him off the field. Not to be deterred, Max set his sights on public/government service and entered the ranks of the FBI in Washington, DC, in 1962, after losing 9 pounds running up and down the railroad tracks to meet J. Edgar Hoover’s 170 lb. weight limit for FBI service. Max initially served as a Fingerprint Clerk and in 1972 was promoted to a Fingerprint Specialist. In 2003, Max retired from the FBI as a Supervisory Fingerprint Specialist. While at the FBI, Max received commendation letters from many high-profile individuals, such as J. Edgar Hoover, and many others. At the FBI, Max was asked to work on many high-profile cases, including making the fingerprint identification on Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City Bombing case, and the Robert Hanssen FBI Spying Case, profiled in the movie “Breach” in 2007. In addition, Max processed the money in the DB Cooper Skyjacking Case in 1980. Max testified in court 124 times, still an FBI testimony record, and was once cross-examined by noted Defense attorney, F. Lee Bailey. He taught numerous fingerprint schools and served on the FBI Disaster Squad, helping to identify deceased individuals who were in plane crashes and in other types of disasters. In 1990, Max intermittently appeared on camera in the opening and closing segments of the TV show, “America’s Most Wanted.” In 2002, Max was honored to receive his 40-year FBI gold watch from then FBI director, Robert Mueller. In 2003, after retiring from the FBI and founding his consulting business, Professional Fingerprint Services, Max was interviewed by one of the authors of the book “Love and Death,” to get his perspective on the fingerprint issues surrounding the death of Nirvana’s lead singer, Kurt Cobain. Ironically, Max’s name appears in the index of the book right above Janis Joplin, in perpetuity. Ten years later in 2013, Max received a call from a movie producer in California, asking him to come out and be interviewed on camera for a movie based on the book. In 2016, the movie “Soaked In Bleach” was released. While Max’s interview ultimately ended up on “the cutting room floor,” hearing the film’s director say “Action, Cut and That’s A Wrap” with the sound of the clapperboard was pretty cool. After the Iraq War began, Max went back into service in Quantico, VA, as a contractor from 2007 – 2010 working on terrorist cases and then worked for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) from 2014 – 2016 on cold cases. As a child, Max attended East Lincoln Elementary School. Max and Roni have remained strong supporters of East Lincoln as CEO Partners. Roni plans to continue Max’s legacy of support there. As Max remained an avid supporter of THS, donations can made to the Eli Grow Legacy Creamery Foundation, supporting the THS Football program, in lieu of flowers. Due to the pandemic, a memorial service will be undertaken at a later date, tentatively planned for Sun. 4/18/21, which would be Max and Roni’s 34th wedding anniversary. Details will follow closer to time. Thank you so much for your kind words about what an incredible, kind, patient, funny, professional and flexible man Max was. The best way to honor a person is to emulate what you admire the most about that person, so the challenge going forward is to keep Max alive in our hearts by doing just that. Kilgore Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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