Max Eugene Moss Sr., whose highly regarded career as a journalist began as an experiment when he was a 17-year-old student at Richmond High School, died Thursday, October 22, at his home in Pleasant View, TN. He was 80 years old.
Mr. Moss’ introduction to the communications industry began when Earl Conn, his journalism teacher at RHS, convinced Ed Harris Sr., editor and publisher of the Palladium-Item newspaper at the time, to add a student to his newsroom staff on a part-time basis.
As Mr. Moss wrote years later, “I could not have possibly imagined what awaited me when I climbed the steps leading to the Pal-Item’s newsroom for the first time… In a matter of a few days, thoroughly mesmerized, whatever thoughts I may have had about a career changed. I was going to be a newspaperman!
Following his graduation from RHS in 1958 and Indiana University, where he majored in journalism, in 1962 and active-duty service as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Mr. Moss’ career included stints as an award-winning writer, photographer and editor at his hometown newspaper, the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio, the Courier Tribune in Bloomington, Ind., The Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville, Tenn., and the Nashville Banner in Nashville, Tenn.
He also was editor of The Lunker Hole magazine, which was distributed nationwide to members of the Bass Caster’s Association; editor of Bass Angler, a magazine he designed for the Professional Bass Fishermen (PBF); writer-producer of the outdoors module of Country.com, a popular web site operated by Turner Broadcasting and CBS; and, for 15 years prior to his retirement, executive director and editor of the Tennessee Outdoor Writers Association, a statewide professional organization for outdoor communicators.
When “mostly retired” as a journalist, and willing to share his views on a variety of issues, Mr. Moss became involved in local government for the first and only time, serving for 10 years on Pleasant View’s Planning and Zoning Commission, including six as its chairman.
Mr. Moss was the son of Harry C. Moss and Pauline Bond Moss of Richmond and brother of Harry C. Moss Jr., of Richmond, who died in 1983. Survivors include Merrily Ann McKinley Moss, his wife for 59 years; one son, Max Moss Jr. of Stigler, OK; one daughter, Karen Sue McIntyre of Nashville, TN; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be conducted at 3 o’clock p.m., Sunday, October 25, at Austin & Bell Funeral Home in Pleasant View, TN. His remains will be cremated and the burial of his ashes at a later date in Earlham Cemetery in Richmond.
In lieu of other remembrances, Mr. Moss’ family suggests that donations might be made to the Griffith College Scholarship Fund at Pleasant View United Methodist Church, where he was an active member of the congregation. The church’s mailing address is 2621 Church St., Pleasant View, TN 37146.