By Adrienne Anderson, Staff WriterJuly 2, 2018
A funeral was held Friday for retired Lt. Gen. Max W. Noah, at Fort Belvoir's Woodlawn Chapel. Noah was the commander of the Army Engineer School at Belvoir from 1980 to 1982, and died June 15 at age 86 from complications from Churg Strauss disease.
Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, Chief of Engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, called Noah a "powerful inspiration" and someone who was able to touch many people throughout his military career. Noah accomplished many things as a leader.
"When I think of what it means to be a leader, it is clear to me that Lt. Gen. Max Noah is a shining example of what a senior Army engineer leader should be," Semonite said. "He set the vision and the conditions for our regiment success, well into the future. He influenced within and beyond the Army; served as a trusted adviser to leaders with the highest authority; and developed the talented, passionate and committed leaders that followed."
Retired Gen. Arthur E. Brown Jr. recalled how others who worked with Noah remembered him.
"Max consistently showed his leadership, his intelligence, his willingness to go the extra mile getting the job done, while taking care of his people -- both those in uniform and the civilian members of his team," he said. "He became known throughout the Pentagon as the go-to guy."
Even after he retired, Noah continued to serve others, Brown said.
His contributions outside of his active-duty service included volunteering with the Army Science Board, the Army Engineer Association and the West Point Association of Graduates Finance Committee. He worked for Burdeshaw Associates and his own defense consulting firm.
Noah was a fighter throughout his life as he dealt with his autoimmune disease, Churg Strauss, which almost took his life 16 years ago, said his son, Van Noah. He continued to adapt and overcome challenges from the disease.
"I saw him do a eulogy for my grandfather, a long time ago. It struck me then that one day, I would be doing that for him," Van said. "He and I didn't think that was happening today. He gave us a list of things to do, and it's helped a lot because it's given us something to do, day in and day out."
One thing his family inherited from his father was their passion for work, Van said, adding his father "loved work. It was his life energy." You could tell the elder was excited to get started, by his signature move of rubbing his hands together in excitement. He was also friendly to everyone and was committed to serving others, Van said.
Van described his father's final moments, saying, up until the end, his father was making friends.
And even in death, Noah continues to work, Van said, because his father donated his heart and brain to science to help find a cure for Churg Strauss.
He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1953 and is a Vietnam and Korean veteran. He served for 35 years in the military. He is survived by his sister, Joy Noah McMillan; his wife, Priscilla; three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.