Joe ‘Max’ Word, M.D.

Edgar's picture
Article Image Alt Text

Joe ”Max” Word went to his reward on January 29, 2018. Services were originally held February 5 in the Neil Chapel at Carillon. His family will have a military burial for him at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, October 28, at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Ozona. Max was the only child of Lena Enright Carson and John Taylor ‘Boppo” Word. He was born December 28, 1929 in Ozona. Growing up Max spent much of his time working as a cowboy. He was a talented calf-roper, bronc and bull rider and rodeoed all over Texas. He had horses, cow, goats, pigs, chickens, many dogs and a raccoon named Cooney. He graduated valedictorian of Ozona High. He graduated in 1952 from Texas A&M University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He practiced large animal medicine in Memphis, Tenn. He served as a 1st Lieutenant and medical officer in the 5th Army Headquarters during the Korean War from 1953 to 1955 and in the Army reserves. In 1953, in Chicago, he met an engaging airline stewardess from Nebraska, Eunice Barge. They were married within three months on September 6, 1953. Their life and great love together lasted 65 years. In 1955 he reenrolled at Texas A&M and received an additional Bachelor of Science degree before graduating from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, at the top of his class in 1960. In 1961, Max and Eunice welcomed their son Jon into the world. The Words loved the mountain lifestyle and moved to Rifle, a small town on the western slope of Colorado, where Max practiced family medicine. They bought a picturesque farm with Max’s parents and raised Herford cattle, rode horses, grew hay, barley and apples. Max personally delivered his daughter Tami in November 1964. On winter weekends, the Words all learned to ski in Aspen. Alpine skiing quickly became the favorite family sport. In 1969, Max completed a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He was certified by the American College of Radiology and he and Eunice moved to Lubbock in 1972, where he entered private practice. He served on the staff at West Texas Hospital, Highland Hospital, Methodist (Covenant) Hospital, St Mary’s and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). He was a founding member of the Diagnostic Radiology Associates (DRA) and Director of DRA for many years. Max also served on the faculty of South Plains College in Levelland as the director of the Radiology Technologist Program and was a clinical professor at TTUHSC. Max was an amazing husband and loving father and very proud grandfather. He never met a stranger-ever! He was always singing, always smiling, always enthusiastic, always asking a thousand questions. He was ever curious about everyone and everything and up for any adventure. Frequently, he and Euni would dance the night away. In addition to his family, Max loved his dogs -- especially his Dachshund Tigger and his Basset Hound Barney – and he loved flying. He was a licensed private pilot with instrument rating and a glider pilot too. Little Tigger was often his co-pilot when Euni or his friends could not fly with him. He is survived by his wife Eunice; son Jon; grandchildren Kyle and Taylor Word of Albuquerque; and his daughter Tami Word of Aspen. A tribute of his life may be found at In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Boy Scouts, South Plains Food Bank, Women’s Protective Services, Meals on Wheels, or desired educational philanthropy.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet