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Obituaries » Maxwell S. Harway

Maxwell S. Harway, 104, of Naples, Fla., a longtime Warrenton real estate investor and civic activist, died Dec. 3, 2017, in Florida.
He was born March 7, 1913, in New York, N.Y., to the late Samuel and Esther Hurwitz, who had emigrated from Russia.
Mr. Harway grew up in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, graduating from the renowned Townsend Harris High School in 1930. His classmates at the prestigious public school included Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, actor Cornel Wilde and author Herman Wouk.

He spent 1933 at Teachers College of Columbia University but dropped out because of costs. His studied at the City College of New York, but he was able to continue them through the Works Progress Administration where he joined the staff and presided over a chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. 

In 1941, he became a chief economist for the Federal Office of Price Administration in Washington, D.C., overseeing the rationing of sugar, coffee and other foodstuffs. He issued the first American ration book a week after Pearl Harbor.
Drafted in 1943, he served 3-1/2 years in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

In 1945 in Morocco, he met his first wife Georgette Nadelar, a French citizen. They had three children and were married for 18 years before her untimely death in 1963.

After the war, Mr. Harway joined the State Department and under the Marshall Plan helped repair Europe’s railroad and canal barge network. In 1952, he earned a master’s degree in International Relations from Georgetown University.

Applying for a faculty position at the University of Maryland in the 1950s, Mr. Harway encountered job discrimination. The department head complimented him on his credentials, but said he was sorry, that he was not being hired because there was already one Hebrew on the faculty. Mr. Harway’s method of handling this was to get a better job, excel at it and then have a career where his work set an award-winning example of excellence and achievement.

Moving his family back to Casablanca in Morocco in 1954, he served as the executive assistant to Henry Leir, the president of Continental Ore Corp., a private minerals import-export business.

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson asked Mr. Harway to serve as a consultant in the “War on Poverty,” at a salary of $1 a year. In 1965, he rejoined the State Department as an economist for the Agency for International Development (AID) and served in Vietnam and Cambodia until his retirement in 1978. 

Mr. Harway then moved to Warrenton, where a friend had suggested he invest in the Virginia Piedmont town. He bought the former Eppa Hunton house on Waterloo Street. There his son Philip and wife Alison opened 67 Waterloo and later Napoleon’s, popular restaurants that the family owned and operated for more than two decades. Mr. Harway also purchased the former Ullman Department Store building and other commercial properties on Lee Street in downtown Warrenton.
He became involved in a range of Fauquier County civic activities and wrote frequent local newspaper columns. He also gave numerous lectures and presentations on international affairs. He served as president of the Fauquier Historical Society and co-chaired the August 2000 celebration of the 175th anniversary of the Marquis de Lafayette’s visit to Fauquier. During his tenure as president, the Fauquier Historical Society published a history of Fauquier’s first 250 years. In 2005, at the age of 92, he began teaching modern U.S. and European History as an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Fairfax.
The board of supervisors appointed him to represent the county on the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board. He also served on the Warrenton Economic Development Committee.

In recognition of Mr. Harway’s many accomplishments, especially his part in rebuilding Europe’s transportation network after World War II, he was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Clark University in Worcester, Mass., in June 1996.
Also that year, while on tour in China, he met writer and film executive Ceceann Winstanley from California. They married in December 1996.

Mr. Harway and his wife maintained homes in Warrenton and Naples, Fla., where they recently moved full-time.
Survivors include his wife, Ceceann, his daughters, Michele and husband John Barker of California; Danielle and partner Gilli of London, England; his son, Philip and wife Alison of Delaplane; six grandchildren, Alina, Alissa, Genevieve, Loren, Sasha and Sonja, and two great-grandchildren Max and Josephine.
A celebration of Mr. Harway’s life is planned to be held next year in Warrenton. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to his high school: Townsend Harris Forever, P.O. Box 1274, Gracie Station, New York, N.Y. 10028. 
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Rover 530 · December 18, 2017 at 9:53 pm
There are few persons in this country who have done more for the nation as did Max Harway. He was a humble, unassuming person who went about his business without expecting praise or recognition. Thank the Lord for his long life. He will be missed.
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