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Olympia Fields man was longtime Wirtz executive

Max Mohler. | Supplied Photo.

Max Mohler. | Supplied Photo.

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Updated: July 6, 2012 9:41AM

Working for the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, Max Mohler got to know Arthur Wirtz, one of Andersen’s clients, who was impressed with Mr. Mohler’s financial acumen and suggested that he come to work for the Wirtz family.

Mr. Mohler went on to become chief financial officer and later a senior vice president of Wirtz Corp., whose holdings include the Chicago Blackhawks, liquor distributors and insurance and real estate interests.

An Olympia Fields resident, Mr. Mohler died Wednesday at his home after battling cancer. He was 73.

Mr. Mohler’s father was an engineer with the Penn Central Railroad, and his mother was the first female bank officer in Indiana, working for Merchants Bank in Indianapolis, according to Mr. Mohler’s son, James Mohler.

Mr. Mohler was in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Indiana University, where he got a master’s degree in accounting. He served from 1961 through 1964 in the Army, where he taught accounting and co-authored an accounting manual, his son said. Mr. Mohler remained in the reserves until 1968, when he was discharged with the rank of captain, his son said.

He was hired by Arthur Wirtz in 1975, initially overseeing the financial operations of the family-owned company’s ice shows and real estate holdings, according to Rocky Wirtz, president of Wirtz Corp.

“He’d come in the morning, stay late and would take his work home with him,” Wirtz said.

In a memo to company employees informing them of Mr. Mohler’s death, Rocky Wirtz called him a “trusted confidant and friend to generations of our family.”

Mr. Mohler was an avid fisherman and an eclectic collector, assembling collections of items including coins, stamps, animal ornaments and teddy bears, his son said.

“He was an only child, and he had the collection bug from when he was a kid,” James Mohler said.

In addition to his son, Mr. Mohler is survived by Joan, his wife of 34 years; another son, William; and two daughters, Barbra and Debra.

Visitation for will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday at Heartland Memorial Center in Tinley Park, with funeral services at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Matteson.

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