With a terrific sense of humor, Max Loker lived a life rich in faith, family, and service. Both humble and proud, Max was a true gentleman who embodied the principles of his faith. He met each day with gratitude and welcomed every person as a friend. Max effortlessly found the joy in life and often inspired it in others. Whether sharing his magic tricks or humming original songs, he naturally knew how to inspire smiles and laughter everywhere he went. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Max will long be remembered and ever so missed.
Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression, 1935 gave birth to many celebrated firsts. While reeling in the heartache of Black Sunday, our nation's 20.1% unemployment rate and the gathering war clouds as Germany passed the Nuremberg laws, Americans found much hope in Amelia Earhart's first solo Pacific flight, the inventions of parking meters, fluorescent tubes for light, and the game of Monopoly, as well as the first Orange Bowl, first Pacific Airmail delivery, and the first Technicolor film; Mickey Mouse. During this hopeful time, in Hersey, Michigan, Clinton and Marian (Vance) Loker welcomed their son Max into their family on July 12.
The youngest of the five Loker children, Max grew up in a home centered on family values. His parents were farmers who moved their family to Fulton, Michigan, when Max was young. He and his siblings, Dale, Margaret, Bruce, Vera, grew up spending much of their time outdoors and tending to the farm. During his high school years, Max played football and was an active member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). After graduating with the Vicksburg High School class of 1953, he served in the United States Marines.
While square dancing at the Leonidas Dance Hall, Max had the good fortune of meeting Elaine Darling, who was there with some of her girlfriends. Upon meeting her, he told his friend that he would marry her one day. Their love story began with Max asking her for a single dance. The pair quickly became a couple setting their eyes on sharing the future. On October 9, 1954, Max and Elaine married in Fulton, Michigan, officially beginning their 66-year adventure together.
The newlyweds settled into married life and soon welcomed four children to their family. Colleen, Mark, Jeff, and Pam quickly became the centers of the worlds. Max and Elaine worked together to create a loving and supportive home for their children. Max provided for his family by operating his family farm as well as working with heavy equipment, mostly in the asphalt paving industry. He and Elaine also centered their family life on their faith which they explored and celebrated with the fellowship at Wakeshma Community Church for over 50 years.
A humble man, Max found joy in the simple things in life like meeting new people and pulling candy out of people's ears. He loved being outdoors. Whether fishing, hunting, or feeding the deer, he always relished in Nature's wonders. Max also freely gave of his time and talents in service of others, often lending his skills to the creation of the annual Veterans float for the Schoolcraft parade. He even won several awards for the best float. He proudly served as the grand marshall of the parade and was a passionate supporter of his fellow veterans. Max traveled extensively during retirement. One of the highlights of Max's travels was getting to participate in touring the memorials dedicated to honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our country in Washington DC with the Talons Out Honor Flight.
Without a doubt, Max's greatest joy was his family. As his children grew into adulthood and had families of their own, Max welcomed his new role as a grandparent with signature humility, grace, and honor. He cherished his eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren and enjoyed seeing the spark of his legacy and greatest hopes in each of their eyes. He enveloped each of his family members in love, affection, and unwavering support. A powerful role model, Max generously shared his other, including his near-death experience. He often recalled being out of his body and seeing angels with his family and close friends. His story inspired much comfort for those who were lucky to hear it.
Clearly, life feels less certain in the absence of Max's steadfast and loving presence. As we begin to navigate our loss, may we find deep comfort in our many treasured memories of the fine man we were blessed to know. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying his legacy forward. With each smile we inspire, stranger we greet as a friend, song we hum, line we cast, and service we graciously offer, we celebrate the many ways Max gifted us and the world. In so doing, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired each of us.
Max L. Loker, of Schoolcraft, passed away on Sunday, March 7, 2021, at the age of 85.
Max is survived by his wife of 66 years, Elaine; four children: Colleen (Paul) Lindberg, Three Rivers; Mark (Nongnut) Loker, Three Rivers; Jeff Loker, of Vicksburg; Pam (Jon) Conant, Traverse City; Eight grandchildren: Bradley (Kayla) Minnis, Brandon Minnis, Devin (Sam) Loker, Chelsee Loker, Jessica Loker, Jeff Loker, Jr, Kamden (Jessica) McCauley, Hannah McCauley; 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister: Vera Bower, of IN. Max is preceded in death by his grandson, Brian Minnis; and siblings: Dale Loker, Margaret West, and Bruce Loker; and his parents.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, March 12 at 1pm at Wakeshma Community Church, 16732 East UV Ave, Fulton, MI 49052. The family will receive friends for visitation at the church on Friday from 11am until 1pm. Max will be buried with military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery privately.
In accordance with the State of Michigan Covid guidelines, people attending the visitation and/or service are required to wear masks and maintain proper social distancing.
While at Max's webpage at www.mccowensecord.com please take time to sign his guestbook by lighting a candle and/or sharing a memory with the family. Those who wish may make contributions to Talon Out Honor Flight and/or Wakeshma Community Church.
The Loker family is being cared for by the McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes, 409 South Main, Vicksburg, MI 49097 (269-649-1697).