BIG BAY, Mich. - Maxwell George Abbott, Sr., age 71, of Big Bay, passed away Monday, September 3, 2012, at Marquette General Hospital, with his loving family at his side.
Max was born February 8, 1941, to John (Jack) and Lucille (Lowe) Abbott, in Marquette and was raised in Big Bay, where he attended Powell Township School and where he forged many lifelong friendships.
Max left his beloved Big Bay for a time, but it was to his original home he eventually returned and where he lived out the remainder of his life.
Maxwell G. ‘Max’ Abbott Sr.
He overcame a series of adversities in life, and mastered several trades. Max was known in Big Bay to family and friends alike as a "go to" person. If your car needed a valve job, your well pump froze, or your leaky basement needed sealing, Max was your man. If you needed gardening tips, he could help. If you wanted to know the best Brookie fishing hole well, forget about that. But there is little he could not do.
In 1957, Max suffered a severe, accidental gunshot wound that caused him to leave school. After he recovered, he attended a welding and small engine repair school in Detroit. When finished, he rejoined his parents, who had since moved to Omaha, Nebraska. It was there he met and married Deanna Schulte. The couple then moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where they began to raise their family of eight and where Max started out bussing but was promoted to headwaiter at the upscale Muehlebach Hotel. After a year in that position, Max returned to Omaha, where he joined an assembly line at the Campbell Soup Company and worked his way up to become a foreman. He worked there until 1973, when he moved his young family to Big Bay to run Beerman's Standard Service Station.
After seven years at the pump and repair shop, Max joined Superior Electric in Marquette as a small electric motor repairman, and at the same time he shuttled the Big Bay high school students to and from Marquette daily. He retired permanently in 1996 due to an injury.
Besides spending treasured time with his children and grandchildren, Max's passion was fishing, fishing, and fishing! An avid outdoorsman from his youth, he also served as a guide for bear hunters. And he spent a lot of time in the woods often with his canine companions, Buddy and Coop. He also found time to hunt deer and rabbits; he tended a rather large garden; and he built his beloved "Irish Inn" off Triple A, in the foothills of the Huron Mountains. It was there that he hosted many of his infamous "wild game" feeds.
He also was a long-time supporter of Jump Rope for Heart, a school program sponsored by the American Heart Foundation. And he whiled away long winters by playing for the Lumberjack in the Big Bay Cribbage League, and watching Ellen and boxing on TV. Max also looked after many seasonal homes in Big Bay.
Survivors include seven of his eight children, Maxwell Abbott, Jr of Big Bay, John (Deb) Abbott of Rockford, James (Evelyn) Abbott of Howard City, Curtis "Red" (Tiffany) Abbott of Belmont, Jeffrey (Lisa) Abbott of Gwinn, Norma (Sharon Palmitier) Abbott of Grand Rapids, and Amy (Chris Havel) Tierrablanca of Big Bay; many beloved grandchildren; his sister, JoAnne (Don) Lighthill of Omaha, NE; brothers, Tom Abbott and Danny (Terry) Abbott of Big Bay; sisters-in-law, Barbara Abbott and Myrna Abbott of Marquette; brother-in-law, Bob Libick of Big Bay; numerous nieces and nephews; many special friends; and canine companions, Buddy and Coop. In addition to his parents, Max was preceded in death by a daughter, Linda Abbott; a grandson, Michael Abbott; sisters, Charlene Wirtanen, Jane Oglesby, and Cheryl "Chic" Libick; and brothers, Bob, Bill, and Patrick Abbott.
Funeral services for Max will be held Thursday, September 6, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Big Bay. Visitation will begin at 12 noon, followed by a 1 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial. A luncheon will be served immediately after in the hall of St. Mary's.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Max's name to Jump Rope for Heart, American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX 75231.
The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family. Condolences may be expressed online at www.fassbenderfuneralhome.com