(Gene) Max Holder, 94, passed from this life into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior on November 26, 2020, in Centennial, Colorado.
He was born February 1, 1926, at the home of Fred and Ethel Snelling Holder in Norwich Kansas. He was one of three sons – his brothers Bob and Fritz preceded him in death.
Max played basketball, baseball and football in high school and college (Wichita State University) and was a diehard sports fan. He faithfully watched the Broncos every season and was fond of playful phone calls with his granddaughter Tori about their losing record.
He taught his wife and girls how to throw and catch a baseball, and raised championship Brittany Spaniels, for competition in field trials for a time, and then to hunt. He enjoyed that sport with his nephews and friends, and once told his family he preferred the taste of quail to pheasant – but it all tastes like chicken.
Max was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing with friends and family. He was also a gifted salesman and retired from Kaman Bearing in 1988. He made friends effortlessly, laughed easily and was quick with a one-liner.
MAX AND JEANNE
At his 90th birthday party he told family he remembered the first time he saw his future wife – Jeanne Workman – walking down the street in Hutchinson, Kansas and even remembered that she was wearing “red, white and blue shorts.” Mama was attracted to Dad’s light-up bowties and socks, powered by small batteries. Both admit that Jeanne’s mother, Noral, engineered one of their first dates and the couple tied the knot on March 14, 1953.
Jeanne deeply misses her life-long partner and says he was a good companion through the years and was strong and fearless. “He wouldn’t back down from a buzz saw,” she would often say, he could fix anything, would help anybody and worked harder than anyone she knew. He never felt sorry for himself, never complained, always made the best of every situation and refused to give up or give in.
Max and Jeanne had three married daughters Janette Hamm (Doug Hamm/Castle Rock); Joni Busby (Lonnie Busby/Glenwood Springs) and Terri Kaser (Andrew Kaser/Parker). Other survivors include four grandchildren Tori Hamm; Parker Kaser, Zack Kaser, and Janae Kaser, (and nieces and nephews). Max loved his girls and grandkids something fierce and would have walked through fire for them.
Max required more care in the last few years of his life, first by private caregivers who all loved him dearly -- and he loved them. He had a cute sense of humor and would kid around even when he wasn’t feeling good. After a bout with pneumonia in September 2019 and breaking his right hip in March of 2020, Max battled back from both – beating the odds so many times they called him Miraculous Max. He was a good nut.
Even the nursing staff at Someren Glen, where he lived the last two months of his life, recognized Max as special – and said he was one of the sweetest, kindest, most loveable residents they had. He would ask for hugs from caregivers before they left his room & relished them since COVID made hugs from his wife and family almost impossible.
SAVED AND REDEEMED
Max was rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of light in the late 70s. He wasn’t certain of the exact date, but one thing he knew -- Jesus Christ died for his sins and purchased Max with His death on the cross. Max surrendered his life to his Lord and Savior and memorized God’s Word so when his sight failed him, he could recall it from memory. His life verse was 1 John 4:4 - You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
A verse Max often recited was Psalm 139:23 - Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
Max was loved. He touched many lives and will be missed. But he wouldn’t have wanted people to grieve too much. He is in heaven with his Savior and Lord -- where he can see, hear, sing and move without a wheelchair!
He wanted Battle Hymn of the Republic sung at his memorial service -- and a song he liked to listen to lately was, When We All Get to Heaven, by Brad Paisley. He would join in on the last verse especially, “…when we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!”
We can’t imagine the amazing things he’s seeing, or the joy he is experiencing right now. Max fought the good fight, he finished the race, he kept the faith. And if you ever hear either of those songs – think of Max Holder with a smile, and know he is in paradise.