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Maximilian  "Max" Stark

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“Such fond memories of Max and entire Stark family when we would visit you all (back when I was in high school with Eleanor and Hans). Sending love...Read More »
1 of 15 | Posted by: Amy Fettig Trexler - San Diego, CA

“The world lost a sweet soul. I remember Max as a client and friend. He was such a great help to me when my mother was in the hospice home. I will...Read More »
2 of 15 | Posted by: Renee Tucker - Coldwater, MI

“Ellie and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers. ”
3 of 15 | Posted by: Beth (Baker) Jones

“What a wonderful life. Praying for family in their time of grief. ”
4 of 15 | Posted by: Buddy McLean - Lumberton, NC

“Always in our hearts. ”
5 of 15 | Posted by: Mary & Rolf Neitzel - MI

“You are in our thoughts and prayers as you maneuver through this difficult time. ”
6 of 15 | Posted by: Jeff and Mary Mitchell - MI

“Sending blessings to all the family. Especially Hans and Alicia. I worked for Hans for several years and came to know Mr. Stark. He always made me...Read More »
7 of 15 | Posted by: Victoria Marson - Coldwater, MI

“Thinking of you in thought and prayer ”
8 of 15 | Posted by: Rebecca Armock

“I lived at the Alpine Apartments in my early teens after moving with my parents from Southern California, so got to experience my first significant...Read More »
9 of 15 | Posted by: Matthew Falcon - Indianapolis, IN

“Max's smile and happy nature always lit up St. Joseph Catholic Church. He will be missed. Prayers sent to the family. ”
10 of 15 | Posted by: KEVIN HERR - Battle Creek, MI

“Kurt & April;Our sincere condolences for the passing of your dad. May God look favorably upon his soul. May God also look favorably upon your family...Read More »
11 of 15 | Posted by: Mike & Sandy Wonderly - Plymouth, MI

“Although we did not personally know Max we do know his son and family. We realize what a sad time this is for family and friends. We want to offer...Read More »
12 of 15 | Posted by: Donald & Norma Ludlow - MI

“To the family I send my condolences. I go to church with Martin and his family . Prayers for peace and comfort. ”
13 of 15 | Posted by: Melissa Humphrey - Lumberton, NC

“Hans, Alicia, and Family, Soni and I are so sorry to hear the passing of Max. Regardless of the circumstances it is never easy to loose a loved one....Read More »
14 of 15 | Posted by: Steven & Soni Lagrou - Fremont, OH

“I worked with Max many, many years ago when I was a CPA in Battle Creek. I always thought he was a very interesting and energetic person. His...Read More »
15 of 15 | Posted by: Linda Schirmer - Lansing, MI

Prayer Emblem

Maximilian "Max" Stark, 89, died peacefully at his home in Battle Creek with his family at his side on Saturday, July 25, 2020. Max was born the third of seven children on March 18, 1931 in Dattenhausen, Germany to Josef and Maria (Guffler) Stark.

Max apprenticed as a baker and pastry chef and worked throughout Germany. He emigrated to America in1952. Working his trade in Chicago, Max grew Schmitt Bakeries from a single store to over 40 stores and became its' Executive Vice President. Seeking a better life, Max moved his growing family to Battle Creek in 1969. While baking and decorating cakes for Allman's Bakery, Max attended the University of Michigan, earning his Real Estate Certification. As a Broker, Max owned and operated Pro-Star Realty. He excelled at helping people find their new home. Max expanded into building and managing both residential and commercial properties prior to semi-retiring in 1987.

Max met his future wife on a trip to Canada at Christmas to visit a friend from Germany who has also emigrated, who had a sister; Gertrude "Trudy" Kronthaler. They were married on August 20, 1955. Together, Max and Trudy raised five children and would have celebrated 65 years of marriage in a few weeks. Surviving are Trudy, one daughter, Eleonor M. Stark of Battle Creek; four sons, Hans P. (Alicia) Stark, Anton M. (Sheryl) Stark and Kurt H. (April) Stark all of Battle Creek, and Martin G. (Kimberly) Stark of Lumberton, NC; 14 grandchildren, Nicole (Ben) Bruinekool, Sarah (Scott) Arendt, Erica (Dan) Coci, Valerie (Brandon) Gandy, Kaitlin (Tony) Stark-Wilson, Ryan, Allison, Maria, Alexander, Viktor, Tetyana, Josef, Collin, and Tomas Stark; 8 great-grandchildren; brother, Martin (Erika) Stark of Williamston, MI; sister, Maria Mielimonka; brothers, Josef Stark, Herman (Doris) Stark all of Germany and sister-in-law, Viktoria Stark of Lombard, IL, as well as many nieces and nephews. Max was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Anton and Erwin; brother-in-law, Helmut Mielimonka and sisters-in-law, Irmgard Stark and Centa Stark.

Max was a 51 year member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, where he served as an usher, reader, Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharistic to shut-ins. Over the years he was on the St Joseph Church Parish Council, Knights of Columbus, German-American Club of Kalamazoo and the Calhoun County Crisis Pregnancy Center. Max was a volunteer at Lifespan Good Samaritan Hospice Residence for over 20 years, earning the President's Team Award in 2016. He also volunteered for many years at Red Cross Blood Drives and was a Tri-founder and board member of the Calhoun County Crisis Pregnancy Center.
In honor of his 80th birthday, Max was presented an Apostolic Blessing from then Pope Benedict XVI. Max shared his many talents, helping family and friends on their projects. In retirement, Max enjoyed fishing on Lake Michigan; and family visits with his Children, Grandchildren and great-Grandchildren. Max took great pride in tending to and maintaining the beautiful gardens that he and Trudy planted each year at the family home on Goguac Lake.

Friends will be received at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care 5:00-7:00 p.m. Friday, July 31, where The Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Fr. Christopher Ankley at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Committal and interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests Memorial contributions be made in Max's memory to: Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools Tuition Assistance Program (63 N 24th, Battle Creek, MI 49015); Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan (222 N Kalamazoo Mall #100, Kalamazoo, MI 49007); or Right to Life of Michigan (PO Box 901, Grand Rapids, MI 49509).