Maxwell Dow Monroe

16 septembre 193915 septembre 2021
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Maxwell Dow Monroe passed away September 15, 2021, at the age of 81, after a long, full and rewarding life, with his family by his side. Max was preceded in death by his wife, Sherry (nee Miller); daughter, Anita Modreske; and brother, Mark Monroe; Max is survived by his son, Max Monroe and his wife Cyndie (nee Shaddix), son, David Monroe and his wife Jennifer Gates; siblings James and Bob Monroe and their wives Pat and Kathy and their children, grandchildren (Ryan, Corey, Seth, Keely and Kassie) and great-grandchildren (Remi and Cheyenne).

Max was born September 16, 1939, in Traverse City, Michigan. He was the first child born to Robert and Gloria Monroe (nee Ghastin), who added three more sons to the family over the next several years: James, Bob and Mark. Through a safe but adventurous childhood in Traverse City, Max learned to love the outdoors while hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping with friends and family. As the oldest child, at an early age Max developed a strong sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of his brothers. Max attended high school in Traverse City where he participated in several activities including the gun and archery clubs. Momentously, it was also in high school where Max met the love of his life, and wife of over 50 years, Sherry (nee Miller).

After graduating from high school, Max began pursuing a life of purpose and meaning for himself, Sherry, and their growing family. Over his lifetime, Max distinguished himself in multiple areas.

Max was a public servant. Max joined the U.S. Marine Corps after high school and served honorably for four years in multiple locations around the world. After his honorable discharge from the Marines, Max continued to serve his country in the Naval Reserves where he served over two decades and achieved the rank of Captain. In later years Max was an active member of armed service organizations including the VFW and the American Legion. Simultaneous to his time in the Naval Reserves, Max served the U.S. Defense department in a civilian role, helping to ensure the security of the department's most sensitive resources, retiring from that role. In addition to serving his country, Max served his local community as a respected member of the Wayland City Council for many years.

Max was a Spartan. After his discharge from the Marines, Max worked to broaden his education, which eventually led Sherry and him to Michigan State University, where he completed a master's degree. Their time at Michigan State gave Max a lifelong passion for and loyalty to MSU in general, and Spartan sports in particular. Whatever the time of year, Max could often be found sporting the Spartan Green and White to ensure his friends and family never forgot the love he had for all things Michigan State.

Max was an athlete. Max took great pleasure in testing his limits in all aspects of his life. This included pushing his body to its limits through athletic pursuits. He was an avid and accomplished long-distance runner, cyclist, swimmer, and triathlete, completing multiple marathons and becoming an Iron Man along the way. In addition to achieving personal goals, Max took great pleasure in the friendships these activities provided him over the years. It also gave Max great joy to mentor younger athletes, and compete against his peers. He celebrated other people's accomplishments more than his own.

Max was an outdoorsman. Max enjoyed few things more than being outdoors...a passion he possessed from the very beginning growing up on the Boardman River in Traverse City, Michigan. With his close friend, Bob Meyers, his brother Jim, and others, Max spent any time away from school hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing, and hiking the woods or northern Michigan. His passion for the outdoors would extend later in his life to include scuba diving, kayaking, and bike touring.

Max was selfless. Over the years, Max was sought out for advice, counsel, and support by many young people who were considering a military career. Although Max was profoundly proud of his service, he was aware military life was not right for everyone. His clear-eyed counsel was always about helping young people choose the best path for themselves in the moment. He gave of himself in many ways throughout his life, including risking his own well-being by pulling an elderly couple out of the burning vehicle along the highway, for which he received a commendation.

Max was a family man. Max's commitment to his family was complete and unwavering, whether it was summer family trips to Traverse City, supporting Boy Scout and Brownie activities, attending and boostering for his kids' sporting events - including youth baseball, softball, basketball, football and others. Max and Sherry were either in the stands cheering on their kids or somewhere nearby selling food to generate funds to keep the sports going. In later years, Max would plan outdoor activities with his grandkids, including having one or more of the grandkids join him in an annual bike ride across the state of Michigan.

Max was a caretaker. When the health of his daughter, Anita (Nitz), declined, Max and Sherry helped their son-in-law, Dave, take care of Nitz - including coordinating and attending doctor's visits, providing meal support, and helping care for their kids. During the latter part of Max and Sherry's marriage, Sherry experienced declining health herself. Max embraced the opportunity to care for Sherry, and began personally attending to every need including cooking and cleaning, bathing and dressing, administering medications, coordinating doctor visits, and much more. After several years, when Max could no longer provide all the care Sherry needed at home, he turned to a local facility for support, but insisted on visiting every day, often more than once, to help feed Sherry, and share as much of their remaining time together as possible. As his own physical and cognitive health declined in recent years, Max handled the diminishment with characteristic grace, courage, and humor.

Max enjoyed life. Those who knew Max would agree that he took great pleasure in sharing the joys of life with others - including group bike rides, runs, and other get togethers. Max was also an avid reader, and was particularly fond of non-fiction books related to U.S. and Michigan history, as well as the military. Max enjoyed music, particularly bluegrass and early rock and roll. Max enjoyed travel, and was able to visit many parts of the world through the military and later with Sherry. Always curious for new things and cultures, Max was unafraid to try unique foods. He enjoyed his fair share of wine and scotch over the years.

Max was loved. Max was many things to many people during his long, rich, and accomplished life. But most importantly, Max was loved, respected, and admired by many with whom he served, worked, and played; he treasured these relationships. Whatever he was doing, Max lived with enthusiasm, integrity, and decency. He was high on compassion and low on judgment. He was always interested in and optimistic about the world despite the personal tragedies he experienced. He was generous with his friendship, his wisdom, and his time. Even with all his many interests, passions, and accomplishments, Max will be remembered most for the generosity of his spirit, the curiosity of his mind, and the compassion of his heart. Max will be missed by many, but the memory of the way he lived will continue to inspire those who knew him.

A visitation will take place 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Saturday, September 25, 2021 at Kubiak-Cook Funeral Home - Wayland Chapel, 312 N. Main St., Wayland, Ml 49348 (269-792-2237). A private burial service will be held after the conclusion of the visitation. If you want to honor your memory of Max, in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation "IN MEMORY OF" Maxwell D. Monroe to the Wounded Warrior Project. The family welcomes memories and messages in their guest book online at www.kubiakcookwayland.com.


  • Visitation

    samedi, 25 septembre , 2021


Maxwell Dow Monroe


Erik Nelson

6 octobre , 2021

When I was 12, Max, a friend of my parents Pat and Barb Nelson, introduced me to SCUBA diving for the first time on Green Lake. What an adventure! Thanks to Max I was hooked. And have enjoyed the sport ever since. Max was a great mentor to many people. He will be greatly missed but I’m so glad I was lucky enough to know him.

Richard Ghastin

22 septembre , 2021

Max and his brother, Jim, were treasured cousins of mine. His mother, Gloria, was my Dad's sister and I believe that Max was named after my dad. I have many fond memories of hanging out with the Monroe brothers when they lived in Keystone and Uncle Bob managed the Keystone Dam on the Boardman river. I love how Max was always compassionate to people and animals. He always displayed a quiet strength.

Max was one of the great ones! RIP Cuz!

Stephen Sutherland

21 septembre , 2021

I was blessed to meet Max more than 10 years ago via his Wayland biking friends. I quickly learned how special of a person he was. For me he was the perfect blend of compassion, passion, humility, and humor. He loved adventure and most of all he loved his family. I miss riding with him and chatting (and learning from him:) over a glass of red wine. He gave me his MSU cycling jersey which I wear with pride.

Alec Mcpherson

20 septembre , 2021

Enjoyed many bike rides with Max. He always had a smile and could ride like the wind. Max, ride in the sky!

Walt & Helen Alflen

19 septembre , 2021

The Monroe family and Anita, Our heartfelt sympathy of the loss of dear Max. We were so shocked as Max was always so active! He has many waiting for him in heaven with his loved ones and our Lord.
Walt and Helen Alflen
Bradenton, Florida

Tammy Little

19 septembre , 2021

My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family. I have so many fond memories of Max and Sherri.

Larry Gates

18 septembre , 2021

David and Jennifer. So sorry for your loss. We send our condolences to all the Monroe family. Be comforted always by the memories of the good times you had with Maxwell while he was with us and knowing that he has now taken his place in Heaven, reunited with other family members. We grieve with you at this time. Rest in peace, Maxwell Dow.
Larry and Mira Gates.

Anita Ghastin

18 septembre , 2021

Max is my brother in law. He and my husband Burl were first cousins. His wife Sherry and I were sisters. We named our daughter after Sherry and they named their daughter Anita after me. Our families were (and are) very close. I chuckled when the website said share A memory. There are so many! My family left Wayland in 1972 and the Monroes stayed. It broke my heart. We traveled back and forth for holidays for years and years.
Years later our daughter Sherry moved back in the Wayland area with her family. It was comforting to us to know she was near Sherry and Max. After Burl and my sister Sherry passed Max would accompany me to attend my granddaughter's orchestra performances. He felt like a surrogate Grandpa to her. We are beyond blessed to have had all these years together. It is in a way, an end of an era to have Burl, Max and Sherry gone along with our son Jerry and my niece Anita. Some greats are gone. Max and Cyndie, David and Jennifer and the entire Monroe family, there is nothing but love in our hearts for you. We are forever your family.

Anita Ghastin and Family

Susan Rietman

17 septembre , 2021

Max & Cindy - We only seen Max a few times during our years of friendship with you, but we know how special dads are. We are sorry for your loss and wanted you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Marty & Sue

Patty Ucciferri

17 septembre , 2021

I did not personally know Max, but wanted to send my condolences to his family and friends. He seemed to have lived a life of giving and also an adventurous one. I would like to thank him for his service to this country.