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Max Renick

Published on December 28, 2017 1:06PM

Last changed on December 28, 2017 5:08PM



Max Duane Renick, age 81, was called home early Christmas morning after a courageous battle with Hodgkin Lymphoma. He was born Jan. 13, 1936, in La Grande, Oregon, the only child to Lowell “Sam” Renick and Irma Samuelson.

Max spent his early childhood years in La Grande where he attended grade school and developed his love for the trumpet after teaching himself to play a toy bugle. His family later moved to Umatilla, Oregon where he graduated from Umatilla High School in 1955; lettering in basketball, baseball and football. He belonged to several clubs and was voted outstanding member in band.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1958 and attended basic training in Fort Hood, Texas. In 1959, he sailed out of New York harbor to Bremerhaven, Germany, on the USNS Gen. Simon B Buckner and was stationed in Friedberg where he rented his first VW Bug traveling the sights of Europe; which began his lifelong passion for the VW Beetle.

Max married Shirley Voorhees in 1961 with whom he had three “favorite” daughters. They resided in Umatilla, Pendleton and College Place, Washington. The twinkle in his eyes seemed to reflect the light he saw in his girls.

He married Fran Henry Wolchik in 1980. They shared many years together in Pendleton, Oregon.

In 2010, Max married his present wife, Loa Heideman. Making their home in Irrigon, Oregon, until the time of his death.

Max lived a life of faith and trusted always in the Lord’s will. Throughout his life he was an active member in his community. A member of the Columbia View Community Church, Hermiston Car Club, Umatilla Museum, Umatilla Alumni Association and past president of the Irrigon Moose Lodge.

He enjoyed playing his trumpet for family and friends at birthdays, local parades and other small events. He loved the Columbia River and the history of the area. He often reminisced of the many childhood summers spent on the river jumping off the ferry and swimming across the river to Plymouth. Max enjoyed nature, mountain air and the fresh smell of rain. He enjoyed weekend trail rides on his motorcycle with his friends and shared his love of motorcycles with his daughters as they often tagged along to weekend races. He was a competitive motorcycle enthusiast, a member of the Blue Mountain Motorcycle Club, the Flag Man at the Triangle Speedway and the best left-handed pool player around.

Max had a zest and joy for life, an extraordinary sense of humor and was well known by his friends for his ornery shenanigans. A note from an old friend said, “Max was a real joker. Had many talents and could play that trumpet like Harry James. He could make you laugh until you felt like throwing up and would support you through the worst of times.”

Preceded in death by his parents and his beloved dogs, Muffy and Benjamin. Max is survived by his wife, Loa Heideman Renick; his daughters, Cheryl Stensrud (Chris), Carie Brosnan (Damon) and Jana Smith (Randy); step-daughter, Cynda Ackerman (Brandon); is grandchildren, Jennifer, Bree Ann, Michael, Hailey, Carson, Conor, Shelbi, Brianne, Tanner and Dominick; six great-grandchildren and he was proud to share his birthday with his youngest great-granddaughter.

A graveside service with military honors will be held on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Sunset Hills Cemetery, Umatilla, Oregon. A celebration of life service will follow at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, at Columbia View Community Church, 1230 E. Highway 730, Irrigon, Oregon.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Max’s honor to Burns Mortuary at P.O. Box 289, Hermiston, OR 97838. Please sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.


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