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Obituaries » Max A. Doolittle

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October 2, 1926 - October 14, 2018

Burial Date October 18, 2018

A gathering to celebrate Max’s life will be held on Thursday, October 18 beginning at 11:00 a.m. at Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home, followed by a graveside committal ceremony with full military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan beginning at 2:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Great Lakes Caring Hospice or GLYC Junior Sailing Program, c/o the funeral home.

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Age 92, passed away on Sunday October 14, 2018. Max was born on October 2, 1926 in Plainwell, Michigan, the son of Max R. and Dora M. Doolittle. During his early years, Max was an exceptional athlete and enjoyed competing in track and field.  Max also earned the rank of Eagle Scout, where he was introduced to sailing and helped many young scouts earn their own Eagle Scout Badge. Prior to graduating from high school, Max became a U.S. Marine and honorably served our country during World War II. He returned to Kalamazoo and graduated from Central High School in 1946. After high school, Max worked at his father’s jewelry store, as a jeweler and watch maker, and retired after many years. Max coached the women’s softball team for the Portage Baptist Church team, and this is where he met his bride.  On April 26, 1957, Max married the love of his life, Mary Josephine Pearson.  They enjoyed many years of golf, softball, bowling and sailing together.  Max was an avid sailor and sailing instructor at Gull Lake Yacht Club, where he joined the Yacht Club in 1955 and continued as their instructor of both children and adults for more than 50 years and was made a Life Member of the Gull Lake Country Club, more recently. Max started the Rebel Class Fleet in 1957 and the Flying Scot Class Fleet in 1960. He also served as the Harbor Master and Commodore for Gull Lake Yacht Club. He was also active in Western Michigan University Sports programs, where he was public address announcer for WMU’s Basketball and Track and Field programs for 37 years.  He began as P.A. in 1957, the same year Read Field House was dedicated. Max also served as the assistant in the press box during WMU Bronco football as scorekeeper and timekeeper. Anyone who knew him, also knew how proud he was of his 1961 baby blue Lincoln Continental Convertible. Max was preceded in death by his wife, Mary and his parents.  He leaves to cherish his memory, his son, Mark (Robin) Doolittle, of Kalamazoo, his sister, Rosalie Nelsen (Tim Hudson) of Comstock, as well as his nieces, Kristin Gearhart, Kandis (Jack) Whitman, great nephews, James Whitman and Seth Richter, as well as many dear friends and colleagues.