Max J. Friesen, 85, Overbrook: March 19, 1928-July 27, 2013

080113-obit-freisenMax Jantzen Friesen, 85, of Overbrook, passed away July 27, 2013. He was born on March 19, 1928, in Hillsboro, Kansas, the son of Gerhardt Funk Friesen and Helena (Jantzen) Friesen.

He grew up in Lehigh and graduated from Lehigh High School with the class of 1945 as the class salutatorian. He then attended two years of college at Bethel College before transferring to Kansas State University, graduating in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics. He attended one year of graduate school at Kansas State University in Agricultural Economics in 1952 and also graduated from the School of Banking, Madison, Wis.

From 1949 to 1952, Max worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Price Commodity Support Programs. In 1953 he was hired by Kansas State Bank in Overbrook as the agriculture representative and in 1962 became the bank president, serving in that position through 1992. Max was also a full insurance businessman from 1953 to 1992, as well as a part-time real estate broker from 1953 until his passing. He has prepared income taxes since 1947 and served as a Kansas State Bank Board Member since 1953. He also served as the Kansas Bankers Association Agriculture Chair from 1960 to 1963. In addition to all of this, he also farmed part time.

Max may have been one of the most active members of the community any town has ever seen. His love for Overbrook shone through in his efforts to better the community. He served on numerous boards, including: Overbrook City Treasurer from 1960 to 2003; Overbrook Cemetery Treasurer since 1958; Overbrook Fire Chief from 1954 to 1973, and served on the current fire department board of directors. Max has been an Overbrook Rotary Club member since 1953. He was one month short of receiving his 60-year perfect attendance award, and he has held all offices at least once during his membership. He served the Kansas Rotary as the District Governor for a year and was a recipient of the Paul Harris Award in 1982. In 1945 he earned his Eagle Scout Badge in the Boy Scouts of America. He held all local Boy Scout positions including Scoutmaster, and has been a member of the Jayhawk Council Board since 1980. He served as president of the Overbrook Improvement Council in 1993 and 1994. At his church, Overbrook United Methodist, he served as Sunday School superintendent and as choir director for 35 years, as well as holding all church offices at one time or another and being a long time Sunday School teacher. He was Wakarusa Watershed Association President from 1980 to present, Northeast Kansas Regulatory Health Facilities Committee member from 1980 to 1985 and was the Osage County chair for the Topeka Blood Bank, donating over his life 109 pints of blood, giving for his last time only 11 days prior to his death.

Max was united in marriage to Delores Jo “Dee” Collins on June 18, 1950. Max met his wife in college and was blessed with over 60 years of loving marriage until the passing of Delores on December 27, 2010.

He was also preceded in death by his parents and three sisters, Lucille H. McElwain, Vera Buxton, and Ada Morrish.

He is survived by five children, Jennifer Perkins and her husband, Phil, of Harlan, Iowa; Chuck Friesen, Overbrook; Stan Friesen and his wife, Deborah, Overbrook; Lisa Masson and her husband, John, Baldwin City, Kansas; David Friesen and his wife, Erin, Lenexa, Kansas; 15 grandchildren, Joy Perkins, Bethany Perkins, Rebekah Evans and her husband, Scott, Rachel Friesen, Jacob Friesen, Elizabeth Masson, Nathan Masson, Peter Friesen, Maggie Friesen, Helena Masson, Jason Friesen, Marysa Masson, Emily Friesen, Collin Friesen, and Sydney Masson.

Max was an incredibly active community member in Overbrook, but for all he did for the community and in spite of his love for Overbrook, his greatest love was for his family. He was a wonderful father and grandfather, always quick to point out how proud he was of his kids and grandkids. He loved to farm, when he found the time, and was well known as a very accomplished vocalist. Max never knew a stranger and quickly introduced himself to anyone he did not recognize. All who knew him knew he was a proud alumnus of Kansas State, usually wearing the color purple. He and Dee loved traveling around the world by themselves and with their friends Dr. James and Lois Ruble. The four also enjoyed hunting trips to Colorado where they were joined by their friends the Yosts and Kinneys. Max and Dee also hosted many Rotary exchange students during their lifetime.

The family will receive friends 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, August 1, 2013, at Overbrook United Methodist Church.

Funeral services will be held 10 a.m., Friday, August 2, 2013, at Overbrook United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Overbrook Cemetery.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Overbrook United Methodist Church, sent in care of Greenwood-Roberts Funeral Home, 730 Western Heights Drive, Overbrook, Kansas 66524. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas