Max was named for his uncle, William Max Squires, who died in WWII; he inherited the fighting spirit as well as the name. Max was born on June 19, 1951 to Charles and Carol Squires of Strawberry Point, Iowa. Mischievous from the get-go, Max loved to tell the story of pranking his mom’s morning coffee and running under the table to hide as she spat out his creative concoction. In high school, he directed his mischievous energy toward things ranging from football to National Honor Society and theatre to baseball. He worked as a lifeguard at the local pool and would later pass on a love for the water to his kids; he would spend hours in the apartment complex pool each summer teaching them to swim and judging their diving contests.
Max attended Luther College and then the University of Iowa to pursue a teaching degree. While that sounds strait-laced and normal, he enjoyed breaking molds. He was a world traveler who walked on his hands on a beach in Morocco, student taught in England, and skied the Alps. While at Iowa, he tried out as a walk-on for the wrestling team and succeeded, wrestling for legendary coach Dan Gable. He was tenacious, dedicated, and did anything he set his mind to.
After traveling the world, Max was a teacher in Pella, Iowa, where he also charmed his way into coaching tennis, a sport he had never played. Max was fearless, and he crammed more life into ten years than many people do in a lifetime.
A brilliant man who was always a learner, Max pursued a second degree from the University of Iowa in Computer Science. While at the University of Iowa, he met his first wife, Karla Johnson. They married in 1986 and welcomed daughter Kari into the world in 1987. Their son John followed in 1991.
In his mid-thirties, Max was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and experienced seasons of mental, emotional, economical, and eventually physical, due to Parkinsonism, hardship. When walking became difficult, he kept on walking with the attitude, “I gotta’ keep stepping.” During a particularly difficult point in his life, he once told a friend, “Everyday I get up, and I thank God for this day, and I pray for my kids, and I pray for you, too.”
Through the hardships, Max steadfastly maintained his fighting spirit, the twinkle in his eye, an infectious grin, mischievous antics, an ability to chat up anyone he met, a love for learning, a hunger for life, a stubborn will, patience when teaching, compassion for people, fierce love for his kids and grandkids, and his faith in God.
Max leaves a legacy of life to the full, a torch to hold and brandish through life’s ups and sometimes excruciating downs. His life is a powerful lesson in persevering through the darkness of night and continually searching in full-hearted faith for the light ahead.
In 2013 Max met his wife, Eileen Squires, while working with the Christian Opportunity Center in Pella, Iowa. He was known in this community as a storyteller, someone who enjoyed talking to anyone he met. He was well loved by the COC community, and his family will forever be grateful for their care.
In his last hours, Max was surrounded by those who loved him. Unable to say much and barely able to keep his eyes open, he still beat both of his kids at thumb wars. He is with Jesus now, living life to the absolute full with a new body and a fully healed mind – the best of who he was and now is for eternity, beyond even what he knew how to dream. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 1 Timothy 4:7
Max is preceded in death by his father Charles Squires and his mother Carol Squires. He is survived by his wife, Eileen Squires, his daughter and son-in-law Kari and Caleb White, his son John Squires, and his grandchildren Corban and Brielle White.
The family is planning a private funeral service in Pella, and a graveside service in Strawberry Point, Iowa, is planned for September.
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