Max Edward Klecker died peacefully at age 78 surrounded by his family. Max and his twin sister Mary were born on May 31, 1941 to Leon J. and Regina M. Klecker of El Paso Township. Max was active in his faith, being baptized and confirmed at Clayfield Catholic Church in Ellsworth.
Max attended Fischer Grade School and was a 1959 graduate of Ellsworth High School. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls.
He married the love of his life, Barbara Yanisch, on October 15, 1966. They became best friends for life after meeting at a Bay City dance. Married at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth, they were blessed with three children: Gina, Troy and Courtney.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus of St. Francis Parish and faithfully served as a church usher for services and funerals. He was also a self-appointed care taker of the Clayfield Catholic Cemetery, where he took special pride in help preserve the memories of other families.
Family was the center of his life. He enjoyed attending various activities of his children, grandchildren and great-granddaughter. If he did not have to tend to the life on the farm, he was everywhere he could be for his kids and grandkids; football games, church concerts, fairs, school activities. Anywhere he could go to show his support, Max was sure to be there.
The family farm was the foundation of his life. After his marriage, Max and Barb became owners of the Klecker Family Farm off Klein Coulee in El Paso Township. Harvesting and growing crops brought him great joy. His herd of cattle and John Deere Tractors were his obsession, whether he was riding them, sharing collectibles of them with the grandkids, or just meddling around to ensure they rode just right.
While a loyal Wisconsinite, he enjoyed cheering on the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings, because they are the teams he could cheer for on local television. He was a caretaker of creatures great and small. With his family herd dogs at his side, he walked his farm in awe of what God had provided. His casual smile and love of life was contagious to anybody around him.
When farming forced financial pressures on his family, Max took upon anything to provide for them; creating adventures in all of his jobs; whether it was employed at the Treasure Island Casino or being a courier for Helmer printing, nothing was beyond what he could do.
A consummate do-it-yourselfer, you would always find Max seeking to fix something or renovate something else. He was extraordinarily active with his mind and hands.
Max often stated that he bled FFA blue and gold and 4-H green. Here he saw youth grow with hands-on experience in the values of the beloved farm-life. He served as an FFA advisor to his grandchildren, was active on 4-H committees, and provided his time faithfully to Farm Progress Days in Pierce County.
Max was immersed in civic responsibilities, attending local township meetings and participating as a Wisconsin Farm Bureau member. He was a tireless volunteer for the campaigns of many state officials, including state legislators Sheila Harsdorf and Kitty Rhoades. He was active in the Red Wing Saddle Club, the Goodhue County Saddle Club, the Ellsworth High School Football Association, the Midwest Llama Association, and the Pierce County ATV Association.
Max had a heart of gold and loved helping others. He especially enjoyed the company of his nephew Jack Webster and opened his home to fostering children.
Max’s hard work was only rivaled by his constant curiosity. He traveled the state in his blue truck, visiting remote historical sites to learn more, venturing to Canada to see more, and even going to Colorado to experience more. Just this past year, Max climbed the rocky terrain of St. Mary’s Glacier in Colorado to its top, easily decades older than all those that passed him by; but he could never be stopped! He enjoyed Gator rides on the Pierce County ATV trails with Barb at his side and his trustworthy dog Red trailing along.
Hard work, sacrifice, and service to others are three values that Max and Barb live by and have instilled in their three children and grandchildren: Gina Klecker (Tim Schlinger) of Ellsworth, Troy (Krista) Klecker of Eau Claire, Courtney (Jack) Jablonski of Verona, and their grandchildren: Bailey Sherwin (Luke Herbst), Bryce Sherwin, Elizabeth Klecker, Elijah Klecker, Joachim Jablonski, Augustine Jablonski, Kierian Jablonski, and Azélie Jablonski and a special great-granddaughter, Rainie Jo Herbst. Max is survived by his twin sister Mary Socha of Bonduel, and sister in laws, Donna Place, Vicky (Ronald Johnson), and Anna Mae (Richard Pabst) and his best friend, wife, and love of his life Barb. He is also survived with many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Leon J. and Regina M. (Langer) Klecker, sister Elizabeth (Robert) Webster, brother Eldon (Arlene) Klecker, brothers in-law Sylvester Socha, Gregory Yanisch, Jeff Place, and in-laws Warren and Marjorie Yanisch.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 12:00 Noon Saturday, January 25, 2020 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth Wisconsin, with visitation one hour before the service. Burial will be held at St. Francis Cemetery Ellsworth at a later date.
Cremation services are entrusted by the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of Ellsworth.