Obit: Opelt, Max Wilhelm, Jr. (1903 - 2005)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Opelt, Sternitzky, Crocket, Lewandowski, Lukewich, Tyznik, Lekie, Rosandich

----Sources: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark County, WI) October 12, 2005

Opelt, Max Wilhelm, Jr. (May 7, 1903 - October 5, 2005)

Max W Opelt, Jr., age 102, of Medford passed away Wednesday, October 5, 2005, at the Memorial Nursing and Rehab. Center while under Hope Hospice where he had resided for the past two years.

Max Wilhelm Opelt, Jr., was born May 7, 1903 in Lynn, to Phoebe Sternitzky and Max Opelt Sr. He received his education at Lynn and Granton Schools. After WWI his family moved to the Town of Levis, south of Neillsville, Wis. Max bought the farm just before his marriage to Irene Crocket in 1925. He raised dairy cattle and many, many chickens. He and Irene also grew cabbage and sold 5,000 to 6,000 heads. They also sold Christmas trees around the states.

Two children were born there, Arlene in 1927 and Jerry in 1928. The depression hit hard and they then moved to a smaller farm in the Town of Washburn. In the mid 40’s they adopted three children, John, Douglas and Michael.

In 1946 they moved to a new operation just south of Granton and farmed there. This farm had a big house and they had big hearts, so over a period of 10 years over 20 boys, about six to eight at a time, that badly needed a home stayed with them. Eventually they sold the cows and worked at the Norwoods Home in Wood County. Max and his wife worked there and continued their teamwork.

After retirement, the farm was sold and they moved to downtown Granton. Irene died at the age of 83, after 62 years of marriage. On May 1, 1991, at the age of 88, he married Irene Lewandowski, and he then moved into Medford with his new "Irene" in 1991.

Max liked to travel, play cards and cook. He also took care of the elderly in Marshfield. Max enjoyed his work, tremendously. Max at the age of 90 was the oldest runner in Granton, for which he got a trophy. He was a very pleasant man to talk to and get to know, he was very comical. Max was a member of the United Methodist Church in Granton.

Max is survived by his wife, Irene; three sons, Jerry (Fay) Opelt of Neillsville, Douglas Opelt of Granton; Michael (Judy) Opelt of Middleton, MN; step-children, Shirley Lukewich, Paul (Sandy) Lukewich, and George (Elizabeth) Lukewich, all of Medford; 12 grandchildren; 10 step-grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and 10 step-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Irene; one son, John; one daughter, Arlene; two brothers; two sisters; two grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, Nicole Rosandich.

Memorial services were held October 8, 2005, at the United Methodist Church, Neillsville, Wis. Pastor Craig Conklin officiated. Burial took place in the Windfall Cemetery, in Granton.

Pallbearers were Larry and Jason Opelt, Paul and George Lukewich, Carl Tyznik and Shawn Lekie.



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