Max Dietrich Henke

TOPSHAM – Max Dietrich Henke died peacefully at home after a brief illness, surrounded by his family, on June 20, 2020, in Topsham. Born on March 31, 1935, in Hannover, Germany, to mother Burga and father Karl Heinz Henke, he spent time during World War II in the rural village of Bad Söoden-Allendorf, as many children did then for safety reasons. At 13, he emigrated to the U.S., where he, his mother, and new step-father, Harry Pratt, settled in Philadelphia. After graduating from Frankford High School, Max enrolled in the U.S. Navy, did a tour on Turks Island, and was soon stationed on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, where he met his wife of 61 years, Ann Marie (Sjolund). Max and Ann were married at St. Mary’s Church in Nantucket on June 13, 1959, and then they and their four children spent the next 20 years as a military family, traveling to Morocco, Maine, Alaska, Florida, and Virginia. When Max retired from the Navy as a Senior Chief in 1975, he settled his family in Topsham, joined the Civil Service as the supervisor at Electronics Repair Shop Coast Guard Station, South Portland, and spent 21 years working on ships and maintaining the many lighthouses along the coast of Maine.When he retired from his second career in 1996, he reveled in the chance to enjoy his many hobbies and interests. Max was endlessly curious, could fix or make anything, and was an avid reader. He built ship models from scratch, and finally built his own Cat Boat that he then sailed on the waters of Maine. He also loved photography and making movies – especially of his travels and any train he ever laid eyes on. His travels took him back to his homeland of Germany many times, as well as to Canada and other European countries. Max enjoyed riding his motorcycle and especially liked his trips to Labrador and Nova Scotia. When not traveling or sailing, he loved music – mostly that of the 1940s – the Three Stooges, and listening to Jean Shepherd on the radio. When personal computers first came out, it was like he’d been waiting for them his whole life. His latest hobby was flying drones around Topsham and creating movies from the footage. He loved cats (and all animals) and lived with at least one feline his whole adult life. He never missed a day of feeding the many squirrels, birds, chipmunks, raccoons, and opossums that frequented his “bird” feeders.He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ann Marie (Sjolund) Henke; children Andrea, Stephanie, Rolf (Tracy), and Lisa Henke; sister Ingelore Pagel and her three children, Jonas, Marlena and Eva; grandchildren Derrick Green (Grace) and Iva Henke (fiance’ Eric); sister-in-law Eunice Kelly (Richard), nephew Richard Kelly, Jr. (Lynn), and niece Lynne Dwelley (Alan); brother-in-law Carl Sjolund (Julie Fitzgerald) and nephew James; brother-in-law Robert Sjolund (Anne) and nephew Patrick; and four great-grandchildren, Connor, Reina, Henry and Luciana. Max was predeceased by brother Uvë Henke, and grandson, Eddie Henke.Burial will be private at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, Maine. To leave a note of condolence or share a memory, please visit http://www.brackettfh.com.In lieu of flowers, those who wish to can make a donation to the Salvation Army of Bath, MidCoast Humane Society, or Hospice of Southern Maine.

Max Dietrich Henke

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