Marion Max Yoho, 82, died on Saturday, April 22, 2017, in his Topeka home, surrounded by caring family. Max was born on June 18, 1934, in Colony, Kansas, the son of Lloyd George Yoho and Nellie Lenore (Christenberry) Yoho. His parents, his sister, Donna Jean (Yoho) Mar, and his first wife, Rosemary Ann (Carter) Yoho, preceded him in death.
Max lived in Colony until the age of ten. His family moved to Atchison, Kansas, where his father served as a flagman for the Santa Fe Railroad.
He survived being severely burned by gasoline in 1946 at the age of eleven. After a full year of recovery, involving a six-month stay at Topeka’s Security Benefit Hospital, Max felt the ordeal helped him understand what is important in life and what is not. He also became a frequent blood donor, appreciating the blood he had received as a burn patient.
In 1947, the family moved to Topeka where Max attended East Topeka Jr. High and graduated from Topeka High in 1953. He married Rosemary Ann (Carter) Yoho on August 15, 1954. The Yohos had three sons: Alex, Stuart and Nicholas. Max spent his career as a machinist, working several years for Brackett Stripping Machine Company, then working thirty-three years at the Topeka Goodyear Plant where he was a long-time member of what is now United Steelworkers Local 307. Rosemary preceded him in death in 1988. After eight years as a widower, Max married Carol (Martin) Yoho.
Max was a musician who played guitar, harmonica, banjo, baritone horn, and sang. He was fascinated by, collected and restored antique brass instruments. He also composed various songs he performed.
He was also a craftsman of metal and wood. He built several steam engines, a grandfather clock case in which he assembled the clock as a wedding gift for his son Alex. He built several kaleidoscopes and made display cases for his friends’ antique collections. He also handcrafted his home’s mantelpiece from walnut.
Max was an avid collector of German military artifacts, which prompted his study of the German language and culture. He became a world traveler, visiting Germany, Switzerland, England, Scotland, and Central America. When visiting Belize he was struck by their simple needs. Back in Kansas he collected several mimeograph machines and various other needed items and shipped them to a hospital facility in Belize. Later trips included visits to Cancun and Chichen Itza. He also visited various tourist spots within the Canadian Rockies, including Yoho National Park.
He enjoyed boating, and over time, owned a canoe, built his own sailboat, owned a cabin cruiser and a houseboat.
In the late 1970s Max volunteered at Topeka State Hospital. He participated in a socialization program for patients, where he became a friend and mentor to many.
Always an avid reader, Max also became a craftsman of the written word. He was known both for his humor and as a serious writer. His writing was supported in the late 1950s at Washburn University by his freshman composition teacher, Marilyn Jurich, who helped him get a job writing humorous columns for the student newspaper. Much later he embarked on a career as writer, after becoming a widower and retiring from his work as a machinist. He was a member of the “A Table for Eight” Topeka writers group and also a long-time member of Kansas Authors Club. His poetry and short stories were printed many times in the 1990s in Inscape, the Washburn University literary journal. His work was also printed in regional literary journals: The Midwest Quarterly and The Little Balkans Review (whose editors nominated one of his short stories for a Pushcart Prize in 2009).
Max’s published novels include: The Revival, Tales from Comanche County, The Moon Butter Route, With the Wisdom of Owls, and Me and Aunt Izzy. His collection of poems, essays and short stories is Felicia, These Fish Are Delicious.
Both The Revival and The Moon Butter Route won J. Donald Coffin Awards of the Kansas Authors Club, and The Moon Butter Route was picked as a Kansas Notable Book by the Kansas State Library in 2006. He is the only Kansas author to have had two books, The Moon Butter Route and The Revival chosen as the Kansas Center for the Book's "Favorite Kansas Books" list. His literary career is also covered online on a Wikipedia page.
He was awarded an "ARTY" Award by ArtsConnect of NE Kansas in May 2011, as "Distinguished Literary Artist." In October 2013, he was presented with their Achievement Award for his career as a writer by the Kansas Authors Club.
Max is survived by his second wife, Carol (Martin) Yoho; sons Alex (Sherry) Yoho, Stuart (Annabelle) Yoho, and Nicholas Yoho. His six grandchildren are Eli Lee Bargmann, Jeremy Caldwell Yoho, Delaney Brooke (Shane) Gliser, Joshua Gabriel Yoho, Emily Marie Yoho-Coffman (Justin Coffman), and Sarah Kassidy Yoho. His six great grandchildren are Gideon Lucas Yoho-Lufkin, Joel Elliot Yoho, Samuel Alexander Gliser, Julia Brooke Gliser, Sophia Cayden Gliser, and Beau Allen Coffman. He will be remembered fondly by all of those whose lives he touched.
A memorial service will be held in Max’s honor on Monday, May 1, 2017, at Penwell-Gabel Southwest, at 1:00 PM. A reception will immediately follow. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Kansas Humanities Council,Columbian Financial Services LLC, 112 SW 6th Ave, Topeka, KS 66603.
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