Max Bächi, age 85, passed away on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at the Marshfield Medical Center, Marshfield, WI. He was born on October 3, 1936 to the late Robert and Martha (Meier) Bächi in Rafz, Switzerland.
Max grew up on a small farm with his brothers and sisters and had his first job operating heavy equipment at 15 years old. He also had earned a two-year degree in agriculture and was in the Swiss Army Infantry.
In 1964, Max responded to an ad in his local Swiss paper for farm hands wanted in Merrill, WI and made his journey to the United States, not knowing a word of English, teaching himself with a translating dictionary.
In mid-1965, Max begun working for Wilbert Storm Gravel Crushing, working for two years when he broke his knee. Max had bartended for money and was working at Green’s Hotel – Larry’s Bar, when he met the love of his life, Sally Paul. He told her that night “I’m going to marry you.” Three weeks later they were engaged and three months later were married on January 11, 1969, and in April 1969 he became a United States Citizen.
Max got his pilots license in 1967 and bought an Ercoupe 415-C plane, always saying one of the biggest regrets was selling it. He loved to fly.
Max was a heavy equipment operator working for Bassuener and Michels Pipeline, retiring at 62 and a member of Operating Engineers Local 139 for 55 years. Later he worked for Kodak, shutting down finishing labs, going to Hawaii twice.
Max loved traveling, making several trips to Laughlin, Nevada and up until the pandemic he would travel home to see his family twice a year.
He looked forward to the annual air and car shows and could always be found in his reserved seat at Arnie Lange’s Auctions.
Max also enjoyed gardening, priding himself on his 14-foot-tall tomato plants, saying his secret is using the b.s. from boys at the coffee shop for fertilizer.
Max loved hunting season and spending good times and lots of laughs with his nephew Greg Duginski and family at the shack. Paul Harvey even had a segment about Max after shooting his four-wheeler during hunting season. Mr. Harvey didn’t mention that he did shoot the deer, and that was the rest of the story.
He was musically inclined and could yodel, sing, play the piano, and harmonica, and loved playing his German polka music.
Max was always tinkering on something and was skilled at fixing mostly anything. He was always there to extend a helping hand and had a generous soul. You could always count on him to make a funny joke or two and had an amazing sense of humor.
Special thanks to Marshfield Hospital in Marshfield, Woodland Court in Merrill, Bedrock Nursing Home in Abbotsford and MLD Auto Repair in Merrill.
Max was preceded in death by his parents, brother Robert, sister Alice, Wife Sally Bächi and dear friend Roy Schulz. He is survived by his daughter Sabrina Bächi of Merrill, WI; grandchildren Christian and Colton Bächi of Merrill, WI; great grandchildren Sebastian Hendrix and Oaklyn Rain; sisters Margaret, Matilda, and Heidiof Switzerland; brother Arthur of Switzerland; dear friend Fritz Hilfiker of Merrill, WI and many nieces and nephews here and abroad.
The funeral service for Max will be held on Friday, January 14, 2022 at 11:00 am at Waid Funeral Home. A visitation will be held on Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Waid Funeral Home and on Friday, January 14, 2022 from 10:00 am until the time of service also at the funeral home. Interment will take place at Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery.
Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.
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