Max B Holbrook passed away the evening of November 9, 2023 at the age of 95. He was at home, peaceful and surrounded by loved ones. Max spent much of his adult life in Oregon and dearly loved the woods, weather and coastline of the Pacific Northwest. In his final years he lived in Orem, Utah with his daughter Jolynn and her family. That brought him closer to his original roots. Max was born in Chesterfield, Idaho on May 5, 1928 to Jonathan Earl Holbrook and Mamie Call. He was the youngest brother to Lawrence, Delilah (Lilah), Florence, Wilda, Elaine and Cal. In his journal he stated that it was a great blessing to be born to parents sealed in the Salt Lake City temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He always considered his family, his membership in the church, and his covenants of utmost importance throughout his life.
Max grew up on a farm and with his closest sibling 8 years his senior, he learned the value of hard work early in his young life. At the age of six or seven he would set his own alarm for about four o’clock in the morning so he could complete his chore of milking cows before heading off to school. Occasionally he felt a little resentment for this chore and on one of those days he heard milk squirting into an empty bucket. He looked behind him to find his mother had left her chores to help him. He loved his mother very much and appreciated her tender care. He was independent, loved music, animals, sports, learning and was exposed to leadership opportunities early as the student body president of his senior class.
He graduated from North Gem High School in Bancroft, Idaho on May 14,1947, after which time he lived with his older sister Wilda, her husband Chris and their children. He reflected gratefully on this time to deepen relationships with family before entering the Korean War. Serving in the military from 1951 to 1956, Max received specialized training at camp Fuji, Japan and additional training later at the island of Iwo Jima in army supply. He received a letter from his 1st Lieutenant commanding officer, Henry L. Livingston Jr., which complimented him on his outstanding performance while serving as Supply Sergeant. The Lieutenant said Max worked “many long hours far beyond normal duty to maintain the standard of efficiency that he set for himself and in repeated inspections he always received one of the highest scores possible.”
Throughout his life completing a task to the best of his ability always gave him a good feeling of accomplishment. Because of his service in the military, Max never got the chance to go on a mission as a young man. He felt this lack keenly for the rest of his life and prioritized dedicating time and efforts to proclaiming the gospel. He never passed up an opportunity to share his testimony of Jesus Christ, to share a copy of the Book of Mormon or to invite friends that he made to listen to a message from the missionaries.
When his service in the army ended he went home and that same year met and courted Theo Nora Mumford. They were married on November 19, 1953 in the Idaho Falls Temple. The next 8 years were a busy blur as they both worked various jobs, and decided on a career in dentistry for Max. He received a letter of acceptance from The University of Oregon Dental School, and the couple packed their belongings and moved to Portland, Oregon. Theo worked full time, Max attended Dental School and worked when he could. The happy couple lived in the greater Portland area for almost 60 years where Max practiced dentistry, had two children, Jonathan Leigh and Jolynn and made many lifelong friends. Although his profession brought him great satisfaction, his greatest fulfillment was found in family and service, both in church and community.
Max had the blessing of serving in a number of callings in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including service as a bishop, stake president, regional representative, stake patriarch, and member of the Portland temple presidency alongside his wife Theo. If asked, he would undoubtedly say his most meaningful moments of service rendered were as home teacher and sealer in the temple - the house of the Lord.
Ever the farm boy, Max was never idle. He thoroughly enjoyed gardening, and always had a vegetable garden and beautiful flowers. Roses were his favorite. Max loved to visit nurseries and purchase new plants and trees for his 2 ½ acre property in Gresham, Oregon. No matter what, Max would set aside time to tend his beautiful yard. This passion for growing things was passed down to Max’s posterity.
Throughout his life, Max valued the humble and consistent pursuit of knowledge through study of both secular books and scripture as well as the words of the prophets. He loved his family, the legacy of his ancestors and his Savior Jesus Christ. Accordingly, his own legacy will remain firm in the minds and hearts of family and friends left to carry on.
The family will receive friends from 10:00-10:45 a.m., Monday, November 20th 2023. A funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. Both events will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Steeplechase Building, 165 East 1780 North, Orem, UT 84057.
Special thanks to the emergency room Doctor and Hospitalist Dr. Lew and the ninth floor nursing staff at Utah Valley Hospital, with particular thanks to Maria and KeliAnn.
We will forever have a warm spot in our hearts for Nurse Laura Olsen from Active Home Health & Hospice for her tender care and compassion of the deceased and his family.
The interment for Max will be held at the Finn Hill Cemetery in Brush Prairie, Washington on Friday, November 24th 2023. In lieu of flowers please donate to the charity of your choice.