In Memory of




Obituary for Max Ehinger Jr.

Max Ehinger Jr. of Ephrata, was 94 years old, went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on, March 8, 2022

Dad was born in Wenatchee, April 18, 1927 to Max Joseph Ehinger Sr and Wilda Spalding. He had sister Emily Wassel who passed away in 2017, and a brother Don Ehinger who resides in Boise. Dad was raised in Omak and he joined the US Navy when he was 18. He married, the love of his life, Pattie Hizey, December 27, 1947, in Seattle while he was on leave from the Navy. Pattie passed away in August of 2021, he lived 6 months after her passing. They would have celebrated 75 years of marriage this December.

He served in World War II, from September 1945 through August 1949. In his years in the military, he learned and used Morse Code on the ship’s radios, and the “new and upcoming” Teletype machines. He received the World War II Victory, American Area Campaign, Asiatic Pacific Campaign and the Good Conduct medals. He was a proud survivor of World War II and enjoyed the special opportunity to go on the Honor Flight to DC, in 2019.
Max had 3 children, Pam Kindl (Omak), Jerie (Ron) Broze, (Davenport) and Marcie (Sherrie) Ehinger (Ephrata), and a special 4th daughter, Lynne (Al) Actesen who passed away in October 2021, and numerous grand and great grandchildren. He loved his family and everyone loved their Papa!

Over the years, they lived in Everett, Richland and Ephrata. While living in Richland, he worked for the Atomic Energy Commission as an air traffic controller. Dad always had a passion for the airplanes, and enjoyed working in this field. The family took up waterskiing with friends on the Columbia River in the 60’s. He made slalom skies for the whole family with their names on them, and created ski saucers and shoe skis for all to enjoy on the river. Dad’s second boat was his pride and joy, a ski barge. It was an 8” x 20” and nothing but a shell of a barge with the driving counsel in the back with a big Mercury. Oh, he loved that boat!!

He taught numerous kids and adults how to water ski over his years owning a boat. He always said, “don’t stay on two skies too long, harder to learn the slalom ski”. He had a special way in teaching them to ski on one. By going out with the new skier, he’d hold one of their arms while skier would drop a ski. Once, the new slalom skier mastered their balance of skiing on one, he’d let go of them, or grab the arm if they were falling, until they were skiing comfortable on one ski, and that’s how you do it! That blue ski barge also could “turn on a dime”, and he
loved to scare every kid, and adult riding in his boat. We’d all jump in the boat knowing we were going for one of his rides. We all would say, “do it again”, everyone loved the thrill.

Dad was the race course chairman for the Unlimited Hydroplane races for first 10 years of Tri-Cities, Water Follies Columbia Cup. He took this volunteer job very seriously, and proud to be one of the original volunteers for this yearly race that started in 1966. He loved floating, proudly in the ski barge, on the first turn of the course by the blue bridge. On board were qualified dive crew, ready to jump in the water any time of a crash to assist a boat driver. One of the fun things too, was just towing one of his beloved unlimited hydroplanes back to the pit area. He met lifelong friends from this yearly race.

Dad loved and enjoyed the Christmas season each year. When his girls were young, he would
give then $5.00 and go to Newberry’s in Richland to buy gifts for everyone in the family. He taught us to be givers in life. He took pride in wrapping his presents for the family, with extra special care and only using three pieces of tape! The Christmas Tree, was another piece of art with the tinsel, perfectly placed, one at a time on a huge tree that was as wide as it was tall. Neighbors would say, “Max, your tree doesn’t have a top, you need to put one on the roof”.

Dad loved to surprise his girls with his special dinners. Dad would hang a blanket, over the kitchen and dining room door, we knew something delicious was being made behind that curtain! He’d ripped down the curtain and we would run in and find a wonderful meal, with beautiful parfaits, steaks wrapped with bacon, a heart cake with cherries on top, and double baked potatoes. Oh, we loved those surprised meals!! He made everything so special and fun!

Max’s young family enjoyed life together. He was always so proud how he never took up golf, that took time away from his family, he would say later.

They moved to Ephrata in August 1968, and started working for the Federal Aviation Association and working at the Ephrata Airport. Dad and mom, met fun, adventurous friends who had recently moved to Ephrata too. These were some wonderful years for dad and they
did have more fun!

A job opportunity arose and they move to Panamá in the late 70’s. They made Panamá their home for 5 years, moved back to Ephrata for 2 years, then off to Guam for 2 years and then back to Ephrata. In Panama they met the Rodriguez family, our Panamanian Family who is now part of our Ehinger family.

In Panama, dad learned Spanish and was bi-lingual working at the Pan Canal Airport. He took up scuba diving, snorkeling and collected many treasures from the deep water. His home was a museum of shells, coral, artifacts from the building of the Panama Canal, and housed beautiful artwork from Panama and South America. He so enjoyed those years living in the tropics.

Back in Ephrata, he worked a couple more years, and then retire from the FAA in 1983. After retirement, he worked for the Port of Ephrata working various odd jobs. Bringing doughnuts to other workers was one his important jobs! Again, giving to others! He loved his garden and growing his tomatoes, cucumber and melons. He enjoyed cooking his whole life, he sure could make the best Salisbury Steaks. Dad always kept busy, puttering in his garage with his music playing, another pastime in his retirement years.

Max’s family grew and continued to go boating, traveling, camping, and snowmobiling, and enjoying the grandkids and great grandkids. He enjoyed cooking the steaks on the Conconully fire, sometimes he would be turning 15 steaks! Dad continue to ride his snowmobile up until the age of 92 and took a run up to Salmon Meadow in Conconully. He started riding snowmobiles in 1970 and rode them for 50 years. In those days he was always changing the sparkplugs, belts and with the open carburetors they were always breaking down.

Dad and mom lived in their home until a year ago, and then he and Pattie moved into the Parkway Adult Home Care. He continued to play crib with anyone (he would count too fast!), enjoyed going to the Legion for Tuesday night dinners, and still enjoyed the family time up at Conconully. Dad and his family fell in love with Dave and LaNell Warren owners of Parkway. They loved dad, and took excellent care of him, our words cannot express our gratitude for their loving care they gave him.

Dad will be buried with full military honor at 11:00am, Ephrata Cemetery, Friday, March 25. A reception will follow at the American Legion Hall, in Ephrata. Please dress casual as that is what dad would want. Please come and help us celebrate this great man we all loved so much.

Scharbach Columbia Funeral Chapel in Quincy Washington is in charge of the funeral arrangement.
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We will miss you dad, Max, aka” Papa” but we are very happy our parents are together
again, dancing with Jesus. RIP Papa!