At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation
Attn: Amy, 301 South Kalamazoo
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Donations will be directed to Indian Lake Elementary School. Checks should be made payable to Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Maxine Cohrs freely gave unlimited amounts of selfless love as a devoted wife; as a warm and dedicated mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and aunt; and as a loyal friend. Her generous spirit and warm heart merged with a quiet toughness to both calm and inspire those who loved and cared for her. Maxine radiated goodness and humor. With no fuss, she would forgive and understand, wrap you in a hug, and feed you enough to forget whatever bothered you. Her first words were usually "Are you hungry?", and, if you were, she could fix that! Her sense of humor was quiet, and just wicked enough to have a memorable edge, but she never used it to hurt or make fun of anyone. For all of this, and so much more, we will deeply miss her, but remember her with joy.
The Roaring Twenties was an era of prosperity and good fortune in the U.S. The sounds of jazz, which would develop into the swing music that Maxine loved, lured many to the dance floor Early in the decade, on the Fourth of July in 1922, Lester and Orpha (MacDonald) Muir of Three Rivers, Michigan, welcomed their identical twin daughters, Maxine and Marjorie, their third and fourth children. They were born premature, weighing 2 1/4 pounds each, and their first crib/incubator was an empty drawer from a dresser. For that time, their very survival was a small miracle.
Maxine and Marjorie were the two youngest of four children in the Muir household. They joined their older siblings, Eleanor and Thomas, who also doted on them. While quite young, Maxine and her family moved to Vicksburg, Michigan, the base from which her father worked as a traveling salesman. Her mother made a warm home for the children. Maxine attended the local schools and, in Marjorie she found not only a faithful sister, but a companion and friend. Together, they found their share of mischief, and developed a life-long habit of pulling pranks that usually involved confusing one with the other. Like the time that Maxine walked into a doctor's office pretending that she was Marjorie, and had herself cut off the cast from her broken arm, which had miraculously healed!.
In the midst of the Great Depression, a hard time for so many, the Muir family suffered the too-early passing of Lester. Maxine was barely in her teens, and the family had suffered a huge loss. Orpha's strength and their mutual devotion pulled the family through, and Maxine surely got some toughness from those traumatic years.
Maxine played the cornet and, later, the baritone in the school band - the same band that got Bob Cohrs started on his long musical journey. One time, as high school seniors, she and Marjorie were invited to a party. A mutual friend asked Bob, then a college freshman, to pick up the girls for the party. In this case, instead of twins, Bob picked up only Maxine, which seems to have been the original intent of the arranger. Before long, Maxine and Robert began dating. Maxine graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1939, and went on to attend Maher Business School. She decided to learn to fly, and pursued it long enough to accomplish solo flights. She received her license in 1944 and carried it in her wallet until the day she died. The budding Amelia Earhart stopped flying to pursue other things.
Maxine always worked, and taught her children the value of work. As a teen, she jerked sodas at Hanichen's Drug Store in Vicksburg. During World War II, she was a secretary at Lee Paper Mill in Vicksburg, and worked at Argus Camera for a year. Robert was away from Vicksburg during the war, and the past and future couple did not keep up their relationship. Sometime in 1945, after Bob had returned to Vicksburg, Maxine proved her toughness by carrying a load of shingles up the ladder to the roof that Bob was shingling. After that, they dated until they married on April 28, 1946. They shared the next 69 lively years, raising a large family of six children, and taking in more who needed help for briefer periods. In 1967, the Cohrs family hosted Goran Gezelius, a Swedish exchange student, for about six months, and because of Maxine's love and influence, Goran has stayed in touch with them ever since, for nearly fifty years now.
Maxine and Robert's first child, Fred, was born in 1948, followed by five more: Bill, Dan, Mary, Ann, Nancy, and Tim. While making a good home for Robert and the kids, Maxine also worked for 22 years as the secretary (really, the part-time mother for all the children) at Vicksburg Indian Lake Elementary School. Her unconditional love made her a “mom” to anyone who came her way.
Maxine was an excellent cook with many specialties, but the most-discussed may have been her scrumptious strawberry pie, with that secret ingredient in the crust. All of the children took piano lessons, with Maxine reminding them to "practice your piano before your father gets home". She could be tough, but always generous. Whenever one of the kids came home to visit while attending college, she’d give them a big hug, slip them a $20 bill, and say, “shhh, don’t tell your father.”
To be sure that her children would be properly fed and celebrate on their birthdays after they left home, she would bake a two-layer birthday cake, cover it in chocolate fudge icing, wrap it carefully, and mail it in a cardboard box. And the cakes were so moist that they survived the trip and fed the entire dorm.
Through the years, Maxine loved visiting the cottages they owned in Baldwin, where they would swim, run around in the woods, eat and build bonfires. She enjoyed cooking, growing beautiful tomatoes and other vegetables, and playing cribbage and Parcheesi. Adding any of her grandchildren or great-grandchildren to these activities always brought her the greatest joy.
Maxine gave us so many wonderful memories and taught us so much by her example. We will miss her deeply.
Maxine M. Cohrs, of Vicksburg passed away Sunday, August 9, 2015 at the age of 93. She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Bob; six children: Fred (Ann) Cohrs, of VA, Bill (Susan) Cohrs, of TX, Dan Cohrs, of CA, Mary Ann (Phillip) Weaver, of Caledonia, Nancy Cohrs, of Charlotte, Tim (Linda) Cohrs, of Kalamazoo; 16 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her siblings: Eleanor, Thomas and twin sister, Marjorie.
A funeral service will be held at noon on Thursday, August 13th at Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene, 7520 East U Ave, Vicksburg. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at the Vicksburg Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a memorial contribution to the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation to be directed to Vicksburg Indian Lake Elementary School. Please visit Maxine’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign her guestbook and share a memory and/or photo. The family is being assisted by the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697).