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Life Story / Obituary
A kindhearted, gracious, and generous woman, Maxine Korsikas lived her life with others in mind. She was a hardworking woman who was never one to focus on what she had, rather, her mission in life was to bless others in ways both great and small. Maxine loved caring for her family that not only included her two beloved children, but her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as a great-great-grandchild more recently. She wasn’t one to shy away from speaking her mind, but it was only when it came to matters that she felt passionately about. Maxine will be remembered for her warm smile, her tender touch, and her vivacious spirit, but most of all she will be remembered for her huge heart.
It was great to be an American during the 1920s. Innovation was taking us to new places with radios, refrigerators, and more affordable cars that were manufactured on assembly lines being among the noteworthy developments. These days were primarily prosperous ones, and the American spirit soared. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of John Dibler and Flora (Fewlass) Sawin as they were awaiting the birth of their new baby as spring blossomed in Manton, Michigan, in 1922. Their wait was over when the baby girl they named Maxine Virginia made her arrival on May 20th. She was the second of seven children, joining her older sister, Ardith, and later welcoming her younger siblings, Ella Mae, Jean, Joyce, Betty, and John.
In many ways, Maxine was a young girl of her generation. She enjoyed visiting the local mill pond for swimming in the summer and ice skating in the winter. There was even one time that Maxine pulled her father from the water, saving his life. It comes as no surprise that Maxine was prim, proper, and elegant even during her formative years. She attended local schools including Manton High School where she played basketball and the french horn in the band. With a desire to go to beauty school, Maxine moved to Grand Rapids where she stayed in a boarding house that was run by Irene Scott. She did get her cosmetology license and became a beautician.
New and exciting changes were in store for Maxine when she met the love of her life while at a dance. He was young soldier who had just returned from serving in the Army during WWII. His name was Albert Korsikas, and sparks flew right from the start. Maxine and Albert began dating and soon fell in love. With a desire to establish a life together the sweethearts were married in November of 1946 in Indiana. The newlyweds initially lived with his parents for several years, and it was during this time that they were blessed with two children, Christopher and Susan. The Korsikas family eventually moved to Muskegon Street before moving again to Derby Drive where they remained for many years.
Maxine loved working as a beautician. She worked part-time, often evenings at Dodson's Beauty Salon, but her primary role was to care for her family. Maxine kept an immaculate home and was very routine when it came to chores and tasks around the house. Meals were often meat and potatoes, and she also made a fantastic fruit cake. As a mother, Maxine could be encouraging, convincing, and motivating, and she was always there for her kids, too. She was an active part of her children’s lives including as a room mother when they were in school. When grandchildren came along, she couldn’t have been happier. Maxine loved spending time with them and did a fair amount of babysitting, too. Since some of her grandchildren lived out of town, she looked so forward to visiting them in Texas and later Arizona.
Both Maxine and Albert were contented people who didn’t need a lot of things to make them happy. They enjoyed just being at home with Maxine often sitting in her rocking chair, reading or doing some sewing or mending of things for her family. She also enjoyed a good British comedy. Maxine did appreciate nice things and wanted to look her best. She always paid attention to the quality of what she did buy.
In 2003, Maxine was deeply saddened with the death of her beloved Albert. A bit later, she went to live with her son in Arizona during the winter months and with her daughter during the summer months. Eventually, Maxine lived with her son in Arizona full time. She never wanted to be a burden to anyone, especially as her mind clouded with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease the past few years.
With unending love for her family, Maxine Korsikas was such a blessing to others. She fully embraced the days she was given while remaining content in everything that came her way. Maxine was easy to please and was focused on serving others within the community she called home for much of her life. Spirited, vivacious, and courageous, she had a zest for life that was contagious. She will never be forgotten.
Passed away peacefully on the 3rd of August 2015 in Vernon, Arizona at the age of 93. Maxine was born in Manton, Michigan to John and Flora Sawin. She attended Manton High School and was always eager to mention how she played basketball and the French horn while attending there. Receiving her cosmetology license after high school, she started working as a manicurist and then becoming a hair dresser until reaching retirement age. Maxine also never grew tired of watching her British drama TV shows and movies or reading a good book. In 1946, she married Albert Korsikas, raising two children who survive her; Christopher (Ginny) Korsikas from Oro Valley, AZ and Susan (Tom) Paas of Holland, Michigan. Also surviving are her grandchildren: Sarah Bass and Matthew Paas both from Holland, MI, Elizabeth Korsikas-Fogg from Olympia, WA and Christopher Korsikas, Jr. from Tucson, AZ; three step-grandchildren: Paul White from Temecula, CA, Lisa Gunnoe from Elkhart, IN and Susan Ortiz from Perryton, TX; 8 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild; siblings: John (Delores) Sawin Jr. from Fruitport, MI, Joyce (Larry) Williams of Sun City, AZ and Betty Sosenko from Manton, MI. Maxine was preceded in death by her parents John and Flora Sawin; Albert Korsikas to whom she was married 57 years and three sisters: Ella Mae Sawin, Ardath Bogard and Jean Beaudoin. Her funeral service will be held on Monday, August 10, 2015 at 1 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Van't Hof Chapel, 851 Leonard NW where friends may visit with her family from 12 Noon until the service. Maxine will be placed to final rest at Rosedale Cemetery alongside her beloved husband, Albert. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested by the family to the Greater Michigan Chapter Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org/gmc.