Albert E. MaassDecember 28, 1922 ~ March 3, 2017 (age 94)
Albert Earl Maass was born on December 28, 1922, the only surviving child of the late Earl and Elsie Maass. After growing up in Saginaw Michigan, surrounded by extended family, Al entered the University of Michigan. Two and a half years later, with the outbreak of World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, where he served on the Pacific Front. He returned to the U of M, graduating with both a B.S. and a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering. While there, Al also met Marilyn Leitz, a lively nursing student, whom he married on June 25, l949.
Together, they built their first home in Saginaw, MI, and welcomed their three children; Carolyn (Chris) Lussier of Chelsea, MI, Barb (Bob) Gordon of Costa Mesa, CA, and Jim (Vicki) Maass of Ridgeway, SC. Their children have given them 8 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Working for a large corporation didn’t suit Al’s energy and personality, and the family moved to Kalamazoo, where Al and a partner started Ano-Kal Company in nearby Plainwell, Michigan. Ano-Kal , alias “the plant” anodized and hardcoated aluminum parts for manufacturing companies all over the country. Al was proud of the quality of his work, and was especially pleased to anodize parts used in the NASA Friendship rocket. Al assumed full ownership of Ano-Kal early on, and it became the stable financial base of their life for many years.
Al was a quiet man. He was happiest when he had work to do and when the people he loved were busy and happy. His many endeavors were undertaken, not just for their monetary value, but for the joy and stability they provided Marilyn and the rest of his family.
It follows that the most invigorating chapters of Al’s life were the long productive middle ones, during which he saw: the plant established, his beloved mother- in- law well cared for, he and Marilyn’s half dozen houses remodeled and sold, their final house built in the country, his kids educated, grown and flown, and Hope Lutheran Church founded and built in Plainwell. He installed a full woodworking shop in the basement of their home for
Marilyn, golfed and indulged in perhaps his greatest joy; an incredibly rich yearly vegetable garden - a passion that benefited recipients at home and church. Al could undoubtedly look at the fruit of his labors with satisfaction.
By 2007, the northern winters drove them to live full time in their house in Stuart, Florida. Al kept busy as long as he could, especially enjoying their friends, neighbors and the mid-week Bible studies and services at Immanuel Lutheran Church. In the fall of 2014, they moved briefly to Tradition, Florida, where they were active members of Living Faith Church.
Al’s final two years were spent in Columbia, South Carolina, in Bernardin House at Rice Estate. There, near his son Jim’s family, he would receive the care and love he needed. It was at Rice Estate that Marilyn, his beloved wife of nearly 67 years, died in February of 2016.
For 94 years Albert Earl Maass walked this earth; faithful to wife, family, God, and the great land he served and loved. On the evening of March 3, 2017, death came peacefully to him in his sleep, with his family near, the trace of a smile on his face, his work complete.
We would like to give special and sincerest thanks to all of the staff members of Bernardin House, Rice Estate and Lutheran Hospice for the loving and compassionate care, attendance and assistance provided to Al during his time there, as well as for the peace of mind that your care afforded our family. We would also like to thank the members of the Bernardin Family Council for your friendship and caring. May God Bless All Of You!
A memorial service will be held at Rice Estate, 100 Finley Rd., Columbia, SC, on Sunday, March 26, 2016 at 3:30 p.m., following the regular 2:30 p.m. worship service. Memorial gifts may be made to Hope Lutheran Church, 290 12th Street, Plainwell, MI 49080, Living Faith Church, 10799 Civic Lane, Port St. Lucie, FL 34987, or Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2655 S.W. Immanuel Drive, Palm City FL 34990.