My Closest Friend - Alex T. Maxim
by Floyd Dobson
My closest friend Alex always had a smile for everyone, being jovial, funny with a deep sense of humor, and always being the joker in the crowd even through the medical difficulties he faced most of his retired life.
A story of Alex having his Grandsons help do some moving, when the youngest one tried to pick up a cabinet of small drawers full of sorted screws/nuts/bolts and dumped them all over the floor. Alex, very understandingly, shrugged and told his grandson not to get too upset, he Alex would pick them up. He loved his grandsons and had them there at the farm helping as much as possible, and teaching them to hunt and fish. That’s why his grandsons have so many fond memories of him. Alex, if he wasn’t asking me to explain something, especially electrical tech, would always explain things in a good teacher’s mode.
Alex’s trademark was his ability to remember every joke he ever read or heard, especially Blond Jokes. He was always testing me and his closest friends with new jokes, to make sure he had all the details correct. And, he loved poking fun at himself with things like his initials …. ATM. He was always broke. Whenever Alex was in the mood for popcorn, he’d take Carole and/or his grandsons to AMC theaters, because he could always get their FREE refills of those huge popcorn buckets and a good Pepsi. Alex most of time took advantage of every last second he could get away with. Some of those in the MFC remember stopping in the Canadian Sault Ste. Marie casino, and everyone waited for half an hour while several of us looked for him. He didn’t have his watch and lost track of time.
I think everyone around Alex really benefited from his wood-shop teaching experience giving him the ability to create neat but odd wooden nick-knacks as gifts for any and all occasions. We have several of those neat Fiero gifts such as an arching bridge with several ‘Yellow Fieros’ and an LED-lit wine bottle with a Yellow Fiero topping it. He loved creating those Fiero signs and plaques. He was not able to finish upgrading the very old farmhouse wooden floors, ornate trim, cabinets and anything else made of wood before God called him. I’m sure Alex is now working on those spiral staircases in Heaven.
He bought his White 88 GT with white wheels, t-tops, hood Phoenix from the Pontiac dealer in Clarkston in 1988. The summer of 1993 brought many Fiero enthusiasts together to show and enjoy their Fieros at a FOCOA show at the Pontiac Motor Division white headquarters parking lot. This was the first time I ran into Alex since we graduated from WTHS together. Stan Bist walked and talked the whole day trying to get a few Fiero enthusiasts to help him start a Fiero Club in Southeast Michigan. Stan, Alex, Dave Hinton, Dave Evola, and I proceeded to get the Michigan Fiero Club rolling. Since then, we all have had many Fieros.
Alex always put family first. He was loving and kind father to his twin sons, and his grandsons Casey and Kyle. He was so thrilled when one of their twin sons and wife had ‘triplets’. Because they lived in Arizona, he couldn’t see them as often as he liked, but he was such a proud Grandpa. Alex and Carole got married in ’95 with many Fiero Club friends in attendance. Along with his own problems of having a severe stroke while teaching and later a heart attach with quadruple bypass, Carole was diagnosed with MS. Alex became a dedicated caregiver not allowing Carole to do the difficult things.
Shortly after this, Alex was diagnosed with cancer in the lower back, which was ‘cured’ after a year of treatments. With that he then claimed he had WON-the- TRIFECTA of life, but eventually cancer reoccurred, taking it’s toll on both Carole and Alex. Alex lost his battle on June 5, 2016.