Max L. Hilligoss
June 12, 1917 - February 12, 2020

Max L. Hilligoss

Max L. Hilligoss
Jun 12, 1917 - Feb 12, 2020

Max L. Hilligoss
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Max L. Hilligoss, 102, of South Whitley, IN passed away Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at Heritage of Huntington. Born on June 12, 1917 in Huntington County, he was the son of Arthur G. and Dorothy M. (Marshall) Hilligoss.

He played basketball and baseball while attending Clear Creek High School and graduated with the Class of 1935. On February 26, 1938, he married Dolores C. Nix. In 1949 they moved to Washington Township in Whitley County before moving to his present home on the family farm in 1970.

He had been a farmer all his life, starting at the age of 13. He used mules and horses in his early life of farming. It would take Max two hours each way to South Whitley to take corn to the Elevator, making two trips a day. In 2015 the Hilligoss farm was awarded the "Hoosier Homestead Farm" owned by the same family for 100 years. He was a member of St. Catherine's Catholic Church and coached the Church's league softball team in the early '50's.

He enjoyed watching the New York Yankees baseball, Norte Dame football and attending Huntington University basketball games for many years. As of this date, he was 102 ½ years old, lived alone in his own home and still driving to Huntington to have dinner.

Survivors include his daughters, Carolyn (Stanley) Fisher of Pleasant Lake and Nancy (Steve) Josephson of Los Angeles, CA; son, John (Deb Gerig) Hilligoss of South Whitley; 10 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; and 9 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; daughter, Sandra "Sue" Bryan; brother, Robert Hilligoss; sister, Miriam Burkhart Rice; and 1 great-grandson.

Visitation is 1-5 p.m. Sunday, February 16, 2020 at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City with a Rosary prayer beginning at 12:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be 9:30 a.m. Monday at the St. Catherine's Catholic Church, 9989 S. SR 9, Columbia City, IN 46725 with visitation starting at 8:30 a.m. Father Dale Bauman will be officiating. Burial to follow at St Catherine's Nix Settlement Cemetery. Memorials may be given in his memory to Masses or St. Catherine's Catholic Church Preservation Fund. Visit to send Max's family condolences online.

Healing Registry on Feb 15, 2020

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Julie Zorger on Feb 18, 2020

Vera Johnson wants to send her condolences. Mom thought a lot of Max. Max was in Mom and Dad’s wedding! She sends her love and prayers. Julie Zorger

Julie Zorger on Feb 17, 2020

Our prayers are with your family. Max was a great guy! He sure lived life to the fullest! God bless you, Julie and Jim Zorger

Jim Bayman on Feb 16, 2020

Sorry for your loss and remembering all of the family in our prayers. We are in Florida and I am sorry that I couldn't come to the viewing. He certainly had a "well lived life" and will be missed by many!

Duke and Rita Hinen Ropp on Feb 16, 2020

Our prayers and sympathy for all the family for your loss. Sorry we couldn't be at viewing(out of state) can only imagine the good memories you must be sharing. God Bless

Brian and Dianna Smith on Feb 15, 2020

Our hearts go out to the family of Max, he will be missed. With our deepest sympathy,
Brian and Dianna Smith and the entire staff of Jerry's Tire Service

Shirley (Nix) Smith on Feb 14, 2020


Tim Kuckuck on Feb 14, 2020

So sorry for your loss. I always looked forward to visiting with Max and listening to his stories of farming and family. I remember a couple of years ago loading out beans. We were down to using the sweep augur. I looked around and Max was getting into the bin to sweep it out. Always admired his desire to stay active and love what you do. He was a true gentleman and will be missed. Deepest sympathy to the Hilligoss family.
Tim & Teresa Kuckuck

Martha Trier on Feb 13, 2020

Karen stoner ellison on Feb 13, 2020

Sorry to read that your Dad has passed away. Just read an article about him in the Farmers Exchange wow what a Milestone 102 years not many get to live that long. I’m sure he has shared lots of stories to his kids and grandchildren. Keep those memories alive by reminesing. Prayers for all of your Families.

Shirley (Nix) Smith on Feb 13, 2020

CandleTo Carolyn, Nancy, John and extended families,
You have my deepest sympathy on the loss of this wonderful man. We so enjoyed him staying with us in Branson, MO for those basketball tournaments. Also, the many breakfasts after Mass on Sundays. Farming is what kept him going. As he farmed the field next to where I lived it was so interesting to see him working that field when he was 99! I’m sure the memories he left you with will go on for generations to come. So sorry I can’t be to the viewing or funeral living farther away now, but know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May God be with you all during this time of celebrating a long and fruitful life. He has now come to life in its fullest – Eternal happiness for ever.

Elisabeth and Kevin Minihan on Feb 13, 2020

Dear Nancy, John and Caroline,
Max(Dad) , lived a long and wonderful life. He had four lovely children and lots of grand , and great grand children to carry on his legacy. He was strong to the end. I was always amazed at the things he was doing at his age. Dad, you will be missed. Rest In Peace. Our love to the family. Elisabeth and Kevin Minihan

Robert Salesman on Feb 13, 2020

So sorry for your loss. Max always made me smile and I so admired his love of baseball.

Connie Giokaris on Feb 13, 2020

Our heartfelt sympathy to all of the Hilligoss family. Max will be remembered as a kind, loving and gentle man. A life well lived! May his memory be eternal.
John and Connie Giokaris

Sue Booth on Feb 13, 2020

Our thoughts and prayers to all the family. We were fortunate enough to know Max through his children and enjoyed his many stories and his interest in sports. Tom and Sue Booth

Marlin and Jill Gaff on Feb 13, 2020

We send our love and prayers to all the family. We were so fortunate to have known Max and to have been able to spend time with him and hear the many stories of his life. His love of family and the farm life was so evident . We will miss his sweet smile. Marlin and Jill Gaff

Pam Wall Pasquali on Feb 12, 2020

CandleLove and sympathy to your family... please know uncle Max means the world to all of us… Such a special special man 🙏

Darleen Wright on Feb 12, 2020

To the family... Sympathy in the loss Max. What a life he lived to the fullest. I loved seeing pictures of him being shared on Facebook, working on the farm, holding his great grandson. May you all cherish the legacy and memories he left. Doug and Darleen (Hollenbaugh) Wright



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DeMoney-Grimes a Life Story Funeral Home
600 Countryside Drive
Columbia City, Indiana 46725
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM


St. Catherine's Catholic Church
9989 S State Road 9
Columbia City, Indiana 46725
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM


St. Catherine's Catholic Church
9989 S. SR 9
Columbia City, IN, United States 46725
9:30 AM

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