With his infectious smile, hard work ethic, and positive outlook on life, Max Ketch embodies the traits folks in The County are known for.
Max was born in “the real” Woodland, Maine, and was able to spend part of his childhood helping his grandfather, Olof Nylander, collect specimens that are on display at Nylander Museum in Caribou. Max’s grandfather wouldn’t drive, so a cab would pick him at home and then out to search for specimens. Some of these specimens have been sought after by the Smithsonian and the National Museum of Canada; if you tour the museum, you’ll see some of the butterflies that Max collected with Olof.
Max Decides Against the Family Business
Upon graduation from Caribou High School in 1952, Max attended Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute before enlisting in the Army. While in the Army, he attended boot camp and received specialized training before spending the remainder of his two years as a heavy equipment mechanic. After being honorably discharged, Max returned to Maine, where he said he could have gone into the family business of farming, but it just wasn’t for him. Instead, he embarked on a 30-plus year career as a heavy equipment mechanic. His children helped him over the years at the shop with various tasks, and it’s plain to see he is extremely proud of his family.
After sharing a little about his life, Max came to a firm conclusion: “I could have had a better life, but I don’t see how.”
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