FIshing 10

Max L. Laird

January 17, 1951 ~ September 12, 2019 (age 68)


     Max L. Laird, of Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin, formerly of Grand Forks and Bismarck, North Dakota, passed away on Thursday, September 12, 2019, at the Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

     He was born January 17, 1951, in Algona, Iowa, son of the late Leon and Dorothy (Hansell) Laird. After graduating from high school, he attended Iowa State University in Ames, where he received his Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. After working as a sports trainer for a professional baseball team and for a university, he came to Grand Forks to be the head sports trainer for Grand Forks Public Schools. This eventually led to a teaching position in the district.  On May 23, 1981, Max was united in marriage with Gayle Marie Johnson in Grand Forks, ND. For more than 30 years, he was an educator in Grand Forks, spending the last 20 years of his career at Community High School. Max was both an advocate and mentor for his students, colleagues, and friends.

     Max was a communicator who loved attending and running meetings. During his professional life, he was on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota and North Dakota Chapter Alzheimer’s Association, Director of the YMCA, President of the North Dakota Education Association, and Township Treasurer. He enjoyed volunteering for the Red Cross, Girl Scouts of America, Northland Rescue Mission, and FEMA. He was a proud member of College Accreditation Committees and the Athletic Trainers Association.

     Max loved fishing, hunting, aviation, sports, and talking politics. He began traveling to Door County 15 years ago for salmon fishing and stayed for the love of the community, eventually retiring in Baileys Harbor.

     Max will be missed by his wife, Gayle; sister-in-law, Linda Oswald; niece, Ashley Oswald; and many loving friends and neighbors.

     He was preceded in death by his parents, Leon and Dorothy Laird and brother-in-law, Robert Oswald.

     A memorial service to honor Max’s life will be held on Friday, September 27, 2019, at Alexander’s of Door County, 3667 WI-42 in Fish Creek beginning at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Ken Carlson officiating. An additional memorial service will be held at Community High School, 500 Stanford Road, Grand Forks, ND, on October 5, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.

     In lieu of flowers, consider a memorial in Max’s name to the Grand Forks Foundation for Education. Another option is the Door County Community Foundation where plans are being formulated for an education endowment.

     Max’s family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Unity Hospice and the Door County Medical Center for their professionalism and care. A special thank you goes out to the entire community of Baileys Harbor for their support during this difficult time.

     Correspondence may be mailed to Gayle at P O Box 756, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.

     Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC in Sturgeon Bay are assisting the Laird family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Max may be shared with his family through his tribute page at

To send flowers to Max's family, please visit our floral section.


Memorial Service
September 27, 2019

11:00 AM
Alexander's of Door County
3667 State Highway 42
Fish Creek, WI 54212

Service (Outside of Door County)
October 5, 2019

10:00 AM
Community High School of Grand Forks, North Dakota
500 Stanford Rd Suite B
Grand Forks, ND 58203

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