Max Olrich, Army Veteran, Worked as a Barber, Taught Hunting and Fishing to Saline 5th Graders


Max Lawrence Olrich departed this Earth to join his beloved Dorothy on Sunday, April 4, 2021.

In the days before his passing, he was surrounded by loved ones who reminisced, joked, and prayed with him as he indulged his lifelong sweet tooth.

Max was born in Flint, Michigan on August 4, 1936 to Arthur J. and Reba A. (Watson) Olrich. From humble beginnings, Max enlisted in the US Army after high school. While stationed at Camp Chafee, Arkansas in 1954, he wrote to his parents, assuring them that he would pay for his long-distance phone call home on Easter Sunday. Dutiful, devoted, and honorable, Max always did what was noble and right. These attributes would serve him well in his long marriage, business endeavors, and personal affiliations.

After earning hard-won permission from Dorothy’s father to court her, Max asked Dorothy to marry him on their second date. Max traveled daily to Barber College in Detroit while Dorothy earned her teaching degree at Eastern, and they were married in 1965. Together they built a life filled with camping trips, practical jokes, card games, hosting family holiday traditions, attending Harry Belafonte and Harry Chapin concerts, gardening, and loving their scores of four-legged children. Quick-witted and dry, Max was soft to the core when it came to children and animals.

While Max and Dorothy never had children of their own, Max touched the lives of countless students as he taught orienteering, fishing, and survivor skills at the Saline Area Schools 5th Grade Camps. Although he retired from cutting hair nearly 20 years ago, Max kept a hand-made card from one of his youngest customers. She used all the colors of the rainbow to write, “I love the way you cut my hair, and my sister’s too.” Both sentimental and serious, Max found teachable moments to shape our lives around respect for nature, meticulous stewardship of blessings earned, an appreciation for the sweet things in life, and above all, love for animals and connection with each other.

Max was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Reba; his sister, Cherry Lee; and his wife, Dorothy. He is survived by his brothers-in-law Jack (Janice) Blinn and David (Christine) Blinn; nephew Matthew (Denise) Blinn; and niece Sarah Blinn Reid. Max is also survived by his “adopted kids,” Kate Melcher and Scott (Carrie) Melcher. Scott and Carrie currently make their home in the house that Max built over 40 years ago.

Cremation has taken place and the family will gather privately to reunite Max and Dorothy. Extended family and friends are invited to gather for an outdoor reception to celebrate Max and Dorothy on Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. at the Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home in Saline. Guests are encouraged to bring their pets to surround Max and Dorothy with four-legged love as we say our final goodbyes.

Memorial contributions may be made in Max’s name to Fisher House Michigan (P.O. Box 130466 Ann Arbor, MI 48113) or to The Olrich Memorial Fund at the Humane Society of Huron Valley Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. To leave a memory you have of Max, to sign his guestbook or for directions, please visit

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