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Max Edwin Zbinden, CDR, USCG Retired, passed away on Friday, December 8, 2017 at his residence on Bainbridge Island, Washington. He was 90 years of age.
The son of Swiss immigrants Max and Elizabeth Zbinden, Max was born on November 3, 1927 and raised in Portland, Oregon. Following high school graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and began his lengthy and distinguished career in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Various duty stations found him along the West and US coasts at sea, including the escort of the Mayflower II into port, eventually leading him to a commission at the Coast Guard Academy.
Marine and Construction Engineering in Miami and New Orleans involved him in the building of numerous new 378 ft Cutters. This resulted in his assignment as Chief Engineer aboard the USCGC Chase.
Max and the Chase were deployed to Vietnam and the Far East. Upon his return he was assigned to USCG District 13 in Seattle overseeing various vessels and stations along coastal Oregon, Washington and Puget Sound. One unique project resulted in the establishment of Cape Disappointment’s Motor Lifeboat School.
Following his retirement in 1974 Commander Zbinden was employed by the Alaska Marine Highway System as a Port Engineer in Seattle.
Max is survived by his wife Dianne, sons Max T. of Manchester, NH . Michael of Middletown,CT , daughter Marlene Zbinden Shea, Son in Law Kevin Shea of Bedford, NH, Daughter in Law Kate of Centre,AL , 5 Grandchildren, 2 Great Grandchilden, Niece Debra Woodruff, Nephew Todd Woodruff and extended family in Switzerland. Max was proceeded in death by his Sister Lillian and his youngest son Mark.
Services: Monday 12/18 1:30pm at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church
Memorial Remembrances to: Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church Buildings & Grounds or New Horizons Street Ministry for Youth, Seattle.
Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home. Please sign the online guest book for the family.
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