Four years ago today, this world lost one of its finest citizens, and the next world–the eternal one–welcomed him. I shouldn’t have been surprised at the tears that popped up and out as I wrote this post. My brother-in-law Max always filled the room with joy. He didn’t know a stranger nor did he have an enemy. To honor his life, I thought I’d “reprint” the eulogy I wrote, which was read by Max’s sister Janet at his memorial.
LAWRENCE CHARLES “MAX” MAXFIELD
Larry “Max” Maxfield stepped into eternity on Friday, July 29, 2005, in Corona, CA, following a joyous time with friends and family and a warm-evening ride on his 2004 Honda Shadow. He left us smiling.
Max was born on March 5, 1953, in Victorville, CA, to Roy and Annette Maxfield. He was a graduate of Rolling Hills High School in Palos Verdes, and subsequently served our country in the U.S. Air Force, honorably discharged in 1974. He then received his BA degree in Fine Art from Cal State Fullerton in 1980. Shortly after leaving the Air Force he met a BIOLA College co-ed named Janine Atwood. She was a quiet, gentle, Christian girl—not exactly what people would have called “his type.” But Max was attracted to her life, her sweetness, and her faith, and she to his big, generous heart. They were married on May 17, 1980, and began their life together in Tustin, CA. That life was defined by their two children, Jessica and Nicholas, their church, and by Max’s ever-widening circle of friends and hobbies. In 1987, they purchased their first home in Corona, and recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on a cruise to Mexico.
People have described Max as “quirky.” Not too many adults have collections of comic books, Star Wars memorabilia, and Barbie dolls. Max loved board games, but being frustrated with the small size of the board and the pieces, created his own “super-sized” versions. Family Thanksgivings would not have been fun at all without Max and his games. Then there was the magic-trick phase, the paper models phase, and the ship-building phase. He was created to create. And he did it well.
Max was a gifted artist and used his talents not only to support his family, but to bless and provide enjoyment for friends and acquaintances throughout the community. His murals and illustrations grace the walls of the Corona Library, Heritage Park, and many homes throughout the Corona area. He was most recently employed as a graphic designer at American Bath Factory of Corona, but also worked for Ford Aerospace, Hughes Aircraft, McDonnel-Douglas and Boeing as a technical illustrator, and at Gateway Computers in Lake Forest.
Max had a passion for life and touched people with his enthusiasm and contagious optimism wherever he went. He especially loved working with children, and recently received his 15-year pin as AWANA Commander at the Corona Evangelical Free Church, where he and his family are active members.
Max was preceded in death by his mother, Annette Maxfield, and is survived by his father, Roy Maxfield, of Anaheim; his wife of 25 years, Janine; his children, Jessica and Nicholas, his brother, Lance Maxfield; his sister Janet Green of San Jose and his sister Julie Winger, many nieces and nephews, father-mother-sisters and brothers-in-law, and a great host of friends and neighbors.
Max was a person who lived life to the fullest and was a person who let Jesus shine through him. He never judged, never condemned, he accepted everyone, and poured himself out. Whether he was scuba diving—watching his daughter dance—taking his son camping—playing poker with the guys—or dancing at a costume party—he was Max, and he was happy.
Back to the present…we can’t forget the newest addition to Max’s family – his grandson Luke Ryan Porsley born in January to Jessica and her husband Ryan. You can see by her smile that Luke brings great joy to my sister Janine (who, by the way, is my hero).
Max – you are not forgotten, and never will be. No one who loved so much can be forgotten, because what you gave remains here with us.