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.
You have me crying too. I still have the post you sent me in one of my many Jeanette folders.
His drawing of the children sitting around the cave talking with the robed man, I will always believe it was intended for us.
I will say a prayer for Max’s family and friends. Through the picture, I see myself as one of his friends.
May this day be a reflection of all he was and how much God loved him.
I am so glad you posted the eulogy. Post it every year for the people who will never have the opportunity to know him in this earthly place. They can pay him a visit in heaven to see what he has been up to since he left.
I can’t wait to see what he’s done with Mouse Trap.
Love you lots!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you, Denise. Thank you for reading and replying with your heart–and for “bearing one another’s burdens” with us today.
Galina Filippova says
Great words are spoken of the deceased people in the heart-felt, moving eulogies. However, it is not Max’s death that made him special to you, I know. Although I never met him in person, I did catch the time with you when Max was still a very much alive, happy and spiritually instrumental person in your life, Jeanette. When nothing would indicate any signs of the upcoming tragedy, you spoke of him as of a very close, necessary, encouraging person ever. You showed pictures of him and the yet developing project of his (and yours!), your now famous web site:) We discussed the details of it, settings, colours. Even Ron was communicating his “expert” vision to be rendered to Max as a “public opinion”. So, he was VERY MUCH a living person to me until we received that terrible news:(
They say, pure, sun shining personalities like Max’s are of high demand up there….where God wants them back early on. They walk through the valley of the shadow of death, they fear no evil: for thou art with them; thy rod and thy staff they comfort beloved persons like Max…in Heaven.
Thanks for your awesome words and for the Scripture that reminds me of where Max rests in comfort and security. I LOVE YOU!
Stephanie Trusty says
Thanks for the reminder I remember Max best at Disney or Knott’s Berry Farm he so loved the rides! He loved to have fun. It reminds me to never postpone joy.
He did! 🙂
Barbra Lauterbach says
Just wanted to say a little something about Max and your lovely eulogy. I wish I had known him. Sounds like a person that makes things happen….and fun things! I believe that God’s profoundest presence is often exhibited in the fun and silliness of human life……Max reflected God’s spiritual quality of lightness and delight and gave it to others who continue to enjoy that quality in him. Eternity is around us. Those we love are never far. I know this from my own experience as I know you do too. How nice is was that Max had a sister-in-law that loved him so much. Blessings to you today.
Thanks, Barb. I’m glad my words painted the right picture for you. Your response brightened my day.
Julie Maxfield Winger says
Thank you for the heart felt words. I was actually looking up Ryan and Jesssica online and I found your site. And as I scrolled down I was surprised to see Max. Then I put 2 and 2 together. It been 4-1/2 yrs now and still miss him like it was the first. And I agree as well Janine is a pillar of strength and a hero to many. Luke has brought an abundance of joy to the family and to his Great Grandfather.
Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Hi Julie – so glad you stumbled upon my site. Feel welcome to return anytime. I’m glad my words encouraged you and connected us once again.