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About Max

Max Harry Schewitz, age 20, of Lake Bluff died suddenly September 29, 2005 from an apparent heart irregularity, having shown no prior signs of heart disorder.

Max was one of those truly lucky individuals who found and followed his passion and philosophy early in his life. His passion, a love of reptiles and nature, led him to the Wildlife Discovery Center at an early age, initially as a student and subsequently as a teacher and employee. He had a gift for connecting with animals and the outdoors that couldn't be taught or learned, and he especially loved misunderstood animals, such as reptiles. Later, he set up his own business, Max and the Wild Things, and devoted his life to conservation, education, and appreciation of nature. His passion and sense of adventure influenced his family's and friend's vacations, pulling everyone to far away lands in pursuit of the world's most fascinating creatures. He managed to travel to 5 of the world's 7 continents in his too-short life.

His philosophy, to live each day to its fullest, was apparent to all he came in contact with regardless of age. This energy and focus enabled him to be a leader and role model in other areas of life. His zest captivated so many people, from the kids he taught, to his teachers, to his colleagues, and his friends and family.

Max will be remembered by many for his sense of humor, sparing no one or any institution with his numerous pranks, practical jokes, and wild adventures. He mirrored the fun, wonder, and excitement of children and sidestepped rules he found illogical, preferring to see beyond those rules to the core values of humanity and fun, which guided his every action. He exuded passion and a contagious enthusiasm.

He loved life, he loved his family, he loved his friends, and loved the many children he taught about the natural world. He would be very proud that his work was carried on after his death.

We are very fortunate to have many storytellers who recall Max and have shared some of those recollections. We'd love to hear your stories about Max. Please use the form below, or send your story via email to mschewitz@aol.com. We will share it with the world and treasure it forever.