Donald “Max” Maxwell was born on December 21, 1951 to Edwin J. and Pauline Anna (Harris) Maxwell in Newcastle, Wyoming. He joined big brother Jim in the family home. Shortly after Max’s birth, the family moved to Billings, Montana where Max attended Grand Avenue Elementary School, Lewis and Clark Junior High School, and Billings Senior High School (class of 1970).
Max was very active in sports, participating in Little League, grade school basketball, wrestling, high school football, and rec league softball. He made lifelong friends wherever he went.
Following a short stint at Eastern Montana College (MSU-Billings), Max attended Montana State University in Bozeman where he received a degree in 1977 from the College of Agriculture with an emphasis in Recreation Area Management. While at MSU, Max joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and once again made many friends. In Bozeman, he also met the love of his life, Lorrie Marie Dover. They were married in Billings on March 31, 1979 and spent 41 years and 2 days as husband and wife. Max and Lorrie have three children, Thomas (Talia) born in 1981, Anna (Kurt) born in 1983, and Joseph born in 1990. They also have three grandchildren: Andre, Aubrey, and Peyton. Max is also survived by his brother, Jim Maxwell of Helena.
Max and Lorrie made their home in Billings. He worked as the landscape foreman at Billings Nursery for 38 years – retiring in 2017. Never one to let grass grow under his feet, in May 2017, Max joined the staff at King of Glory Lutheran Church taking care of the grounds and facility. As his supervisor, Lorrie joked she finally got paid to tell him what to do.
Max had a passion for working with wood. “MaxWoods by Maxwell” kept him busy in the early years making pine furniture for craft fairs. As his skill progressed, he began making unique picture frames and then Adirondack chairs, many of which grace decks and backyards in Billings and beyond. Max could always be called upon to provide a set of chairs, a growler carrier, or a Shut the Box game for benefit functions to support various causes.
Max and Lorrie enjoyed a full life together. Lasting memories were made camping with friends and family, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling in the Little Belt Mountains, and spending weekends riding with the Rainmakers Motorcycle Club. Max valued being with others and spent countless hours going to Little League games and school programs for children and grandchildren, watching the Bobcats (GO CATS!), or enjoying a beer at Angry Hank’s Brewery with friends. Max held a special place in his heart for his Hardee’s morning coffee crew and Thursday night crew at Hank’s.
In September 2019, Max was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He died on April 2, 2020 in his favorite chair while Lorrie held his hand and sang, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” The family would like to thank all who were part of the excellent medical care Max received. Special thanks to Dr. Jon Bullman, Dr. David Christianson, Dr. Frank Lamm, the staff of Frontier Cancer Center, and the staff of St. John’s Hospice. The family’s gratitude also goes to Pastor Ben and Pastor Jen Quanbeck for their love, compassion, and support during this journey. Our thanks also to our huge church family community and friends for comforting us in mourning the loss of our dearest Max, Dad, and Papa.
We will miss your beautiful blue eyes, mischievous smile, and huge heart, Max.
Services will be held at King of Glory Lutheran Church at a future date to be announced.