About Max

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

Max was one of those truly lucky individuals who found and followed his passions early in his life. His passions, 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. Max’s special connection with animals and the outdoors, couldn’t be taught or learned over time. 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 the conservation, education, and appreciation of nature. His passion and sense of adventure influenced his family’s and friend’s vacations to faraway 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.

Max’s 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 many areas of his life. His zest captivated so many people, from the kids he taught, to his teachers, colleagues, friends and family.

Max will be remembered for his sense of humor, sparing no individual or 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 every day.

He loved life, his family, his friends, and the many children he taught.  Max shared his exuberance for the joys and mysteries of nature with all. He would be very proud that his work was carried on after his death.