Updated – March 2020

The 6 month anniversary of Max’s passing has come and gone – another reminder of just how much he is missed. It seems to us it’s also an opportunity to think a few deep thoughts about the meaning of life.

As you know, Max had a deceptively simple but life-endearing call to “enjoy the ride” – coupled with expressions of kindness at every turn. We reflect on that often – and try to let it be the guiding force in my life. Maybe you have attempted to do the same.

In thinking about this, we wanted to share with you what some of the greatest minds have to say about the meaning of life. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, we are confident you will find this both thought-provoking and comforting.  At the end – in Jim's personal postscript, he tries to reconcile his thoughts and beliefs to make some sense of this – and INVITE YOU to share any brief comments or thoughts in the tribute section below.

You can find the link to this document here:
Thoughts on the Meaning of Life

Thank you – Max’s Mom & Dad

Updated 11/19/19

A sincere thanks to all of you who attended Max’s memorial on 9/21/19. Many of you came from far and wide. Father Tarantino’s homily was beautifully wistful and the many tributes were touching, heartfelt and sincere.

Here are YouTube links to the tributes from Max's memorial:
Part 1:
Part 2:

In Remembrance of Max’s Birthday (Nov 24th)

 To Max: A Birthday Message from Mom and Dad

As your birthday nears, our thoughts of you intensify…
If that’s even possible.
The reel of your life’s movie plays constantly in our minds.
Your smile. Your humor. Your kindness. YOU!
A bittersweet joy.
Heartbreaking – though a blessing as we seek any measure of comfort.
Inconsolable – yet an enduring reminder of precious time we had together.
It reinforces just how much we enjoyed having you as our son.
The memories of you are as integral to our being as is our soul.

At some point, we will need to step back into the stream of life.
Somehow and some day –
We will need to build a new world within the world we knew.
But rest assured Max
The memories of you will be like a robe we regularly wrap ourselves in.
Know that you are always loved
and forever present in our lives.
And it will always be that way. Always.

With all our love, Mom and Dad
Please feel free to share your own thoughts and messages on the website in celebration of Max’s BDay.
Lastly, it is just so nice that Janet and I will be celebrating Max’s BDay at our house with 7 or 8 of his close friends from Randolph. They are cooking dinner on the 24th and remembering their good friend – who will definitely be there in spirit!  

This lasting memory was created especially for you, his family and his many friends. PLEASE see the pictures in the gallery and, just as important, please contribute your pictures, stories, and tributes for all to see. You can do this by clicking the "add photos" button to the right or through the "Stories" tab above this. 

No words can describe our love for Max – a vibrant 27-year-old who flourished in the world in every sense of the word. Kind, thoughtful, funny, industrious, smart and fun-loving. Yes – we are biased, but we believe there is no one reading this who wouldn’t agree.

Older friends and family remember Max as the blond-haired, blue-eyed kid with the perpetual smile – from winning photo contests (really!) to beating older guys in a foul-shooting contest while on vacation. He was a quiet kid – we used to joke at how few words he said in a day. But then he blossomed. Max wanted to be an architect but shifted gears and became a “Hoosier." He graduated Indiana University with a finance degree. Working at prestigious Bloomberg and Blackstone/Reuters (now Refinitiv), Max was on his way up!

He loved living in the Big Apple and roomed with two other (great) guys named Max – creating the “triple Max” of Max, Maxwell, and Maximilian. As all his friends will attest, Max liked a good time, loved to travel, and enjoyed everything the world had to offer. Just recently, he traveled with his longtime friend Pat Johnson for a biking, hiking and culinary tour in Portland, Seattle and California.  

Max was a huge dog lover (and dogs loved him) – the last text we received from Max was the first picture he had taken of our dog Skylar – he was reminded of her while viewing passing dogs at a coffee shop in NYC with his girlfriend Melanie. Max made sure he called or texted us with all manner of topics at least three times a week – he was just so kind and thoughtful. Max was beloved and created a wonderful life not only for himself, but also brightened the day of everyone around him. It was a life cut far, far too short from a terrible tragedy. He was truly beloved; we miss him terribly and always will.
Posted by Mary Beth Johnsen on August 29, 2020
On this one year Anniversary of Max’s passing we send our love to the McDonough family . We think always of Max’s spirit and the indelible mark he has left on so many hearts ❤️ God bless your family always❤️With love , The Johnsen Family
Posted by Cathe Brown on August 29, 2020
On this the first Anniversary of Max’s death we wanted to reach out to Jim, Janet, to Max’s brother and to all of Max’s family and friends to let you know you’re all in our thoughts and prayers as you remember Max on this day of memorial. God Bless.

Cathe and Doug Brown
Posted by Beth McDonough on August 29, 2020
Dear Max,
This weekend is a tough one for me. There’s no sugarcoating that. How has one year gone by without you? Last night I had a Deja-Vu moment driving to New York over the Tappan Zee Bridge. I remembered making this drive around the same time one year ago after you passed, Max. It was as if you heard my thoughts because all of a sudden, amidst a stormy evening, a patch of golden sky opened through the clouds. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and instantly heard your voice in the back of my head telling me to stop crying lol. Thanks for visiting me, Cuz.
This past week marked one year since we had you down at the shore house. Uncle Alan, Aunt Maurney, and Maeve were there this week. We reminisced about our memories from last summer and still couldn’t believe it’s been one year. Cooper misses you too, without you, he wouldn’t have made it to the sunset deck last summer! One night, Amy, Maeve and I rode our bikes to get ice cream. It was the same route we took to the bar together. I swear, it was as if you were biking next to me again....wait...remind me NEVER to bike to and from a bar again
Thanks to that Rod Stewart impersonator at the bar that night, whenever I hear one of his songs I think of you. I can’t seem to shake Rod’s gold suit shimmying on stage. Thanks for giving me advice that night, I’ll never forget it. I’m missing your brother-like advice now more than ever. Keep shining down on us, Max! I love you and miss you so much
Love, your Cuz
Posted by Max Mangold on August 29, 2020
Thinking of Max today and everyone who's life he touched. Enjoying the minute details and moments from each day as his positive easy-going energy is still with us. I imagine he's sitting Indian style with one of his crazy seen-on-tv green smoothie concoctions he'd make many mornings, watching over us with his signature smile that came so naturally to him and everyone when in his company.
Posted by Kelly Myszka on August 29, 2020
Sending so much love, hugs, and prayers to everyone today. Lately, I have been reliving memories of Max, specifically our summers. The littlest things remind me of him. It makes me cry knowing there won’t be anymore but also makes me smile because of the great times we did have. I miss him insanely. It’s been a wild year and I know I’m not alone in my feelings. Shoutout to all the wonderful people who got to experience the joy that was Max. We all lost an amazing person last year, may we never forget him.

I miss you so much friend, it hurts. Keep resting in peace. ILY
Posted by Patricia McGrath on March 30, 2020
We think of max all the time - thank you Jim for your thoughts on life , love , continuing to live and learn. As always love to you, Jan and Brett.
Posted by Pat Johnson on March 27, 2020
As the days go on from Max's passing, it makes me realize how much I truly miss having him around. From the trips up to NYC to let loose and have fun, to the talks and endless knee hockey games we played in our friend Pic’s basement for years is just the tip of the iceberg. We enjoyed life any way possible and that’s what made our relationship special. I know Max lived everyday to the fullest always telling me about new adventures he’d been experiencing in the city or traveling around the world. We were always bouncing ideas off each other for things to do. I think the meaning of life can be interpreted many ways but Max and I looked at it the same, live it up and enjoy the ride. We were big proponents of experiencing everything you want once, never back down from a challenge, especially if it’s one of your buddies calling you out, and make the most of any situation. I can only imagine how Max would be dealing with the virus and quarantining. I know he’d have cabin fever like all of us but I also know he’d be looking on the bright side and making light-hearted puns to get through it. I take that same mindset into everyday life and I think that’s why Max and I got along so well without even trying. I miss having my partner in crime around but I am soooo thankful for the time I spent with him. Will never forget you my dude.
Posted by Cathe Brown on March 27, 2020
We never knew Max and until recently, never knew you or Janet either. Just by chance, you decided to move into our Florida neighborhood and we met. So very thankful we did!

Thank you for inviting us to visit the memorial page for Max. In reading the comments and stories it is apparent Max lived a full life and was very much loved by all who knew him. I can’t imagine the constant pain you both endure every day. Please accept our deepest and heartfelt sympathies.

In response to your post these are my (Cathe’s) “Thoughts on the Meaning of Life”.

Doug says, “the meaning is all in our head.” It is personal for each. I agree!
I believe people enter and exit our lives for a specific reason. So do our pets.
Each brings us something we didn’t realize we needed and in turn, takes something we didn’t know we had to give.
Our lives are enriched and we are educated by each other’s presence.
Life leads us to places we never imagined we needed to be, but years later, it becomes clear why we were there.
Life gives us choices. Lots of choices.
We are born, we live, we laugh, we cry. We share our experiences, our lives, our hearts, our world and our love. We search internally and externally for peace and true happiness. Then one day we die. Why?
Perhaps there was nothing left for us to do in this life. We helped those we were meant to help along the way as they also helped us.
Perhaps it was just time to enter into another life, or for our old spirit to to be reborn to once again help others find their way.
Perhaps in death we simply teach others how to live.
So what truly is the meaning of life? Why are we here? What is our purpose?
For me, it is simple.
  To love and to be loved! 
  Everything else along the way is 
  just that.........
Posted by Jane Byron on December 27, 2019
I’ve been thinking of Max and his grieving family a lot these many days surrounding Christmas. I know this is a tough time to get through, so I hope Brett’s presence Is easing some of your pain. Know that I am just one of the many friends who have you in their hearts and thoughts. ❤️
Posted by McDonough Family on December 26, 2019
On our first Christmas without you Max - we wanted you to know that we miss you terribly and that you will always be with us. You were a big fan of Xmas - and we miss your smiling face... that Santa hat you wore each and every year....and your very thoughtful gifts. It’s not the same without you buddy. You are always in our thoughts.

All our love - Mom, Dad, Brett and Maddie.
Posted by Mary Beth Johnsen on November 25, 2019
Dear Janet and Jim:
Today on Max’s Birthday and every day we keep you in our heart and prayers. We hope your wonderful memories of Max warm your heart and give you comfort today . Max’s example of being present and living in the moment with purpose resonates with all who were touched by his life.
Sending you love and thanks too for sharing such a special gift with the world - your wonderful son❤️ Melanie loved her gift too.
Mary Beth & Ken Johnsen
Posted by Russell Grimaldi on November 24, 2019
Dear Jim, Janet and Brett,
I think of you and pray for each of you and Max often. I'm especially thinking of you today on Max's birthday. While I am sure like most days, there is still the shock that this is even a reality. For that heartache and tragedy, I'll forever keep you in my thoughts and prayers. With today's being Max's Birthday, I'm sure there is an especially deep void. That said, I hope there is some small comfort in knowing that, for me, someone who has never had the pleasure of meeting Max, is actually thinking of him today as I do on many days since I learned of his passing. In fact, I've kept Max's mass card because the I found the story of his life so touching and his spirit so vibrant that it spoke to me. The message of being in the present, cherishing each and every moment and living it fully is a gift bestowed by someone I never actually met but someone I'll hold close and learn from. With love, Russell
Posted by Max Mangold on November 25, 2019
Thinking of your family and Max often, but especially today on his birthday.

At our first apartment in the East Village, we used to celebrate each others birthdays with "family dinners" at Dallas BBQ on St. Marks. What started as a bad joke became a celebrated mini tradition. The ambiance left more to be desired, the food was mediocre, but the company made up for both.

Hope he's watching over us and enjoying his big day with a smile, baby back ribs, a personal blooming onion and Texas-sized frozen margarita. 
Posted by Melanie Johnsen on November 24, 2019
Leading up to Max’s birthday, I had dinner with Jim & Janet a few weeks ago. We caught up on life and kept his spirit with us. As if they couldn’t get any sweeter or more caring, they gave me a replica of Max’s “Enjoy the Ride” sign. It’s now my daily reminder to live every day fully, as he did. Today is a day I surround myself with love ones to help me feel a little less blue. I was driving through a rainstorm which ended in a beautiful sunset today, which felt fitting for Max’s day. I feel like he was smiling down.

To my birthday boy:
Accepting that you’re gone is still a bitter pill that I swallow every day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of you. I miss your smile, your eyes, and just being with you. If you were here today, I’m thinking of how much I would want to spoil you because you’re so deserving of it. Hope you saw the balloons I released to you today. Happy Birthday Max ❤️
Posted by Michael Morrone on November 24, 2019
Happy birthday dear Max!!! Watch over mom and dad and be in peace!!!! You are and will always be missed so you will never be gone in everyone’s hearts and minds!!!
Posted by Kelly Myszka on November 24, 2019
I always teased you about being older, but I guess the joke’s on me now. Missing you so much today, this week, this month because it’s birthday time and you aren’t here to celebrate. Some of our best memories involve our birthdays! Thank you for celebrating with me over so many years. I couldn’t ask for a better birthday buddy. Hope you’re partying it up in Heaven (of course you are). Happy Birthday friend. I love and miss you so much 
Posted by Lori Elkin on November 24, 2019
Jim, Janet, Brett,

Thinking of you today and always as you celebrate Max's birthday with close friends. Find comfort in being together and let in a little bit of joy in remembering Max's well-lived life and how he touched and impacted so many people in extrodinary ways.

With love, Lori, Larry and Ali
Posted by Susan Brierly on November 24, 2019
What an uplifting idea. How wonderful that Janet, Jim and Max’s close friends are sharing this special day together.
Posted by Jeanne Mcmahon on November 24, 2019
My daughter Katie recently shared this picture from our niece Taryn's wedding. Like in most of Max's pictures, he is smiling. It makes me smile at the memory of that dance with him. He was such an incredibly sweet boy who grew into a wonderful young man.

Happy Birthday in heaven Max. Jim, Janet and Brett, we all share your sorrow and miss him very much.

Much love from Aunt Jeannie and Uncle John

Posted by Beth McDonough on November 24, 2019
I’m thinking of my Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Janet and cousin Brett today. I know Max is watching over us all, especially on his birthday.

I couldn’t help but smile as I drove to one of my grad school classes the other day. While sitting in traffic on the thruway, my mind racing with a thousand thoughts of tasks I needed to accomplish and deadlines I needed to meet, my eyes instantly fell on the most BEAUTIFUL sunset I’ve ever seen. Being in traffic, the cars around me also stared in awe and people began taking photos. My stress immediately dissolved and I smiled, knowing that the sunset I was looking at was Max smiling down on me from heaven and telling me to stop stressing!

I can feel Max’s presence now more than ever and as we head into the holiday season, I know he will continue to share more beautiful sunsets with us all. I can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving with Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Janet and Brett. Happy birthday, Cuz! I’ll crack open a White Claw for you today ❤️
Posted by Pat Johnson on November 23, 2019
This time of year was always special for Max and I. Our birthdays were only weeks apart which became more and more fun to celebrate as we grew older. Once we graduated college, we decided to turn our birthdays into destination trips. We always wanted to escape to a warm weather place and started with staying in Santa Monica, CA for a few days. Aside from staying on the beach for hours, we visited friends and made new ones wherever we went. I think that first trip our there really inspired our west coast trip this past summer. Last year, we broke the warm weather streak quickly and visited our buddies in Denver. We enjoyed hiking, skiing, and our first experience on the scooters. I know Max would have another destination picked our for us but I think he would give that up one year to celebrate with his family and friends. I am really looking forward to doing that this year and making it as special as the last countless years have been. 

Happy Birthday my dude!!
Posted by Patricia McGrath on November 21, 2019
Max is on my mind most every day - his picture is on my refrigerator so Brian and I speak of him, of Brett, of Jimmy and Janet so often. 
I have other pictures of him with my kids and those pictures and memories always make me smile. Mostly I am still so sad - allowing myself to sometimes get lost in the sadness always with Jim, Janet and Brett as my next thought. I have a few very dear friends who have suffered the loss of a child and unbelievably have met a few more in the last few months. With my close friends who have had this loss, I go to them for comfort sometimes to ask them to remind me how they carried on. Their strength, their positive thoughts that they send to all of us, and the knowledge that they have been able to find a full life, never forgetting their dear one or diminishing the love they feel, has been a comfort. As Max's birthday nears I know that each occasion such as a birthday is so hard - and very particularly the first, but I also take comfort in the all the people that have been touched by Max and continue to reach out to his family to help ease the burden. I love the idea of his buddies being their with Jim and Janet to cook dinner and remember Max on his birthday. Something tells me Max would be pretty happy about all that conversation that will be happening all about him that evening. Sending love to all as we think of Max on his birthday. Love Aunt Patty and Uncle Brian
Posted by Maureen Carlton on November 20, 2019
As Max’s birthday nears, I am reminded of how much we all love and miss him. It still doesn’t feel real sometimes, as strange as that may sound.  I think of him so often… no matter where I am.  I have one of his favorite songs on my playlist and it makes me happy when I hear it, because when I think of him…I want to remember his beautiful smiling face and amazing spirit!   

I also think a lot about Brett, Jim and Janet, and wish there was a way I could ease their sorrow just a little bit as they approach this difficult holiday season and beyond.  I just want them to know, that I love them all very much, and I am here for all of you. Happy Birthday Max, my sweet nephew.
Love, Aunt Maurny
Posted by Susan Brierly on September 21, 2019
Janet, Jim and Brett, I feel like I have gotten to know Max through these beautiful photos, videos and stories. (My favorite video is Max dancing in the pizza shop.) Like all your friends and family members, I have no words to express my deep sympathy for your loss. I will see you at the celebration of Max’s life and I’m always here to support you in any way. Love, Susan
Posted by Susan Mangold on September 20, 2019
Max was a good friend and apartment-mate to our son. Our thoughts and prayers have been with you and will continue. Our deepest sympathy to you.
Sue and Dan Mangold
Posted by Josh Prizer on September 20, 2019

My heart goes out to you and your family. I did not know Max but the times that you spoke about him were with love. God bless you all!
- Josh and Prizer Family
Posted by Gail Bob Baragona on September 19, 2019
 We first met Max over 25 years ago when we became neighbors and friends. He was an adorable child with a loving personality and a big smile. We always remember Max as a playful inquisitive, happy child, who loved playing basketball in his driveway.
 Max grew up to be a wonderful and accomplished young man who made his parents and family so proud of him. We can remember spending time with Max as he shared his future plans and goals; he was so excited about his career choice and living in NYC. His handsome face and bright outlook on life forever remains in our memories..
 Our hearts are filled with deep sorrow and wish Janet, Jim and Brett peace and comfort in this incredibly difficult time. May our friendship, sympathy and heart filled condolences bring you some comfort.
Gail and Bob Baragona
Posted by Mary Beth Johnsen on September 16, 2019
Janet, Jim and Brett~

Our family wants to extend our deepest sympathy in the loss of your wonderful son and brother Max. There will never be any words to ever express this tragic loss. Although we missed out on the opportunity to formally meet Max, we know how much he radiated such life, spirit and love through all the memories Melanie (and you both) have shared over these past months and recent days. We can only imagine how special it was to have Max these past 27 years -seeing our daughter so happy these past months only confirms the amazing individual Max truly was. We are praying Max can give you strength from above and that you heal with your wonderful memories to carry forward in the spirit in which he lived each day. We can never thank you enough for all your kindness and support of Melanie. It truly means so much and just shows what loving parents you both are. You raised a really wonderful son. We will remember Max always in our hearts.

With our deepest sympathy and love,
Mary Beth & Ken Johnsen and Family
Posted by Larry Belford on September 15, 2019
I remember seeing at a young boy who looked like an angel with a smile that made you feel good. Over the years, we were updated by his parents as to his progress in high school, college and in the work environment. It was apparent that he brought that same smile and attitude which made everybody feel good. He will be missed and remembered. Larry and Linda Belford
Posted by Gus Papademetriou on September 11, 2019
My deepest condolences to Max's family. I met Max when he joined the Content Services team at Refinitiv. I enjoyed meeting with him regularly and appreciated his desire to learn and grow in his new role. After I left Refinitiv, he reached out to me to see how I was doing and he was looking forward to meeting up and having lunch together. I am saddened that we never had that opportunity but I will always remember him for the smart, kind and very nice person he was to all.

May his memory be eternal!
Posted by Bettina David on September 8, 2019
We are the parents of one of the „triple-Max“ and would like to express our heartfelt condolences.
We have been deeply hurt by the death of Max. Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about your loss, although we did not have the chance to meet him.
Our thoughts are with you and we wish you much strength in this difficult and sad time.
Bettina & Thorsten
Posted by David Oliver on September 8, 2019
So, so sorry for your loss. Didn’t have the pleasure to know Max well but can see how much he meant to so many. RIP; sending all my love.
Posted by Tammy Panetta on September 8, 2019
Our prayers go out to Max's family and friends. Max will always have a place in everyone's heart.

Don and Tammy
Posted by Lisa Bowman on September 6, 2019
With a heavy heart I send love and prayers to Rope, Jim and Brett. I knew Max through the loving stories his Mom told me during our chats.  She was so proud of him and all of his accomplishments. 
Prayers for peace,
Posted by Steven Armieri on September 5, 2019
Max will be missed, I feel sad for all that knew him. My condolences to his family and friends. I will value the moments I was able to spend with him in and out of the office, while we worked together at Thomson Reuters / Refinitiv.
Posted by Jan-Paul Gahlenbeck on September 4, 2019
I had the honor to get to know Max in May of this year, while spending two weeks with the three Maxes. We had a great time together. I'll never forget Max and the many great moments we had thanks to him.

My thoughts are with his family and friends.
Posted by Zachary Poll on September 4, 2019
Max was one of my first friends in college at UA. I was fortunate enough to get to see him in NY twice as well and go out with him. Max was such a positive and kind person he was one of those people that could make a lasting impression instantly. I'll always remember how kind you were Max.
Posted by Peter Sestito on September 3, 2019
Prayers and Thoughts to Max’s parents/family/friends. I am so sorry for your loss.
I worked with Max the past few years at Thomson Reuters/Refinitiv - Max was always smiling, in positive spirits and eager to help and learn.
God Bless…..
Posted by Monique Michowski on September 3, 2019
I am so sorry. My heart breaks for the family. My prayers are with you.
Posted by Muhammad Saeed on September 3, 2019
To Max's Family and Friends...Please accept my heartfelt sympathy at this tragic time. We will all miss you Max.

Farewell, Rest In Peace.
Posted by Catherine Hernandez on September 3, 2019
My prayers and thoughts go out to Max’s family and friends. I am very sorry for your loss.
Posted by Maddie Smith on September 3, 2019
Max and I worked together for several years - he was not only a great teammate, but also a great friend. He was such a genuine, caring person and I feel so lucky to have gotten to know him.

I’m so happy that Max and I remained friends following his time at Bloomberg. Whether it was a quick text conversation or a long chat over Shake Shack dinner in the East Village, Max had a way of always brightening my day and the day of everyone around him.

Max and I shared a love of NYC food and restaurants. Just a few weeks ago, he told me about a chicken sandwich at an EV restaurant that was so incredibly good that it “changed his view on view on chicken (and on life itself)”. His enthusiasm about something so simple is such a great reminder to be present and enjoy the moment you are in, which is something I hope to always carry with me.
Posted by Jay Mani on September 3, 2019
I personally did not know Max but losing a young man is always tragic. My thoughts are with his parents and loved ones.
Posted by Alexis-Leigh Farnish on September 3, 2019
I met Max in college of freshman year at the University of Arizona. We clicked instantly since we were both from the east coast and just could relate when it came to so many things. Ha, I even remember all of the jokes we had based on Jersey and PA and all the differences we saw out in Arizona that no one would get. We stayed close throughout college and every time I saw him or hung out with him it was a good time. I have Halloween pictures still till this day and have other pics from when we dressed up to take pics just because. Always a good time when we hung out. Always was real and someone you could just talk too about whatever. It’s really sad to have heard about this. Prayers are with his family and everyone who knew him.
Posted by Laura Kennedy on September 3, 2019
Max was such an amazing guy. We were friends instantly in college and he was always so kind and considerate. I just have no works for this. I cannot believe this happened to him. He was so bright and so wonderful. I hope he is resting in peace. You will be sorely missed Max.
Posted by Kristen Laukes on September 2, 2019
Max was one of my first friends when I moved to Randolph in seventh grade. He showed me the ropes to the school, the town and helped me make friends along the way.

He had one of the biggest hearts, biggest smiles and kindest souls of anyone I have ever met. I can't believe I will never be able to catch up with him again, share laughs of things we did in the past and of course talk about our college football teams.

Mr. and Mrs. McDonough, you did a phenomenal job raising one of my best friends. He was always a light in a dark place and knowing that he is now our guardian angels is the thing we can take comfort in. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers always.

I'll love you always Max!

Kristen Laukes
Posted by Brittany Caroline on September 2, 2019
I first met Max on the bus stop on the first day of 4th grade. At that time, I had no idea that he would be a part of some of the best memories of my life. Max was such a kind, funny soul. He loved to push buttons and poke fun, but it was part of his charm because there was never any malicious intent. I’ll really miss him and I can’t believe I won’t be able to catch up with him anymore. Thanks for growing up with me buddy! I’ll remember you forever.

To Mr. and Mrs. McDonough thank you for raising an amazing young man. My heart is broken for you.

Brett, please stay strong. Your brother loved you a lot and was always looking out for you.

Love always,

Brittany Grembowitz
Posted by Naomi Ides Jeffrey on September 2, 2019
Jim, Janet and Brett, our hearts are breaking for you all at the loss of Max. No words will provide comfort right now but hoping that your memories of your wonderful son will help you through each day, one at a time. Those memories can never be taken from you. We wish we could be there for you but sending all of our love and prayers your way.
Naomi and Gil
Posted by Jaclyn Macho on September 2, 2019
I have known Max since Kindergarten and he was always such a great friend. I am so incredibly saddened by this news. He was extremely kind and always brightened everyone's day. He will be missed. Keeping your family in my thoughts.
Posted by Michael Morrone on September 2, 2019
My prayers and thoughts are with you all at this unimaginable time. Knowing Max for the few years I did, I can honestly tell you both that you raised an amazing, respectful witty young man. I always enjoyed being around him and I have no doubt that he was starting a successful life. Taken from you much too early, please take comfort that you raised a wonderful young man and I’m sure everyone who knew him would agree with me. Although I hadn’t seen Max for awhile, I will miss him. God bless the two of you and your whole family and thank you for raising such an amazing young man. RIP Max.
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Mary Beth Johnsen on August 29, 2020
On this one year Anniversary of Max’s passing we send our love to the McDonough family . We think always of Max’s spirit and the indelible mark he has left on so many hearts ❤️ God bless your family always❤️With love , The Johnsen Family
Posted by Cathe Brown on August 29, 2020
On this the first Anniversary of Max’s death we wanted to reach out to Jim, Janet, to Max’s brother and to all of Max’s family and friends to let you know you’re all in our thoughts and prayers as you remember Max on this day of memorial. God Bless.

Cathe and Doug Brown
Posted by Beth McDonough on August 29, 2020
Dear Max,
This weekend is a tough one for me. There’s no sugarcoating that. How has one year gone by without you? Last night I had a Deja-Vu moment driving to New York over the Tappan Zee Bridge. I remembered making this drive around the same time one year ago after you passed, Max. It was as if you heard my thoughts because all of a sudden, amidst a stormy evening, a patch of golden sky opened through the clouds. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and instantly heard your voice in the back of my head telling me to stop crying lol. Thanks for visiting me, Cuz.
This past week marked one year since we had you down at the shore house. Uncle Alan, Aunt Maurney, and Maeve were there this week. We reminisced about our memories from last summer and still couldn’t believe it’s been one year. Cooper misses you too, without you, he wouldn’t have made it to the sunset deck last summer! One night, Amy, Maeve and I rode our bikes to get ice cream. It was the same route we took to the bar together. I swear, it was as if you were biking next to me again....wait...remind me NEVER to bike to and from a bar again
Thanks to that Rod Stewart impersonator at the bar that night, whenever I hear one of his songs I think of you. I can’t seem to shake Rod’s gold suit shimmying on stage. Thanks for giving me advice that night, I’ll never forget it. I’m missing your brother-like advice now more than ever. Keep shining down on us, Max! I love you and miss you so much
Love, your Cuz
his Life
11/24/91 – Our firstborn arrives!

11/24/93 – Max and family move to Randolph NJ

9/05/95 – Starts school – what a cutie!

10/1/99 – Begins 1st track season – mom is his track and long jump coach

9/3/06 – Moves up to Randolph High School

12/5/06 – Starts at guard for frosh BBall team 

12/5/07 – Rolls his ankle at 1st practice – so much for BBall

6/20/10 – Graduates

8/28/10 – Enrolls at University at Arizona (Architecture)

8/29/12 – Switches major and schools – on to Indiana University and the Kelley School of Business

12/10/14 – Graduates with great grades (his parents are happy)

2/1/15 – Starts working at Bloomberg in NYC

12/05/15 – Moves to the East Village. 

12/15/17 (or thereabouts) – Recruited to BlackStone/Reuters

7/25/18 (or thereabouts) – movin’ on up to the East Side (2nd Ave) – Max loved the Big Apple!


Recent stories
Shared by Amy McDonough on May 26, 2020
When Max first passed, I really didn’t know how to put anything into words, so as badly as I wanted to write something on here I couldn’t bring myself to do so (so I commend everyone who has!). This is my first time writing on here so I first want to say that I miss you, Max! Time has gone so fast but so slow all at once. It feels like August was yesterday, but also ten years ago. As one of my older cousins, for as long as I can remember, I always put Max on a pedestal. Whenever Beth, my dad and I would meet up with Uncle Jim, Aunt Janet, Max, and Brett at Kinchley’s or Macaroni Grill it was always a good time. He was just a genuinely cool person. He is one of my many older cousins who I’ve always looked up to (and still do). Shortly after Max passed, I moved into my house at school to start my last year of college, which was a tough turn around. As hard as it was, I tried to keep Max’s motto at the forefront: Enjoy the ride. After our senior year got cut short due to the pandemic, I had a lot of time to look back at the year I had with my friends at school. I took advantage of every opportunity, every moment, and never said no to going to the bar (making you proud always, dad). I was able to look back and smile, knowing I took advantage of every opportunity. I thankfully had this mindset because of Max. It’s a powerful thing for a person who has passed to continue to have such an impact on another person’s mindset, and way of life- but Max was that kind of person, and that dominant of a presence. Max’s philosophy to “Enjoy the ride” is the mantra I lived by for that whole year, and I now understand even more why his life was so full, and how he impacted so many people- even those he never knew. When we first heard the news that our semester would be online for the rest of the year, my roommates and I were talking about the fun year we had, and how we could each look back and say we had no regrets. One of my roommates then said: “yeah, Amy I remember you saying one day that we just need to enjoy the moment and enjoy the ride and that really did it for me.” Whether my roommate knew it or not, Max McDonough and how he lived had an impact on how she, someone who never met Max, chose to live her life. Bottom line, I will always miss and love you Max, and I owe my senior year to you. Enjoying the ride for you today and everyday! PS: All Mango Claws consumed here on out are also for you! Love, Amy  
Shared by Ryan McMahon on September 20, 2019
Max and I met somewhat randomly as one of my roommates was moving out and myself and my other roommate needed a someone to take on a sublet. Shortly there after my other roommate moved out and we took on another (Max Mangold). Our apartment became two Maxes and a Ryan or two Ryans and one Max. Some people will understand this, but I'm not sure if I ever fully understood myself how Max's ID said Ryan, but legally he was Max. I digress. I later had to move out of the apartment and replaced myself with another Max. This was a semi coincidence, but I saw him on a website looking for a room and I pursued rather hard. Anyways, that is how the triple Max came together. 

I lived in the Ryan & M1 & M2 or as I called them in my phone OG Max and NEW Max or Jersey Max and Buffalo Max... the list goes on to distinguish the two of them ... for about three years. OG Max and I spent so much time in our East Village apartment together when we were both single that we could guess what food each other was having for dinner at any given night of the week. Monday, probably had a rough day, Max would bring home a Tacqueria Diana burrito or Whitman's sandwich with fries. Wednesday, probably felt healthy and went to the gym - Just Salad or Chopt. We would usually guess the place and item on the menu as each other entered the door with a fairly high success rate given the variety of choices in the area. When one would frequent a certain place too many times, especially a particularly unheathly choice, we would douse the other in shame for their poor eating habits. If it was too healthy we would do the opposite. Regardless of the night, we would often look at each other and simultaneously ask if we should get ice cream followed by laughter and prod each other to admit they were serious not wanting to admit that we actually wanted to get ice cream until one of us would start getting up. A few times Max would abstain, but I didn't have the will power. I would leave solo and get a text - "Dude can you please get me a Ben and Jerry's the Stephen Colbert one? or Talenti Carmel Crunch?" 
Still on the food topic, our fridge in the east village apartment was something I will never forget. Max had an issue where he would buy kale and forget that he had bought some already and the old kale would not get thrown out. I didn't cook much so I didn't have much of a reason to go into the fridge but once in a while I would open it and I swear my eyebrows almost burned off. It was so horrid that we almost cleared a few pregames and ruined a super bowl party. It became such a problem that we essentially quarantined our fridge. Max taped it shut and put a sign on it that read "DO NOT OEPN". When it came time, we put our game faces on and attempted to clean. Opened it, almost passed out and started cleaning. Standing green liquid was drained, old meat was tossed and boxes of baking soda and coffee beans were put in their place to absorb the smell. One month later, the cycle repeated. As bad as it was, the laughs we had watching people's faces as they entered our fridge were totally worth it. 
Max was always down to just chill in the apartment on any given night, have a conversation for hours, laugh about nothing. He truly was great company. That is what I will miss the most and I'm sure all around him will miss the most. We used to have apartment viewings of various shows, most embarrassingly, the bachelor... I watched this show for the first time with M1 and M2. Not just one episode, we watched the entire season. I thought I would hate it, but with the company it was hilarious. I would get a text during work - "Bachelor tonight?? Let's grab a bottle off red from 'We Delivery' prior". We Delivery was a wine store called something or other liquor, but the sign mistakenly said we delivery instead of we deliver so naturally that is what stuck. Max was the glue in the apartment that brought us together and made things such as the bachelor happen. We also enjoyed frequenting one of the best restaurants in NYC, Dallas BBQ. You get a plate of food so large that 4 people wouldn't be able to finish it and enough Marg to make you diabetic. We planned to have another Dallas bbq roommate night after I left, but sadly it hadn't transpired. One day we will meet again and I promise we will make it happen. 

I will always remember my time living with Max. He was not someone you could forget. He was witty, confident, hilarious, outgoing, cunning, a perfect mix of poking fun while still being warm. He didn't have a malicious bone in his body no matter how much he liked to tease. I always said that Max was the most disarming person I've ever met. I could be upset about something and be at a 10, I would talk to him for 5 minutes and be at a 1. He was a unique character and I will miss him dearly. Rest in peace man. 

Shared by Naina Lal on September 4, 2019
I had never met Max, but had heard so much about him from Jim. Jim and I would share stories about our kids all the time at work, and take pride in all their accomplishments and laugh at their silly stories. I just heard the news and I feel like someone has just stabbed my heart. My heart goes out to Jim and his family. May his soul rest in peace and may God give strength and peace to the McDonough family at such a tragic time in their lives. Prayers and condolences.