Maxwell Baker
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Maxwell F. Baker, 23

STERLING - Maxwell Francis Baker, 23, passed away unexpectedly at home on December 28, 2016. Max was a brilliant young man who was fiercely passionate about his interests in life: his first true love Emma, playing the drums and creating original music, listening to jazz, rock, and blues, shooting pool, following the Red Sox and Patriots, playing fantasy football with his family, and enjoying card games and chess. He was a brilliant writer who deeply enjoyed reading classic literature, and he was also a wild and free joyful dancer. Max was a thoughtful and generous gift-giver and in the week before his death he was excited to distribute delicate Christmas presents to his loved ones. The night he put up his last Christmas tree, he built a fire with wood he had split and he asked Emma to sing traditional carols. Macky (his family nickname) especially wanted to hear Emma sing "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" that special night.

Max leaves behind his parents James L. Baker, M.D., of Holden and Patricia A. (McPartlan) Baker of Sterling; the love of his life, Emma Hargraves of Framingham; his sister Arianne "Cuff" Baker, M.D., and her husband Sergio Arana of Cambridge; his brothers Casey J. Baker of Burke, Virginia, and Daniel P. Baker of Worcester; his stepmother Anne F. Remian of Holden, and his mother's partner Jon Malewski of Sterling. He also leaves his best friend and bandmate Ryan Clarke of Holden, his lifelong friend and mentor Eric M. Meyer, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont; aunts, uncles and cousins. Max also cared tenderly for his cat Aullie who he liked to call Agent Jack Bauer, and he loved to play fetch and tug-of-war with his family dog Gronky.

Max grew up in Sterling and attended Wachusett Regional High School. He graduated from Quinsigamond Community College with an Associate's degree in 2016 and he was especially proud to be elected to the Student Senate. He matriculated at UMass Lowell this year to earn his Bachelor's degree in Biology in preparation for a future career in medicine. At the time of his death he had made a calendar for "My 2017" with his plans to move to college full time where he could live with his other half, Emma, and continue working. Max and Emma planned to spend their lives together and talked about shopping for wedding bands soon.

Max struggled with addiction for several years of his adolescence. Despite his battles he marched forward and sought help and after years of dedication and hard work he was in recovery, sober and happier than ever. He wanted to change the way our society treats addiction because he knew how difficult it was to achieve sobriety and maintain it. During his last year of life, Max was healthy, bright, full of energy and drive, and eager to build his life. However, in the month before he died, he sustained major injuries in a car accident, and after surgery he turned to medications for his continued severe pain and ultimately suffered a drug relapse on the day of his death.

He will be remembered most for his sweet and gentle manner, his impeccable style, his carefully arranged book collection, his musical talent, his boldness, creativity, dedication, intensity of spirit, and his beautiful easy smile. He will be profoundly missed.

Max's services will begin with a wake at MILES FUNERAL HOME, 1158 MAIN STREET, HOLDEN on Thursday, January 5th, from 4 until 7 pm, followed by his funeral at the First Church in Sterling, 6 Meetinghouse Hill Road, Sterling at 11:00 am on Friday and burial at the Hillside Cemetery in Sterling. The family will host a gathering in Max's memory after his interment.

In lieu of flowers, his family asks that donations be made in Max's memory to the "Maxwell F. Baker Foundation for Addiction Recovery," c/o Santander Bank, 164 Reservoir Street, Holden, Massachusetts 01520.

www.milesfuneralhomecom



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Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Dec. 31, 2016 to Jan. 3, 2017.
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52 entries
May 20, 2020
Dr Baker and Patti:
I was so saddened when I heard about Max! Just want to say that I am thinking of you and your family!
Ursula Zdrok
December 22, 2017
Its almost been a year. Your family has been like family to me for a long time now. I am grateful to have known Max. Dan and Casey and James are amazingly strong people for dealing with this. Max wont ever be forgotten, everytime I hear a drum kick I think of him.
November 29, 2017
Condolences to t/Baker Family, your story touched my heart. My Husband succumbed to t/same demise addicted to same substances - your son was a beautiful soul and very handsome prayers go out your way God bless you all- keep t/fight going in healing and finding cure for this horrible drug
Gloria Mazon
February 8, 2017
Max was an old soul so rare. You nearly need luck to chance upon, and appreciate the balance of the delicate, yet fierce passionate spirit such as Max's.
I was once told to "Never overlook lucky."
I think of those words when I think of Max and his entire loving family and friends.
I say prayers for his family and all he touched.

A Lucky One.
January 6, 2017
Our daughter who is a neighbor on Armington Lane told us about your Max. She had talked to him at the neighborhood Christmas party and said he was so happy and had a lovely girlfriend. He told her enthusiastically about his future plans. We were heartbroken for all of you when we read his obituary and learned that opiates were the cause. We have read Dianne Williams column in the T&G and send our prayers that Max 's ideas and desire to help with the problems of addiction will come to fruition. With deepest sympathy. Joyce and Rich Godfrey

http://m.mentalfloss.com/node/55241
Joyce Godfrey
January 6, 2017
I want to express my deepest sympathy to you and your family, Patty, so sorry for your loss. Dottie Reid.
January 6, 2017
I didn't have the joy of knowing Max but I have son who is struggling in recovery and can feel the pain he had experienced! I want to say Max made the world a better place to live in because he fought for better treatment for all suffering this epidemic!
May god always protect and guide him in his journey! Love from a Mom
Mom
January 6, 2017
I have never met Max but my prayers are with your family and friends. He was another ambitious young man that was taken to soon from this terrible addiction that is destroying lives. May he Rest In Piece.
Paul Brothers
January 6, 2017
To know ones faults and sadness is to appreciate ones strengths and happiness.
I first met Max a year and a half ago. When I met him, he seemed to have so much potential, so much hope, so much appreciation for who he would be. He often engaged in very deep and meaningful conversations with me, and we would often discuss authors, themes, sociological and psychological aspects of the many beloved books he would be engrossed in at the time. I love books, and Max was my only connection to the creativity and joy he saw in so many well written pieces of art. I will not be able to live vicariously through him anymore.
A piece of Max brightened my heart as he spoke so often of how enamored and in love he was with Emma. At 23, true love often is decimated and ignored for lust instead. I watched Max become a better man, a romantic man, a respectful and loving man because of beautiful Emma. I think the tragedy of her loss strikes me hardest as she is THE reason Max thrived and strived to become all he could be looking to his future. He told us he thought she was the most brilliant woman he had ever met. What 23 year old guy says that, unless he truly and most voraciously adores and respects a woman? That is maturity and admiration of a person completely.
I hope his entire family finds solace in knowing this amazing soul for twenty three years, and as you gather going forward, you can rejoice in his touching so so many people's hearts. My deepest empathy to you all. I'm so glad I got to meet the fine young man you knew so well. Be well.
K
January 5, 2017
Dear Patty and family,

We are very sorry for your loss!

With heartfelt sympathy.
Steve and Beth
January 5, 2017
So sorry Patty, my heart goes out to you. -Jessica Kennedy
Jessica Kennedy
January 4, 2017
Some 20 years ago my wife and I flew from Southern California to Massachusetts to visit my brother Jim, his wife Patty, and their four young children, Casey, Macky, Homey and Cuff. Of course we wondered, 'What are their REAL names??' As we watched them play happily together, we may have heard one of beautiful Macky's first expressions of the compassion and love in his tender heart when he called out, "Dad! Change Homey!!" If Jim hadn't done so, Macky would have taken care of his baby brother. ❤

Jim and Patty, you are living what is every parent's greatest fear ~ The premature death of your beautiful boy and there are absolutely no words which I can write to ease your unbearable grief or unburden your hearts from the extreme pain of such a tragic loss.

The many, many touching tributes which have been shared here by those who never knew Macky speak both to human compassion and the horrific crisis of addiction. I pray that the comforting words of so many may bring you some slight degree of God's peace and love for your having nurtured His son so lovingly. He is no longer in pain. He has found eternal rest . . .
Uncle Ed
January 4, 2017
Deepest condolences. I knew Max briefly, and can not begin to understand the loss that your family must feel. Know that there are many who also knew Max in the community who also share your grief, and extend sympathies unknown to you at this most difficult and sad time.
Mom and Teacher
January 4, 2017
Mom and Teacher
January 4, 2017
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January 4, 2017
To Jim and Family,
Sending you love and kindness.
Take Care,
Dave Q
Dave Quemere
January 4, 2017
Dear Jim and family, the beautifully written legacy offers a wonderful vision of your son. I am truly sorry for your loss. Godspeed. Heidi Crim, former colleague from BWH and Burbank Hosp.
Heidi Crim
January 3, 2017
When Macky, my beloved nephew, visited Southern California he would listen with rapt attention and unexpected awe to the unending stories I would tell about my experiences working the streets as a police officer with the city of Compton Police Department. Ironically, it was I who was in awe of his many accomplishments and the depth of his remarkable life experience at the tender age of 23. There is a Buddhist saying that says, "Your end, which is endless, is as a snowflake dissolving in the pure air." Though Macky is gone, his memory will live on in all of us whom he so deeply and profoundly touched.
Uncle Bob
January 3, 2017
Dear Jim, Patty & family,

So sorry for your loss. So sad, Max was way too young. It seems like yesterday Max & Niki were in 1st grade. Thank you so much for sharing Max's story. I have seen so many young adults lose their lives to addiction. I hope & pray his story may save other parents from having to deal with such heartache. You are in my thoughts & prayers.

Condolences
Betty Pekkola
January 3, 2017
My 29 year old son is another beautiful guy who struggles with addiction. My sincere thoughts and condolences go out to you and your family. I never had the honor of meeting Max but what an outstanding person the world has lost.
Christie Rameau
January 3, 2017
I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautifully written obituary describing a caring and sensitive young man. Thank you for your openness with his struggles. I will share with others in the hope that some day we will live in a world where all show sympathy and compassion for those who suffer as your son did.
A Mom
January 3, 2017
Im so very sorry for your loss...thank you for sharing so openly about his life...please know that you have many whos children suffer suds that have your family in our prayers. its a devastating illness...he fought a courageous battle.
Susan Benoit
January 3, 2017
My eighteen year old son passed away from injuries sustained in a car accident in 2009. I wish I could tell you that this will get easier soon. But i can't. I can tell you that everything you will feel is normal. In time you will find your way and your footing in a world that suddenly seems so foreign. This will take years. Don't let anyone tell you the first year is the worst. That is just not true. And always speak your sons name. Don't let the world ever make you silence the love you feel for your boy. My chad was the second of my four children and so one of the four loves of my life. He continues to teach me every day. And I know he is as near as the love I have for him in my heart. Your son's obituary speaks volume about how much you love him. God bless. You will make it.
Lisa Holbrook
January 3, 2017
So incredibly sorry for the loss of your precious and wonderful son. I wish there were words to ease your pain. Prayers, love and support to your family, from another mother whose son struggles with addiction.
January 3, 2017
I am very sorry for your loss. I had the honor of meeting Max not too long ago at a pitch tournament, which he won second place. I recall seeing Max with a book that evening. He would read between games. We talked about living on the water and boating. He was a very pleasant young man. I pray that your memories of Max bring you peace during this difficult time. My prayers are with you and your family.
Jessica & Scott Schedin
January 3, 2017
So very sorry for your loss. As I know of your pain all to well. Praying for all family & friends who are affected. From a Mom who lost her son to this terrible disease. God Bless you in your time of need. A Mom
January 3, 2017
So sorry for your loss. So unfair, a brilliant young man taken away so soon. May you find comfort in the good memories of him. RIP young soul.
A mother from Worcester
January 3, 2017
Though I never met your brother, Cuff you all are in my heart. I have such deep sadness at the passing of this bright, young life and believe the memories your family shared through his obituary will serve to engage and inspire others.
Thinking of you --
Melissa Fischer
January 3, 2017
My condolences to the family of Maxwell. I did not know him but have lost someone close to addiction and feel your pain. What a heartbreaking story... Prayers are with you.
A Mother
January 3, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and you family.

The Blanchards,(Mr.Mike)
January 2, 2017
I am so very sorry to hear of Max's passing. My son Kevin and Max were friends in high school. This disease has to stop. What a beautiful tribute to a fine young man. God Bless the family and may Max Rest In Peace.
Joanne Fors
January 2, 2017
To the Baker family,
I didn't know Max or any of you but felt the need to express by deepest sympathy.
Max obviously touched many lives and will continue to watch over all of you during these difficult times.
May he rest in peace, and made God bless all of you.
Anthony Petrone
January 2, 2017
My heartfelt sympathy is with you and your family. I wish there was something I could do to help all our children dealing with addiction. ivy
January 2, 2017
I remember when Max first came to QCC..and he said he had a Champaign to win senate..and then I remember Max advocating for something I was working on..and we smiled...a young man full if life and energy..smiling at me ..by my side on the issue...and I thought he is maturing so nicely...he could have been my son..a young stydent...R I P..Max..you will be missed dearly..
Bev Pettiford
January 2, 2017
I do not know Max or his family, reading this obituary touched my heart. You lost an amazing young man. May he rest in peace, never having to fight the demon of addiction again.
Dianne
January 2, 2017
Macky..........The Game Is Over......BUT......You Won....!Your Brothers, Sister, Parents and Your Dear Emma, Will Hold History Accountable, To This Fact.....!
G.R. Beauchamp
January 1, 2017
So sorry for the loss of your loved one.

What is lovely never dies, But passes into another loveliness, Star-dust or sea-foam, Flower or winged air. - Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Friend of Hargrave Family
January 1, 2017
I was so sad to read this. I remember Max from high school. Rest in peace, Max, and condolences to your family, friends, and loved ones.
Melina Cary
January 1, 2017
I continue to admire families who, while dealing with such painful loss, can share openly, hopefully leading to changing attitudes toward addiction, as it seemed was Max's wish. May God bless all who are left to grieve this young man.
Worcester reader
January 1, 2017
I lost my son to this terrible illness, along with too many of our young men and women. All beautiful, smart and talented. Please know that we are crying with you. May your son fly high as an angel and I hope you all talk of good things and happier times. Gods blessings surround you.
Another Mother
January 1, 2017
I am so very sorry for your loss. Reading this has brought tears to my eyes as I have gone through something very similar lately. About 2 months ago I lost the love of my life to addiction. I know that there are no words to make everything better. My thoughts and prayers are with all of Maxwell's family, girlfriend and loved ones.
January 1, 2017
God bless this beautiful soul. Prayers to your family.
A Mom & Dad
January 1, 2017
This brought tears to my eyes. I am so very sorry for your loss. May your treasured memories help carry you through this tragic loss.
January 1, 2017
While the loss of a loved one is never easy, even when anticipated, it is most certainly the hardest when they are taken from us too soon. Your recent loss of your beloved Max whose tragic death at such a youthful age is definitely in the category of those hard losses.

We ask for God's blessings on your family. May you find the courage and strength to move forward in peace and confidence by remembering you do not walk alone.

In deepest sympathy.
Every Parent
January 1, 2017
To the family of Maxwell, I am so sorry for your loss. I'm sure you miss him daily. Remember that he is not forgotten, but safe in Gods memory. Please find comfort in knowing one day we will see our loved ones again - John 6:40
CCL
January 1, 2017
May you find comfort in your faith and may your son Rest in Peace.
Dr.Timothy Hoffman
December 31, 2016
To the Baker family:

Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your loved ones.

It is never easy losing our loved ones because they are so dear to our hearts.

May you find peace and comfort in drawing close to God in prayer . We are invited draw close to God and he will draw close to you.

Respectfully

Kj
December 31, 2016
So sorry for your loss; such a handsome young man with a life of dreams in front of him.There are no words to take your pain away.He is forever in your hearts.
A mother who cares
December 31, 2016
My heart for your loss . Such promise, so beautiful. May god hold him in the palm of his hand and may his loved ones find peace and strength in the road ahead . So sorry.
A mother and grandmother
December 31, 2016
May you RIP Maxwell. A Mom
December 31, 2016
Words can't express how sorry I am for the loss of Maxwell. His life was full, happy, loved and determined, but sadly like so many, addition takes these beautiful young men and ladies way too soon. My prayers and thoughts are with all who were touched and had the pleasure of being associated with such a wonderful young man. The obituary was a beautiful testament too who he was and what is future held. I believed each word, that he was who you said and he was determined too become a Physician, plus marry Emma. May you find some peace in the wonderful memories all of you shared with Maxwell, even though he left his earth way too soon. God Bless You and may Maxwell rest in peace and continue helping others like he always wanted too in his new home with the Lord in his loving Kingdom. Sincerely, A Mom
December 31, 2016
I am very sorry for the loss of your son. The obituary that was written speaks volumes. He sounds like a wonderful young man. May God give you peace.
A Mother
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