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Remembering alumnus Max Critchfield

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Remembering alumnus Max Critchfield

Alumni Max Critchfield and Nick Wotruba pose for a picture together at a young age. Critchfield was attending the University of Missouri College of Business, and was in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. “Max was a fun loving, caring and happy guy. He was never walking around without a smile on his face,” alumnus Nick Wotruba said.

Alumni Max Critchfield and Nick Wotruba pose for a picture together at a young age. Critchfield was attending the University of Missouri College of Business, and was in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. “Max was a fun loving, caring and happy guy. He was never walking around without a smile on his face,” alumnus Nick Wotruba said.

Alumni Max Critchfield and Nick Wotruba pose for a picture together at a young age. Critchfield was attending the University of Missouri College of Business, and was in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. “Max was a fun loving, caring and happy guy. He was never walking around without a smile on his face,” alumnus Nick Wotruba said.

Alumni Max Critchfield and Nick Wotruba pose for a picture together at a young age. Critchfield was attending the University of Missouri College of Business, and was in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. “Max was a fun loving, caring and happy guy. He was never walking around without a smile on his face,” alumnus Nick Wotruba said.

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In March, West lost a alumni and friend to many, Max Critchfield. He graduated in 2017, and was attending the University of Missouri as a freshman.

“I would describe Max as the most kind hearted, happy, giving person. He was never in a bad mood, and if he was, it went away in five seconds and he had a smile back on his face,” alumna and friend of Critchfield Grace Folkins said. “His mood just caused an energy that radiated to everyone. He was so welcoming, he was always open to anyone coming to hang out or talk, [which] was just really cool [because] not everyone can be like that. Max was all around just such a great guy.”

Max participated in Virtual Enterprises in high school, a class in which students created their own business.

“Max was a student in my VE class for an entire year. We attended competitions together and even worked late at school to prepare. There was one day in particular in which Max stayed after school with a few other students trying to figure out a problem, it took almost three hours but Max wanted to see it through to completion,” Virtual Enterprises teacher Emanuel Young said.

Because he grew up in the area, Critchfield was in the Parkway School District his whole life. Friends that knew him since he was young describe him as a fun-loving and hardworking student.

Emanuel Young
Alumnus Max Critchfield often came back to say hello to teachers and friends. In one instance, he visited his former Virtual Enterprise teacher Emanuel Young and left him messages. “A couple months ago, Max came into my classroom and wrote on my board. These were funny memories students from the VE class would get a kick out of, including me. He then left me this purple post it,” Young said. “I kept it on my desk as a reminder to bring it up the next time I saw him.”

“Max impacted my life every day I knew him. He was been my best friend for the past 15 years and taught me to live life to the fullest,” alumnus Nick Wotruba said. “[He] was the type of guy that could make a friend anywhere and put a smile on everyone’s face. He was always there for anyone in need.”

After graduating, Critchfield hoped to be accepted into Mizzou’s five year accounting program. He was also accepted into the Delta Tau Delta fraternity on campus.

“My favorite memory of Max was the first week back of second semester. My sorority, Delta Gamma, had a social party with Delta Tau Delta, the fraternity Max was pledging. He immediately came up to me to say hi and to ask how I was doing,” Folkins said. “I was asking him about pledgeship and he was having the time of his life. He told me he was having so much fun and had already met so many great new friends. He was so nice that night; we were having so much fun, and after the social Max, Zack [Wotruba] and I got Taco Bell. It was just so good to see him having such a good time. He was always so happy.”

His peers remember the impact he had on their lives, and have pledged to carry on that happiness into their own lives and interactions.

“Max has impacted my life because of who he is. He has taught me to live life to the fullest. To always be kind and welcoming to people, no matter what. And to never take things too seriously,” Folkins said.

Friends and teachers of Critchfield like Folkins, Wotruba and Young feel that he touched the community through his infectious smile, ambition and endless friendship.

“I’m deeply saddened by the loss of Max,” Young said. “It is hard to say goodbye to someone who was so young, bright and full of potential.”

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