Bryan Maxwell

March 1, 1976 - September 10, 2015
Portage, MI



Monday, September 14, 2015
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food and refreshments will be served.

Driving Directions


Tuesday, September 15, 2015
2:00 PM EDT
St. Joseph Catholic Church
936 Lake Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Visitation will begin at 1pm

Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Children's Education Fund c/o Erin Maxwell
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Taken from his loved ones too soon, Bryan Maxwell was an extraordinary man to know and love. He was one of the most intelligent people one could ever meet, and he had a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Although he accomplished a great many things of which to be proud, Bryan’s greatest source of pride and joy was found in the family he adored. Someone who mastered everything he tried his hand at seemingly overnight, he was a man of many gifts and talents that he often used to make the world around him a better place. A dear man to many, Bryan will never be forgotten.

The 1970s were an eventful time in American history. We continued to explore new horizons in space, and technology continued to explode with color television, eight track tapes, and the development of the Atari gaming system. ABBA, Queen, and Aerosmith were among the hottest bands while disco became one of the decade’s most colorful trends. It was during this eventful time that Bruce and Janet (Johnson) Maxwell were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as winter had its last hurrah in the city of Port Huron, Michigan, in 1976. The big day finally arrived when the baby boy they named Bryan David drew his first breath on March 1st. He was the older of two children in his family, raised in their home alongside his sister, Annette, who was two years younger than he was. Bryan was a bicentennial baby, which was so cool since he had a longtime love for all things history.

It should come as no surprise to those who knew Bryan to hear that he was a bustle of activity right from the start. He was a sports enthusiast who tried nearly every sport since he picked up on them quickly and then moved on to the next thing. Bryan was particularly good at football and wrestling. While a student at Port Huron Northern High School, he was a varsity wrestler from the time he was a freshman. Since he was a big guy, Bryan was always a heavyweight. In addition, he played the tuba in the marching band. He also excelled in his studies, but since academics came so easily to him he actually got a bit bored in class. In addition, Bryan liked fencing. To say he was a bit wild could be putting it mildly, but he made his way through, graduating in 1994. With a love for sports and danger, he did some snow skiing and also loved going fast on his motorcycle.

After graduating from high school, Bryan spent one semester at Michigan State University where he also wrestled. After realizing that MSU just wasn’t the right fit, he transferred to the community college and then later to Western Michigan University. Bryan loved WMU and the entire area. With an emphasis in history and English, he had his sights set on being a secondary education teacher.

Not to be forgotten during his time at WMU was Bryan’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Erin McLaughlin, and she was a fellow student whom he met online. They had their first date at Putt Putt in Portage, and sparks flew right from the start. There was an instant connection, and they continued dating while in school. With a desire to establish a life together, Bryan and Erin were married on June 24, 2000, at St. Thomas More Parish. The newlyweds then went on a cruise for their honeymoon. They were very different when it came to the hobbies they enjoyed, but they truly loved being together. Bryan and Erin were blessed with the births of two children, Benjamin and Colin. He and the boys did it all together whether it was dangerous or not. Together they participated in Cub Scouts, made a garden, camped, whittled, and Bryan shared his passion for history with them. The Maxwells called their current house home for the past 11 years, and it was full of priceless memories.

For work, Bryan worked at Lakeside after his undergrad, but he then decided he wanted to get into counseling. He then started working as a psychologist for the Community Mental Health of St. Joseph County and earned his master’s degree. Bryan loved his job and how it felt like he was making a difference in people lives.

As his family and friends can attest, Bryan was always doing something. He had a garage full of tools and it was packed with “stuff.” Bryan made walking sticks with his sons, and he also taught this skill to his sons’ Cub Scout pack. More recently, he was into smelting. Bryan loved to cook, and among his specialties were soups, shortbread, anything on the grill, and dishes in his cast iron skillet. As a lover of history and the Renaissance, he also made several dishes from that time period. As a member of the Masons, he was their current cook. Bryan made his own pickles, but he ended up being the only one who liked them since he was a garlic lover who made them according to his taste. He was into being a survivalist and could teach himself how to do anything by just reading about it in a book including how to knit. In fact, Bryan made himself his own six foot scarf! He loved reading, actually so did his wife and children. Because of all his reading, Bryan’s school friends called him a “book of useless knowledge,” and he took a book with him everywhere he went in case he had time to read. Medieval history was his favorite, and he enjoyed attending renaissance festivals wearing the suit and kilt he made himself. When it came to music, Bryan enjoyed Scottish and Irish music as well as hard rock.

Highly intelligent, driven to succeed, and eager to work hard in everything he did, Bryan Maxwell lived a life of purpose. He was a true gentleman with the kindest heart, and he was the sort of person who could learn to do whatever he wanted. Bryan had the most amazing memory and loved being surrounded by his family and friends. Life will never be the same without him here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his friends and loved ones will forever treasure.

Bryan David Maxwell, of Portage, died on September 10, 2015, in Portage. Bryan’s family includes his wife, Erin Maxwell; 2 children: Benjamin and Colin; parents, Bruce and Janet Maxwell; sister, Annette Maxwell, and her son, Brenden; grandmother, Mary Johnson; in-laws: Mick (Nancy) McLaughlin and Rene Yates McLaughlin; sister-in-law, Heather (Matt) Collin and brother-in-law, Scott McLaughlin. Visit with family and friends on Monday from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive; 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday 2:00 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Church followed by burial at Portage South Cemetery. Please visit Bryan’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made for his children’s education fund c/o Erin Maxwell.